Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre have now 21,737 Covid cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
There have now been 105,397 confirmed cases in the Lancashire County Council area since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest government data released today (June 13).
Meanwhile, the total across Lancashire, including Blackpool and Blackburn and Darwen, now stands at 136,562.
Everything you need to know as Boris Johnson set to delay lifting of Covid lockd…
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.
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 – 21,370 (Up from 21,240) +130
Boris Johnson has warned the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus is a matter of “serious, serious concern”.
The Prime Minister is expected to announce a delay to lockdown lifting in England of up to four weeks amid warnings the country is facing a third wave of the virus.
He said: “It’s clear that the Indian variant is more transmissible and it’s also true that the cases are going up, and that the levels of hospitalisation are going up.
“Now, we don’t know exactly to what extent that is going to feed through into extra mortality, but clearly it’s a matter of serious, serious concern.”
Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, performing in 2006 (Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire)
Asked if he was less optimistic now than he was at the end of May, he said: “Yes, that’s certainly fair.
“What we want to do is make sure that the road map is irreversible, but you can’t have an irreversible road map unless you’re prepared to be cautious.
“Some of the data is still open to question, but we’ll be making an announcement on Monday.”
The last stage of the Government’s ‘road map’ out of lockdown – pencilled in for June 21, a week on Monday – will see all social contact limits scrapped.
Nightclubs will reopen, restrictions on the size of wedding parties and other gatherings will be lifted, and large audiences will again be able to attend events such as theatre performances.
A delay would almost certainly hit Blackpool Rocks: The Return, which is still scheduled to be held in the Winter Gardens on Saturday, June 26, with Fatboy Slim and Danny Howard set to perform.
Organisers were understood to be awaiting Monday’s announcement before speaking publicly about plans for the dance, electronic, and techno music festival.
Blackpool’s Howard, 33, a BBC Radio One DJ who launched his career at the now demolished Syndicate nightclub in the town centre, told The Gazette in May revellers were “gagging” for life to return to normal.
“As an opportunity to get the town talking and bring someone of the level of Fatboy Slim to help celebrate our newfound freedom is something that is going to make it a special moment and, importantly, a talking point for years to come when we look back on the year of 2021 and hopefully post-pandemic,” he said.
“What was the first thing people did? Well, hopefully it was to go to Blackpool Rocks.”
The town was not included in the new measures announced by Matt Hancock yesterday and according to the council, hospital rates remain ‘very low’
Blackpool leaders are in ‘daily discussions’ with the Government on how to manage any surge in Covid cases to avoid the same measures seen in Lancashire and Blackburn.
Yesterday (June 8), all 11 of Lancashire’s districts, which include Burnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Pendle, Preston, South Ribble, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, West Lancashire and Wyre, joined Blackburn with Darwen as ‘areas of enhanced response’.
In additional measures, the areas will see enhanced Covid testing in an attempt to bring rapidly rising Covid rates under control ahead of the next stage of lockdown lifting, which could be as early as June 21.
Announcing the new guidelines, which are not legally enforceable, in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Matt Hancock said the help on offer includes military support with testing and supervised in-school testing, and greater communication with disadvantaged groups.
Local directors of public health will also be able to reintroduce face coverings in communal areas in schools if they want to.
But one authority was notably absent from the Secretary of Health and Social Care’s announcement.
Blackpool currently has an infection rate of 92.5 cases per 100,000 people – higher than the England average of 40.6 and higher than Fylde (70.6), Lancaster (45.9), Wyre (41.9) and West Lancashire (30.6), which have all been included under the Lancashire umbrella.
When quizzed on this in a press conference yesterday, Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health for Lancashire County Council, admitted that he was unsure why Blackpool was not included, as he had not been present in these discussions.
However, Blackpool Council has since released a statement explaining that it is talking with the Government about how to prevent any surges and why it has remained without enhanced measures.
A spokesperson for the authority said: ““Throughout this pandemic decisions have been made at unitary authority level and therefore Blackpool was not part of the Lancashire County Council discussion.
“Blackpool’s infection rates have been consistently lower than the North West average and our hospital rates are currently very low.
“However, we are in daily discussion with Government and Public Health England about what steps might need to be taken in the short-term if we see the spikes in infection rates that are being experienced in some other areas.”
Big steps have already been taken in Blackpool to see as many of the eligible residents vaccinated as possible.
