Category Archives: Covid

Blackpool, Preston and Lancaster record the biggest daily rise in Covid cases

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre have now seen 41,691 Covid cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

 

There have now been 165,538 confirmed cases in the Lancashire County Council area since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest government data released today (September 19).

Meanwhile, the total across Lancashire, including Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen, now stands at 212,938.

An aerial photo shows a piece of sand art, depicting the iconic Tower, Pier, and rides of Blackpool in north west England, drawn in the sand on the beach by sand artists 'Sand in your Eye, to promote that the town has re-opened following easing to lockdown restrictions in England on May 17, 2021.
An aerial photo shows a piece of sand art, depicting the iconic Tower, Pier, and rides of Blackpool in north west England, drawn in the sand on the beach by sand artists ‘Sand in your Eye, to promote that the town has re-opened following easing to lockdown restrictions in England on May 17, 2021.

The Prime Minister has gambled on trusting the public’s judgment and the protection offered by vaccines as he scrapped mandatory mask-wearing and lifted social distancing requirements.

The so-called “freedom day” went ahead on July 19.

Officials acknowledged that Covid-19 cases and deaths would continue to increase – albeit at a much lower level than before the vaccination programme – but it was now necessary to find a new way to live with the virus.

Public Health England records cases for each council area. The latest totals for each area in Lancashire are:

Blackburn with Darwen – 27,960 (Up from 27,929) +31

Blackpool – 19,440 (Up from 19,361) +79

Burnley – 15,491 (Up from 15,456) +35

Chorley – 14,344 (Up from 14,287) +57

Fylde – 9,304 (Up from 9,265) +39

Hyndburn – 13,183 (Up from 13,152) +31

Lancaster – 16,510 (Up from 16,431) +79

Pendle – 14,493 (Up from 14,453) +40

Preston – 21,936 (Up from 21,863) +73

Ribble Valley – 8,032 (Up from 7,995) +37

Rossendale – 10,603 (Up from 10,578) +25

South Ribble – 14,235 (Up from 14,193) +42

West Lancs – 14,460 (Up from 14,427) +33

Wyre – 12,947 (Up from 12,889) +58

 

 

Blackpool Multi Academy Trust CEOs welcome plans to vaccinate 12 to 15-year-olds in resort schools

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool academy bosses said they welcome the government’s plans to roll out first doses of Covid jabs to resort pupils from Monday.

 

The Blackpool Multi Academy Trust (MAT) Chief Executives group, which represents CEOs of MATs in the resort, said the town’s secondary schools would be working with appropriate health services to facilitate first doses of the Pfizer jab from next week.

The group is made up of CEOs of trusts with more than one academy, who have pledged to work together to find common solutions to the challenges faced by resort schools.

The government announced yesterday that children in England will be able to get their first Pfizer vaccination from Monday, after chief medical officers (CMOs) ruled the jabs would “keep pupils in the classroom.”

The Blackpool Multi Academy Trust (MAT) Chief Executives group said it would be working with health services to facilitate the rollout of Covid jabs for 12 to 15-year-old pupils in resort schools.

The Blackpool Multi Academy Trust (MAT) Chief Executives group said it would be working with health services to facilitate the rollout of Covid jabs for 12 to 15-year-old pupils in resort schools.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the decision to roll out jabs to youngsters aged 12 to 15 took into account the “extremely powerful” evidence on the impact of the pandemic on children’s education, as well as the risks to their mental health from missing school.

Andy Mellor, chairman of the Blackpool Multi Academy Trust CEO group, said: “Blackpool Multi Academy Trust CEOs are aware that it is the intention of the government to offer a dose of the Pfizer vaccine to 12 -15 year olds in secondary schools across the country.

“Take up of the offer of a vaccine will be entirely voluntary

“The Blackpool Multi Academy Trust CEOs welcome any steps that will help to improve the health of the nation and help to keep students at school and avoid disruption to their

education.

“Secondary schools in Blackpool will therefore work with the appropriate health service bodies to facilitate the hosting of the offer of a vaccine to 12 to 15 year old students in the same way that schools work with health agencies in the roll out of the annual flu vaccine in schools and other NHS led activity.

“Any further information about the logistics of the vaccine offer roll out will be released by the health services in Blackpool in due course and is not a matter for Blackpool secondary schools.”

