ONLY one coronavirus-related death was registered across the borough in the latest figures which have seen Barnsley taken off the government’s ‘watch list’ while neighbouring towns have been plunged back into lockdown.

The death brings the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Barnsley to 246, as of July 24, with a total of 2,007 confirmed cases to date.

The week ending August 1 saw a total of 28 cases in the seven-day period - nine more than the previous week, though this is likely down to Barnsley’s increased testing.

But Barnsley residents have been urged to maintain social distancing measures by health bosses in the town after neighbouring areas were sent into a local lockdown period due to a spike in coronavirus cases.

Barnsley was taken off the government’s at-risk watchlist last week as the number of cases in the borough reduced - although it was at a slower rate than other places across the country.

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However, following recent local lockdowns in towns and cities close to Barnsley such as Bradford and Huddersfield, the council’s director of public health Julia Burrows warned residents to ‘remain vigilant’.

She said: “Our position in Barnsley remains encouraging, with the rate of infection continuing to be low.

“The new local lockdown measures in Greater Manchester and parts of West Yorkshire show how quickly things can change and how government will intervene immediately.

“That’s why it’s absolutely crucial we all continue to follow advice and measures on social distancing, wearing face coverings, hand washing and getting a test and self isolating if you have any symptoms.”

The council handed out 25,000 free face coverings at pop-up test centres across the borough, and Ms Burrows believes Barnsley has been ‘ahead of the curve’ in that respect.

Last week there were 3,152 tests completed, averaging 450 to 475 tests each day, and despite this the rate of infection remained low - but Ms Burrows urged the public to keep doing the basics right to ensure we do not going into a local lockdown.

“As a council, we remain vigilant, monitor all information available to us, and will take any action necessary to prevent transmission in our borough,” she added.

“Barnsley is a place that’s well-known for its community spirit and it’s only by working together and following all the guidance that we will prevent transmission of this virus across our borough.

“I know people are enjoying the extra things we can do as a result of the easing of lockdown measures and if everyone continues to follow the guidance it makes it more likely we will be able to continue enjoying them in a safe way.

“Protecting ourselves and our borough against this pandemic really is a marathon, not a sprint so we all need to keep vigilant and look after ourselves, our families, and our communities.”