Last week, Blackpool’s public health boss, Dr Arif Rajpura, said that the area was ‘setting the benchmark’ by getting everyone vaccinated against coronavirus.
Door-to-door enquiries have been launched to ensure that everyone has been for a vaccine if they are eligible.
The latest figures published showed that on June 3, 88,000 people in Blackpool had been given a first jab to protect them against Covid-19, accounting for around 66 per cent of all adults in the seaside town.
More than 90 per cent of those aged over 50 have been jabbed.
Staff are using portable devices to make appointments digitally for residents on the spot, particularly for those without online access.
And from Sunday (June 6), a free bus service was launched by Blackpool Transport for anybody travelling to and from Blackpool Victoria Hospital for vaccination appointments.
Dr Arif Rajpura, Director of Public Health at Blackpool Council, wants the town to ‘set the benchmark’ when it comes to vaccine uptake
Blackpool’s public health boss has set his sights ‘setting the benchmark’ by getting everyone vaccinated against coronavirus.
It comes as town hall officials have set their sights on door-to-door enquiries to ensure everyone has been for a vaccine if they are eligible.
Currently, 88,000 people in Blackpool have had a first jab to protect them against Covid-19, accounting for around 66% of all adults in the seaside town.
More than 90% of those aged over 50 have been jabbed.
Door-knocking started on Wednesday (June 2) with Blackpool Council employees knocking in specific areas of the town to assist people with making their vaccination appointments if they choose to.
Staff are using portable devices to make appointments digitally for residents on the spot, particularly for those without online access.
And from Sunday (June 6), a free bus service is being supplied by Blackpool Transport for anybody travelling to and from Blackpool Victoria Hospital for vaccination appointments.
Here, passengers can take advantage of the free transport by simply showing their vaccine appointment confirmation text message, email or letter.
Dr Arif Rajpura, Director of Public Health at Blackpool Council, said the town can “set the benchmark” in setting the challenge to get a 100% uptake.
“As a town our vaccination rates are very good and we’ve seen tens of thousands of people take up their invitation to get vaccinated against Covid-19 – it’s been fantastic to see,” Dr Rajpura said.
“Over 90% of over 50s in Blackpool who have been offered the vaccine have said yes and that’s playing a huge part in our infection rates staying low and fewer people with Covid-19 needing our vital hospital resources.
“I think as a town Blackpool could really set the benchmark in vaccination uptake and that’s why I’m challenging residents to help us hit the target by joining the two out of three adults who have already had their first vaccination dose.
“The challenge is to get as near to 100% vaccination rates as we can – get your neighbours, your family and your friends on board and give them the vaccine booking information.
“The vaccine programme is the best way for us all to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities and get our lives back to as normal as possible.”
Currently the vaccine is available to:
People aged 30 and over
People who will turn 30 before 1 July 2021
People at high risk from COVID-19 (clinically extremely vulnerable)
People who live or work in care homes
Health and social care workers
People with a condition that puts them at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
People with a learning disability
People who are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19
“Please leave the department free for EMERGENCIES ONLY”
A hospital trust in Lancashire has issued an urgent warning as their A&E department copes with ‘extreme pressure’.
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has urged people only to attend its emergency department in serious and life-threatening emergencies.
The trust looks after Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Clifton Hospital and Fleetwood Hospital.
Bosses issued the warning about the emergency department at via social this afternoon (May 31).
In a statement, they said: “Our A&E department is under extreme pressure today.
“Please leave the department free for EMERGENCIES ONLY. For non life-threatening conditions, visit www.111.NHS.uk.
“If you need to come to A&E, they will book you an appointment so you will be seen QUICKER.
“Don’t spend the weekend sitting in A&E if you don’t need to be there. Unless you need 999, contact NHS111. They can help you make the right choice.”
Emergency department consultant, Dr Adeline Israel, has urged everyone to call NHS 111, first, for non emergency conditions before thinking of attending A&E.
She said: “We have been under tremendous pressure in the emergency department because of overcrowding.
“A lot of people have been attending to different needs. We do understand you needs and anxieties in presenting to the emergency department, but when it’s overcrowded we are not able to get to the emergency patients who need our attention immediately among those who don’t need it immediately.
“Please bear in mind that our staff have also returned back to work from the second wave of Covid back. We want to serve everyone in the right place at the right time.