 

Another three-figure increase as Blackpool again records Lancashire’s biggest rise in daily Covid cases

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre have now seen 41,058 Covid cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

 

There have now been 163,540 confirmed cases in the Lancashire County Council area since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest government data released today (September 16).

Meanwhile, the total across Lancashire, including Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen, now stands at 210,516.

Covid booster jabs not needed for everyone, says Oxford vaccine creator

An aerial photo shows a piece of sand art, depicting the iconic Tower, Pier, and rides of Blackpool in north west England, drawn in the sand on the beach by sand artists 'Sand in your Eye, to promote that the town has re-opened following easing to lockdown restrictions in England on May 17, 2021.
An aerial photo shows a piece of sand art, depicting the iconic Tower, Pier, and rides of Blackpool in north west England, drawn in the sand on the beach by sand artists ‘Sand in your Eye, to promote that the town has re-opened following easing to lockdown restrictions in England on May 17, 2021.

The Prime Minister has gambled on trusting the public’s judgment and the protection offered by vaccines as he scrapped mandatory mask-wearing and lifted social distancing requirements.

The so-called “freedom day” went ahead on July 19.

Officials acknowledged that Covid-19 cases and deaths would continue to increase – albeit at a much lower level than before the vaccination programme – but it was now necessary to find a new way to live with the virus.

How many coronavirus cases are there in Lancashire?

Public Health England records cases for each council area. The latest totals for each area in Lancashire are:

Blackburn with Darwen – 27,809 (Up from 27,765) +44

Blackpool – 19,167 (Up from 19,053) +114

Burnley – 15,361 (Up from 15,306) +55

Chorley – 14,160 (Up from 14,095) +65

Fylde – 9,162 (Up from 9,114) +48

Hyndburn – 13,067 (Up from 13,019) +48

Lancaster – 16,232 (Up from 16,152) +80

Pendle – 14,379 (Up from 14,329) +50

Preston – 21,672 (Up from 21,583) +89

Ribble Valley – 7,898 (Up from 7,864) +34

Rossendale – 10,496 (Up from 10,465) +31

South Ribble – 14,088 (Up from 14,031) +57

West Lancs – 14,296 (Up from 14,250) +46

Wyre – 12,729 (Up from 12,649) +80

 

 

‘Monster’ sex abuser jailed after abusing young girls in his truck as one victim tells of her ‘life destroyed’ by his actions

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“He stole my innocence and destroyed my life. I am hoping one day, all I want is one day, when I don’t cry.”

 

Simon Jackson, 51, of Station Road, Wesham
Simon Jackson, 51, of Station Road, Wesham (Image: Lancashire Constabulary)

A ‘monster’ who sexually abused two young girls in the 1990s has been jailed for more than 12 years, with one of his victims bravely telling court how he ‘destroyed her life’ through his crimes.

Simon Jackson, 51, befriended a vulnerable family, buying sweets, playing games and babysitting for the children when their parents were not available.

The family came to view him as a trusted friend.

“Today we would call that grooming”, said Recorder Philip Parry, sentencing.

But after gaining their trust, Jackson, of Station Road, Wesham, began treating the girls in a “depraved and abusive way” at a house on the outskirts of Preston and in his truck.

One of his victims, who was just eight years old, said she regularly cried when Jackson indecently assaulted her.

Each time Jackson would apologise but said she must not tell anyone.

On one occasion, after he abused her in his wagon, she slammed the door and ran into her home, saying she was going to tell her mum.

Jackson ran after her and slapped her so hard he left a hand print on her body.

The other girl recalled Jackson touching her on seven or eight occasions when she stayed over at the house.

She told a family member about Jackson but felt it was “brushed under the carpet”, Preston Crown Court heard on Thursday (September 9).

The two girls sometimes shared a bed in an attempt to protect themselves from their abuser.

In 2018, one of Jackson’s victims confronted him on social media and asked him why he had touched her when she was a little girl.

Jackson apologised, and with the admission in black and white the woman felt brave enough to go to the police.

He denied the offences but later pleaded guilty to a string of indecent assaults against the two girls.

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court (Image: Liverpool Echo)

Judge Parry said: “You haven’t offended for more than 20 years and in that time you have up a stable and successful life for yourself, but your victims have spent the last two decades knowing what you did to them.”

