WORCESTERSHIRE is in the mid-table of a new Covid-19 cases list that is being used by the government to determine whether to introduce local lockdowns.

Published by Public Health England (PHE) the figures show the rate of new cases in each area, based on tests that have been carried out in laboratories and in the wider community. The latest PHE figures show Worcestershire had, during the week ending June 21, an infection rate of 5.7 cases per 100,000 people.

And in the following week up to June 28, there was a drop to 3.55 per 100,000 people. In comparison Leicester had the highest infection rate in the UK with 141.32 cases per 100,000 people in the week to June 28.

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Meanwhile Worcestershire County Council has published its Outbreak Control Plan, that sets out how the authority, working with others, are attempting to prevent county outbreaks, and how they would deal with them if they occurred. In the introduction to the document, Dr Kathryn Cobain, the authority’s director of public health, says the aim is “to reduce the number of new community cases of Covid-19 to zero”. The plan says there would be “clear communication during outbreaks” and a Local Outbreak Response Team would manage an outbreak at a setting if one took place.

Councillor John Smith, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “This plan is a vital road map. It sets out a framework, to guide all of our healthcare experts, as we deal with potential outbreaks.The plan is vital to help us all return to normal.”

City MP Robin Walker said the county’s figures were encouraging, but added the virus “had not gone away”.

“What is encouraging is not just that the cases are of a very low number, but that they have been consistent and we have not seen any pick or increase as elements of the lockdown have been relaxed,” the MP said.

“There are big changes coming so we do need to keep a very close eye (on the figures) . The county has published their plan on how they would take measures if we were to have a local lockdown. It is important they plan for that properly, obviously it is something we all hope won’t happen and so far we are reassured there is no sign of it being needed in Worcestershire