“Hence, I urge you to please use NHS 111 to be triaged before you present to the emergency department.
“If you do present to the emergency department you will be triaged based on your medical condition and prioritised thus. You may be asked to wait to see the appropriate team.
“I would your you to please work together with us so that we have a safe and healthy population in our place. Thank you.”
Danielle’s family have gone from dreading the phone ringing to her mum Lynette making an excellent recovery thanks to hospital staff
A woman from Blackpool is raising money as a way to thank a local hospital staff for the excellent care they provided for her mum while she spent 80 days in critical care due to Covid-19.
Danielle Wade, 42, has so far raised over £2,000 for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Charity, Blue Skies Hospitals Fund, as part of her gratitude for their lifesaving treatment.
In January this year, both her parents became ill with Covid-19 with Danielle’s mum, Lynette Wade, taken into hospital not long after being diagnosed.
Danielle’s father made a recovery from the virus but was then told he had cancer only a matter of days before wife Lynette was admitted.
It was not long after she took a turn for the worse and was admitted to the critical care unit.
Danielle said: “It was the biggest roller coaster ever and my dad couldn’t understand why he wasn’t suffering with it as bad but my mum was.
“When she got to hospital she went straight into a CPAP mask and then a ventilator and was turned over onto her stomach.
“She got worse and worse and they warned us about the blood clots and infection. We then got a phone call to say she probably wasn’t going to make it.”
What followed was a tense wait to see how Lynette was doing, so much so that Danielle used to dread the phone ringing.
She added: “The phone ringing used to make jump and I’d specifically ask people to text me first before calling. I realised that the worse her condition was the earlier the hospital would call.
“How I got through was I’d think ‘oh, I’ve gotten to tea time without a call’ and I carry on each day like that.
“We really did think she wasn’t going to make it one point.”
But after 80 long days, Lynette is now out of critical care and on the road to recovery. When she first awoke she was unable to smile due to paralysis in her face however now she’s home.
Though she is still receiving oxygen it is hoped this won’t be for much longer.
It comes as Danielle’s dad has been told that although his cancer is incurable it is treatable.
Danielle added: “Critical care were amazing, just unbelievable. Phone calls to update us every day and even wheeling her out to the garden one day.”
“The pressure the staff were under was unreal. There was one day when they were inundated with Covid-19 patients and had to move some to another hospital.
“Thankfully mum could stay but they really took their time and put patient care right at the forefront despite being in the third wave and nearly a year of looking after Covid-19 patients. We will always be grateful to them.”
The whole ordeal inspired Danielle to raise money and give back to the hospital that saved her mums life.
Determined to push herself out of her comfort zone, she set herself the challenge of running 5k a day for 30 days.
Although she doesn’t particularly like running, Danielle is being spurred on by family and friends, the desire to raise money for the hospital and her mum’s ordeal.
Danielle said: “They told us when she [her mum] woke up that her rehab would be like training for a marathon, so I try and think to myself, come on, other people feel worse, keep going.
“A lot of family and close friends were really apprehensive about what was going to happen to mum, so obviously they’re very grateful to the hospital too.”
Lynette herself is a former member of staff at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, as Waiting List Manager for over 30 years, and Danielle knows her mum was just as keen as her to show their gratitude to the hospital.
Despite the magnitude of her recovery journey, Lynette has been keeping a close eye on her daughter’s fundraising page and watched her smash the original goal of £500.
However, the fundraising hasn’t been all smooth sailing. Danielle faced a calf injury halfway through, but she’s now back putting one foot in front of the other and is on her way to completing her challenge.
Danielle said: “I got into a routine and started to enjoy it, but the hardest bit is finding time every day. I wanted something that would be a challenge however similar way to the way my mum’s recovery is a challenge.
” I only have a few days left however as I’m on day 26 so I’ll keep going. I don’t think I’m going to make a runner out of myself yet but I’ll try and keep up with it after the challenge as it would be a shame to waste the fitness I’ve built up!”
To find out more about Danielle’s Blue Skie Hosoital fund, please visit the Just Giving Page here.
People living in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre have been urged to use the right health service this bank holiday as NHS services have noted an increase in demand.
Head of Blackpool Victoria’s A&E department, Dr Anthony Kearns.
