PENDLE Council has produced a four-point plan to help reduce the spread of coronavirus, following an increase in the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in the area.

Cllr Mohammed Iqbal, leader of Pendle Council, said: “We have set up a task force with Lancashire County Council, the NHS and other partners to engage with people in our community and get across vital messages to reduce the spread of the virus.

“We are following a plan which will reach people across our community, and our environmental health team is continuing to visit local businesses to make sure they are Covid-19 secure.”

The four-point plan is:

* Encourage more take-up of testing for coronavirus where a person has symptoms.

* Communicate with everyone in our community about following national safety precautions including safe distancing and handwashing.

* Work with local shops and other businesses to make sure they are Covid-19 secure

* Work with our community leaders to help get vital messages across.

People are being reminded to stay at home if they or anyone in your household has any symptoms of coronavirus, wash hands regularly using soap and water and carry hand sanitiser when you go out, keep 2m distance from people not in your household, and wear a face covering in enclosed spaces including shops, supermarkets and public transport.

County Cllr Shaun Turner, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Lancashire County Council, said: “It’s really important that everyone takes action and follows the advice to stay safe.

"This an early warning sign following a recent spike.

“It can feel like things are getting back to normal, but the risk is still there. Please come forward if you’re showing symptoms and get a test. By doing this, it helps you to know if you’ve got Covid and you can protect your families and friends,” he said.

Rauf Bashir, a community leader for Building Bridges Pendle, said: “We are urging people in Pendle to take action now – the whole community needs to be involved in this effort.

“If we don’t follow the government rules and safety advice we run the risk of other restrictions being imposed in Pendle.

On social media, Cllr David Whipp, deputy leader of Pendle Council, posted that ‘the predominant age range is between 20 and 40 and this suggests the transmission is in groups of younger people who are not as cautious about infection control. The cases are mainly clustered in Nelson and Brierfield.’

He said: “While the overall number of cases is low, there are signs that the virus is being spread, including between family members who share the same household. We can all protect our family, friends and work colleagues by helping to reduce the spread.”

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health for Lancashire, said: “We need your help now to reduce the number of cases. With the slight increase in the Covid-19 infection rate in Pendle, it’s really important to stay alert to the risks. We should all do what we can to limit the spread of infection.”