Preston’s and South Ribble’s latest coronavirus infection rates as government confirms next vaccine priority groups

An empty Preston Market canopy area in Preston city centre: Tony Worrall
An empty Preston Market canopy area in Preston city centre: Tony Worrall

Preston’s coronavirus infection rate has remained amongst the highest in England as the government confirmed the next group of priority people for the vaccine.





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The city’s new confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday (26 February) were recorded as 44.

South Ribble recorded 18 new cases on the same day.

Wyre was up by 15, Fylde was 16, Ribble Valley just eight new cases and Chorley was recorded by 20.

Preston’s coronavirus infection rate is now 222.2 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to February 22, down from 228.5 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to February 15.

See the latest coronavirus cases and information near you

Data for the most recent four days (February 23-26) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

South Ribble’s Covid-19 rate is now 165.2, down from 172.4.

Wyre has now dropped below 100 to 87.4, down from 120.4 and Fylde is at 126.3, down from 128.7.

Ribble Valley’s coronavirus infection rate is 144.5, up from 139.6 and Chorley is down to 121.8, down from 179.3.

Read more: Preston and Lancashire’s Covid vaccine roll-out hits major milestone

Government confirms 40-to-49-year-olds next to get Covid vaccine

Teachers and police officers will not get priority, with age being the factor for the priority groups for the second phase of the vaccine rollout.

The Joint Committe on Vaccination and Immunmisation considered whether groups such as teachers and police officers should be vaccinated next, but concluded speed is of the upmost importance, while age remains a major factor in serious illness.

The new guidance means that in phase two of the vaccine rollout, priority will be given in the following order:
– All those aged 40-49
– All those aged 30-39
– All those aged 18-29

Professor Wei Shen Lim, Covid-19 chair for the JCVI, told a press briefing that age “remains a dominant factor – it is still one of the most important causes of severe disease, even in those aged 50 years and below”.

See the latest coronavirus vaccine stats

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “Trying to come up with a scheme which prioritises one professional group over another would have been complicated to put in place and wouldn’t have done what we asked the JCVI to do, which I think is the right thing, which is to make sure we minimise the amount of people who die by using the vaccine.”

John Apter, from the Police Federation, told the PA news agency: “There’s real palpable anger from all levels within policing about how we have been completely disregarded and ignored in this phase.”

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “I am amazed by the continuing dedication of school teams.

“The Government has let them down at every turn.”

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