By Dominic Harrison, Blackburn with Darwen Council director or health and well being.


We are now about half way through the lockdown and with only a few exceptions, most of us are keeping to it–which is great.

Our own lives or the lives of others will now depend on how well we stick to the government’s advice to keep all our social contacts down to the absolute minimum.

Everyone not in a vulnerable or shielding group should be trying to do at least 30 mins brisk walk, run or cycle in our own neighbourhoods every day.

But one key request to us all is not to drive miles away from where we live to do our daily exercise.

We need to lock down the risks in each neighbourhood – we do not want to take higher risks from one neighbourhood into another neighbourhood that has a lower risk.

We just do not yet know which neighbourhoods are higher or lower risk.

None of us can really know what risk we now carry into another neighbourhood. This because at least 40 per cent of us who are infected with the virus may get no symptoms, feel perfectly well but still at some point be shedding the virus and putting others at risk through the contamination of surfaces.

Sadly, the rates of COVID19 confirmed cases and deaths will continue to grow day by day in every local authority area until at least the end of the three weeks lockdown period.

This data will be telling us what happened with the pattern of spread of the virus three weeks ago.

As we exit the first three week lockdown period we should (a week or two later) see the numbers plateau out rather than continue to rise.

The doubling rate, the rate at which todays cases and deaths ‘double in number’ every few days, should start to lengthen.

We are currently seeing a doubling rate of 3-4 days across Lancashire which is a rapid rise.

We will still have further COVID19 infections after the three weeks lockdown time but this doubling rate should slow down dramatically telling us we have the spread of the virus under more control.

Blackburn with Darwen and Pennine Lancashire are well behind the national curve in the number of cases for the size of our populations and this is good news.

Let’s keep it this way by sticking to the lockdown rules!