Blackburn has now overtaken Leicester for the highest coronavirus infection rates, with health officials introducing measures to enforce social distancing.
According to the latest data published by Public Health England, the borough of Blackburn and Darwen had a rate of 79.2 positive cases per 100,000 in the seven days up to 17 July.
During the same period, Leicester had an infection rate of 77.7 cases per 100,000 people.
In Blackburn alone, figures released by Public Health England showed there were 118 positive cases of coronavirus in the seven days leading up to 17 July.
Despite the latest statistics, Leicester’s lockdown has been extended for a further two weeks, whilst some boroughs surrounding the city were freed from restrictions last week.
The borough of Blackburn and Darwen has not had any harsh restrictions imposed on it, as is the case with Leicester. This is despite health officials warning of a “rising tide’ of infections.
Professor Dominic Harrison, the Director of Public Health for Blackburn and Darwen, warned residents last week the area needs to bring the numbers down.
He also warned that the infection rates are likely to rise as more testing becomes available, before they will fall back again.
He added that if the figures for Blackburn do not turn around by 27 July, then they will be forced to gradually impose a localised lockdown, meaning relaxed rules will be reversed.