Medical teams have noticed a growing number of patients turning up at Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s A&E when their cases are not urgent and others are failing to book at urgent care centres and simply arriving there.
They say such incidents have risen since lockdown restrictions eased and warn that the situation could impact on the care needed by those who need it most and possibly make the waiting room unsafe.
GP practices will be closed for the Bank Holiday on Monday, but people who need health services can still access advice and treatment if they need it.
“This then means we cannot treat those who urgently need our attention as quickly as we would like.”
Dr Neil Hartley-Smith, a local GP and clinical director for NHS Blackpool and NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), said: “Since the lockdown restrictions started to ease, we have seen more people walking into urgent treatment centres and to A&E at the hospital.
“Many of those people could have saved themselves a long wait if they had used the right service.
“Urgent treatment centres and A&E are for exactly what they say they are for; urgent care and emergencies. Anyone attending those services when it is not urgent or a life-threatening emergency face a long wait as the patients with the most serious need are prioritised.”
However, there are many other services that can be used for non-urgent and long-term conditions such as pharmacies, GP surgeries, Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs) and NHS 111
First, who will book people an appointment if their condition is deemed to be an emergency.
If people do do need medical advice over the bank holiday, the advice is to use NHS 111 either online at 111.nhs.uk or by calling 111 for free.
People will be asked a series of questions by trained call handlers who can then decide the best option for the patient.http://www.fyldecoastccgs.nhs.ukTo see which local pharmacies will be open on bank holiday Monday, visit the website www.fyldecoastccgs.nhs.uk
Amanda Thompson said she wishes she had a choice between the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca going forward due to the difference in effectiveness against Covid-19
The boss of Blackpool Pleasure Beach has backtracked after questioning the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Amanda Thompson OBE took to social media on Wednesday evening (May 26) to inform her 10,000 followers that she had had her second dose of the vaccine.
But in doing so, she revealed she “really wanted” the Pfizer vaccine next time, saying she was “scammed by having the AstraZeneca jab as we are not as safe”.
Ms Thompson, who is MD of Pleasure Beach, was referencing the effectiveness of the two vaccines against the Indian variant B1617.2.
Recent Government studies have shown that the Pfizer jab is 88% effective compared to AZ’s 60%.
Ms Thompson later went on to say that it was better to have had it than not and that she merely wanted a choice.
Ms Thompson posted: “Had my second jab. I really want the Pfizer one next time I feel as though we have been scammed by having the AstraZeneca jab as we are not as safe against the virus. But better to have had it than not.”
The tweet saw significant backlash with social media users describing the post as ‘irresponsible’ coming from a person in her position.
One person replied: “Sorry, but this is really quite irresponsible. Both the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines are effective against the virus.
“I’m willing to bet people around the world who need a vaccine but haven’t been able to have one yet would love to have swapped places. Shameful, quite frankly.”
Another responded: “Absolutely love BPB [Blackpool Pleasure Beach] and have a lot of respect for you Amanda, but I would caution you to rethink your stance here.
“Real world studies have continuously showed AZ is very effective over time.”
Some offered support, saying: “You should have gone to your GP and got the Pfizer jab. Ignore the haters Amanda. You’re a very intelligent savvy business woman and I think you’re amazing.”
There has been some hesitancy by people over 50 to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, with the vaccine leading to very rare cases of blood clots
Ms Thompson defended herself by simply saying that she wished that she had a choice to receive the Pfizer jab.
She tweeted: “I was simply wishing we had a choice that’s all, I am thankful that I have had both so jabs.
“I believe we should all have them but we do hear difficult stories daily.
“All my friends have had the Pfizer jab in Scotland, Germany, Sweden, USA and London.”
Responding to Ms Thompson, a spokesperson for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency told LancsLive: “No vaccine would be authorised for supply in the UK unless the expected standards of safety, quality and efficacy are met.
“Like all medicines, the vaccine can cause side effects.
“Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. All side effects are listed in the relevant product information.”
Trials are currently under way to see whether Covid vaccines can be mixed. So far, there is no evidence of how a person might react if they have a dose of the AZ and Pfizer vaccine.
Volunteers at Castle Hill Hospital in Yorkshire are having their blood tested to check their immune response and how a mix of vaccines protect them.
The study is looking at eight different combinations, mixing Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Novavax vaccines.
LancsLive contacted Blackpool Pleasure Beach for further comment but they declined to comment.