Describing Jackson as a ‘monster’, one victim said: “He took my childhood from me and it has haunted me as an adult.

“Simon stole my innocence and destroyed my life. I am hoping one day, all I want is one day, when I don’t cry.”

The woman said Jackson’s abuse has destroyed her marriage and her relationship with her parents.

She cries daily and suffers nightmares, where she wakes thinking she can smell him till she washes herself with disinfectant.

At times she has felt suicidal and she feels unable to drive on the motorway in case she sees him in his truck.

She has been diagnosed with PTSD as a result of what happened to her as a child.

Judge Parry told Jackson: “She has not been able to enjoy the same period of stability and happiness you have enjoyed. You enjoyed that, knowing what you had done and doing nothing about it.”

The other victim chose not to give a victim impact statement.

Jackson was jailed for 12 years and nine months and was handed a 15 year sexual harm prevention order and 15 year restraining order.

 

Check-ins on NHS Covid app plummet in Blackpool

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Venues are “strongly encouraged” to ask customers to check in to help control the virus, even if no longer legally required – but the use of the feature continued to plummet across August

 

More than one million fewer people checked into venues using the NHS Covid app in August across England and Wales – while positive cases and venue pings soared.

Mandatory check-ins for pubs, restaurants and other venues were dropped in England on 19 July – dubbed ‘freedom day’, when many restrictive lockdown measures ended across the country.

In Blackpool the number of check-ins on the NHS Covid app between mid July and the end of September fell by 13,695, a reduction of 94.7%.

Venues are “strongly encouraged” to ask customers to check in to help control the virus

Venues are “strongly encouraged” to ask customers to check in to help control the virus

In the week ending 21 July, there were 14,467 check-ins in Blackpool, while in the last week of August there were only 772.

Check-ins on NHS Covid app plummet with 1m fewer uses during August – while infe…

This four-week period during August was also a time of rising Covid infection across England and Wales.

 

 

Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Covid cases increase by 172 in 24 hours

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre have now seen 37,582 Covid cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

 

There have now been 154,374 confirmed cases in the Lancashire County Council area since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest government data released today (September 1).

Meanwhile, the total across Lancashire, including Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen, now stands at 198,790.

Warning as Covid variant found in South Africa is ‘most mutated’ strain so far
An aerial photo shows a piece of sand art, depicting the iconic Tower, Pier, and rides of Blackpool in north west England, drawn in the sand on the beach by sand artists 'Sand in your Eye, to promote that the town has re-opened following easing to lockdown restrictions in England on May 17, 2021.
An aerial photo shows a piece of sand art, depicting the iconic Tower, Pier, and rides of Blackpool in north west England, drawn in the sand on the beach by sand artists ‘Sand in your Eye, to promote that the town has re-opened following easing to lockdown restrictions in England on May 17, 2021.

The Prime Minister has gambled on trusting the public’s judgment and the protection offered by vaccines as he scrapped mandatory mask-wearing and lifted social distancing requirements.

The so-called “freedom day” went ahead on July 19.

Officials acknowledged that Covid-19 cases and deaths would continue to increase – albeit at a much lower level than before the vaccination programme – but it was now necessary to find a new way to live with the virus.

Public Health England records cases for each council area. The latest totals for each area in Lancashire are:

Blackburn with Darwen – 26,927 (Up from 26,869) +58

Blackpool – 17,489 (Up from 17,402) +87

Burnley – 14,759 (Up from 14,724) +35

Chorley – 13,328 (Up from 13,282) +46

Fylde – 8,391 (Up from 8,365) +26

Hyndburn – 12,456 (Up from 12,419) +37

Lancaster – 15,177 (Up from 15,106) +71

Pendle – 13,720 (Up from 13,676) +44

Preston – 20,588 (Up from 20,546) +42

Ribble Valley – 7,444 (Up from 7,426) +18

Rossendale – 10,079 (Up from 10,045) +34

South Ribble – 13,302 (Up from 13,241) +61

West Lancs – 13,428 (Up from 13,379) +49

Wyre – 11,702 (Up from 11,643) +59

Age and poverty main risk factors in Blackpool during Covid pandemic says new report

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Up to 40 per cent of deaths in Blackpool were Covid 19 related during the worst of the pandemic, a new report has revealed.

