An area of Blackpool has seen a huge spike in Covid cases after an outbreak at a local care home.

Since the latest national lockdown was imposed, coronavirus rates have generally been coming down across the country.

The picture in Lancashire, in particular, is also improving, with only Preston reporting an infection rate of more than 200 cases per 100,000 people.

In the latest data, for the seven dates leading to February 14, Blackpool had an infection rate of 145.6 per 100,000, slightly above the UK average of 133.2

This is down from a rate of 204.4 per 100,000 the seven days prior to February 7.

However, one area of Blackpool has shown a marked increase, with a rate of 405.8.

Local neighbourhood data, also known as Middle Super Output Area (MSOA), has revealed that South Shore now has the second highest rate of Covid infections in the county – well above the national average.

Roe Lee, Brownhill and Sunnybower, in Blackburn, is the only area with a higher rate of 476.8.

The figures show that in seven days, 33 positive Covid cases have been recorded in South Shore, compared to just five in neighbouring South Promenade and Seasiders Way. This was a rise of 73.7 per cent from the week before.

But according to Blackpool Council’s director for public health, there is an explanation for the soar in confirmed cases.

Dr Arif Rajpura, Blackpool Council Director of Public Health, said: “What appears to be a comparatively high infection rate equates to a single outbreak in a care home in what is a relatively small geographical area.

“The overall infection rates across Blackpool have been reducing for several weeks now and we are working hard to ensure that downward trend continues.”

Lancashire recorded a total of 2,396 cases in the week to Sunday. This is down by 32 per cent from the 3,519 accumulated the previous week.

Preston recorded an even bigger drop of 38 per cent and its rate now stands at 213.1. Blackburn with Darwen has the next highest rate in Lancashire at 199.7.

Ten boroughs remain above the new England average rate of 133.2, also including South Ribble, Chorley, West Lancashire, Ribble Valley, Lancaster, Hyndburn, Blackpool and Pendle.

Wyre has the lowest rate after six weeks of national lockdown at 114.2 and is joined by Burnley, Fylde, Rossendale with rates below the national average.

To view coronavirus cases in your area, click here:

The figures, for the seven days to February 14, are based on tests carried out in laboratories (pillar one of the Government’s testing programme) and in the wider community (pillar two).

The list below has been calculated by the PA news agency, based on Public Health England data published yesterday (February 18) on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

Data for the most recent four days (February 15-18) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases. The rate is expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 people.

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