LOCKDOWN measures are unlikely to be reintroduced despite the number of coronavirus cases in Barnsley being higher than the national average, council bosses have said.

Barnsley’s director of public health, Julia Burrows, and Barnsley Council leader, Coun Sir Steve Houghton, released a joint statement this week addressing the concerns.

According to recent figures, Barnsley has seen a reduction in the number of daily new cases and in the average number of cases for four consecutive days - which has led those in charge to believe they will not have to implement measures such as those in Leicester.

The statement said: “The number of cases in Barnsley is higher than the national average.

“We are seeing transmission in the community across the borough, and like many places across the country, have had clusters and outbreaks in a handful of care homes, schools and workplaces, as we expected would happen.”

It’s believed that the cases are higher than the average due to a variety of factors ranging from the ageing population to underlying health conditions.

“Throughout the course of the outbreak we have seen higher rates of coronavirus locally than the national average,” the statement added.

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“This is related to some natural variation in the disease; our proactive and targeted testing; our higher density of care homes; and our local population which is older than the national average and has higher rates of underlying diseases and other Covid-19 risk factors such as smoking.

“Secondly, we have seen a much slower reduction than the national average, such that daily cases levelled off through May and June, instead of continuing to reduce.

“This has been largely due to local clusters of cases including in a few care homes and workplaces.

“The good news is that now these clusters have started to ease thanks to local control measures, and we are seeing the early signs of a return to the reduction in daily cases across Barnsley.

“However, it is always important to be aware that the nature of this disease means things can change quickly and the fact our rate has been high does mean that we ask for extra caution and vigilance by everyone in Barnsley.

“It is worth noting that, along with everywhere else in the country, we will also see the reporting of a lot of extra positive cases this week, which may seem concerning.

“Please be aware this is a result of the wider reporting of all positive tests from a wider variety of sources than was previously available.

“It is not about the actual number of cases increasing.”

Barnsley has seen a total of 1,091 confirmed cases, meaning one in every 226 people across the borough have contracted the virus.

There have been 232 coronavirus-related deaths registered in the town up to June 19, and 21 per cent of all deaths in Barnsley between February 29 and June 19 involved coronavirus.