 

At the height of the death toll, the council’s Bereavement Service was holding 16 funerals a day over six days of the week.

The biggest risk factor was age, with those living in the most deprived areas of the resort also most likely to be seriously ill.

The data is set out in the latest Public Health Annual Report for Blackpool, covering March 2020 to March 2021. During that time there were 473 Covid related deaths among residents of the town.

But in his report the town’s director of public health Dr Arif Rajpura also highlights the way the town responded to the challenge, and the success of the vaccination programme.

He says the pandemic has “been an enormously difficult time for the people of Blackpool and the country as a whole.

“Loved ones have been lost to Covid 19, people have experienced serious illness and many are now living with the effects of long Covid.”

But he adds many people had worked “exceptionally hard” to support the town’s response to the crisis.

Dr Rajpura says: “Everybody has had their life impacted due to the restrictions imposed during this unprecedented year and the people of Blackpool have risen to these many challenges and pulled together to support one another.”

The report shows in the weeks with the highest mortality, Covid related deaths accounted for up to 25 per cent to 40 per cent of all deaths occurring among Blackpool residents.

These peaks were in April and October 2020, and January and February this year.

The report says the disease “has not impacted all communities and demographic cohorts equally.

“The most important risk factor, in terms of severity of disease, risk of hospital admission and death, is age.

“If infected with Covid 19, the risk of mortality in those aged over 75 is estimated to be over 1,000 times higher than those aged 15-24, for example.”

Overall there were 129 Covid related deaths in Blackpool care homes up to the end of March 2021, just over a quarter (27 per cent ) of all deaths from Covid.

The report says: “Sadly care homes have experienced many deaths in their residents and care staff have faced extremely difficult times.”

Other risk factors show higher rates of hospital admission and mortality have occurred in males and also in more deprived communities.

At the peak of the first wave in April 2020, 144 hospital beds at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust were occupied by Covid patients and more than 100 new cases were reported in a one week period.

The number of beds occupied by Covid patients reached a peak of 205 on October 25 2020.

But the report says schools coped “extremely well” during the pandemic and “largely remained open throughout the whole of this period, with isolated instances of closure, mostly in primary schools.”

Minimising transmission was the priority with the formation of pupil ‘bubbles’ and provision of extensive testing.

As the vaccine began to be rolled out, take-up was strong with more than 90 per cent of over 50s having had at least one dose.

But those living in deprived areas are less likely to have had the vaccine, with a take up rate of just over 86 per cent compared to nearly 92 per cent among the town’s most affluent residents.

The report warns: “Lower vaccine uptake is heavily concentrated in the centre of the town and is associated with existing disadvantage, such as the concentration of houses in multiple occupation and social isolation.

“Analysis has also identified lower uptake in males than females and although Blackpool has relatively very small BAME populations, the uptake is lower in Black and Asian ethnic categories.

“Vaccine uptake also drops consistently in younger ages.

“Through the second half of 2021, Blackpool Council and the NHS will encourage vaccination uptake through campaigns, recall, working with employers and community engagement, to increase vaccination uptake as much as possible and reduce inequality in vaccination uptake between different communities.”

Ahead of the coming winter steps will also be taken to encourage people to have Covid boosters and get a flu vaccination.

Enforcement teams have also played a role in controlling the virus with 11 improvement notices served on non-compliant businesses with barbers, arcades, smaller retailers and a number of licensed premises among the culprits.

A massage parlour was also served with a prohibition notice for Covid breaches.

Problems in general “included a lack of social distancing, staff and customers not wearing masks, insufficient cleaning and disinfection of premises, a lack of contact tracing information, and bigger group sizes than permitted.”

169 new Covid cases recorded in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre in 24 hours

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre have now seen 33,522 Covid cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

 

There have now been 142,807 confirmed cases in the Lancashire County Council area since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest government data released today (August 9).

Meanwhile, the total across Lancashire, including Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen, now stands at 184,106.

New Preston comedy club closes as staff ‘pinged’ and forced to isolate
An aerial photo shows a piece of sand art, depicting the iconic Tower, Pier, and rides of Blackpool in north west England, drawn in the sand on the beach by sand artists 'Sand in your Eye, to promote that the town has re-opened following easing to lockdown restrictions in England on May 17, 2021.
An aerial photo shows a piece of sand art, depicting the iconic Tower, Pier, and rides of Blackpool in north west England, drawn in the sand on the beach by sand artists ‘Sand in your Eye, to promote that the town has re-opened following easing to lockdown restrictions in England on May 17, 2021.

The Prime Minister has gambled on trusting the public’s judgment and the protection offered by vaccines as he scrapped mandatory mask-wearing and lifted social distancing requirements.

The so-called “freedom day” went ahead on July 19.

Officials acknowledged that Covid-19 cases and deaths would continue to increase – albeit at a much lower level than before the vaccination programme – but it was now necessary to find a new way to live with the virus.

Public Health England records cases for each council area. The latest totals for each area in Lancashire are:

Blackburn with Darwen – 25,821 (Up from 25,761) +60

Blackpool – 15,478 (Up from 15,404) +74

Burnley – 14,001 (Up from 13,957) +44

Chorley – 12,270 (Up from 12,225) +45

Fylde – 7,576 (Up from 7,540) +36

Hyndburn – 11,796 (Up from 11,755) +41

Lancaster – 13,804 (Up from 13,742) +62

Pendle – 12,898 (Up from 12,867) +31

Preston – 19,231 (Up from 19,166) +65

Ribble Valley – 6,859 (Up from 6,834) +25

Rossendale – 9,532 (Up from 9,504) +28

South Ribble – 12,100 (Up from 12,060) +40

West Lancs – 12,272 (Up from 12,231) +41

Wyre – 10,468 (Up from 10,409) +59

Blackpool’s travelling vaccination van hands out 3,000th Covid-19 jab

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool’s mobile vaccine van – which travels all over the resort each week giving out Covid-19 jabs – has delivered its 3,000th vaccination.

 

The van’s NHS team, who provide both first and second doses to residents over the age of 18, administered the milestone jab on Saturday, July 31.

The vaccine van both Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines.

Just over 60 per cent of 18-24 year olds in Blackpool have now had their first dose of the Covid vaccine, joining over 3 million others aged 18-24 in England who have taken up the jab. It is hoped even more young people will be encouraged to come forward.

The vaccination van teamThe vaccination van team

Dr Arif Rajpura, Blackpool’s director of public health, said: “We know many of our young people in Blackpool have already got the vaccine to protect themselves and those around them. The progress of the vaccine van has been extremely positive.

“However, we want to reach the under 30s who are yet to get their first dose in Blackpool.

“We’re keen to let younger people know that the Covid-19 vaccination not only provides the best protection against serious illness from Covid, but also the potentially harmful effects of long Covid. Long Covid can and does affect all ages – even young people.

“We also want life to return to normal and the vaccine plays a vital role in allowing that to happen. NHS Covid passes are now being required to demonstrate your Covid-19 vaccination status as a condition of entry at some venues and events. They are also used for international travel purposes.

“We’re urging those who want to get back to the things they have missed to do so safely and get double jabbed as soon as they can.”

 

Fleetwood teenager held on suspicion of murder after fatal Blackpool stabbing

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Fleetwood teenager continues to be held in custody on suspicion of murder after a man in his 50s was stabbed to death in Blackpool at the weekend.

 

Detectives launched a murder investigation after the man died in hospital from multiple stab wounds shortly after the knife attack at a home in Carsluith Avenue, Marton at around 8.53pm on Friday (July 23).

An 18-year-old man from Fleetwood has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody today (Monday, July 26).

Det Supt Neil Drummond, of Lancashire Constabulary, said: “These are very sad and tragic circumstances and my thoughts are with the man’s family at this very distressing time.

Detectives launched a murder investigation after a man in his 50s died in hospital from multiple stab wounds shortly after a knife attack at a home in Carsluith Avenue, off Canterbury Avenue in Marton at around 8.53pm on Friday (July 23). Pic: GoogleDetectives launched a murder investigation after a man in his 50s died in hospital from multiple stab wounds shortly after a knife attack at a home in Carsluith Avenue, off Canterbury Avenue in Marton at around 8.53pm on Friday (July 23). Pic: Google

“While we have made an arrest we would continue to appeal to anyone with information or who feels they can assist with our inquiries to come forward.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting log 1664 of June 23. Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111.