UKHSA publishes Omicron data for England local authorities

Published Friday 10 December 2021 at 17:31

As the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) publishes data by local authorities in England for confirmed and probable case of the Omicron variant of Covid, Blackburn with Darwen has one confirmed and five probable cases.

These cases have been picked up through the current routine testing of all positive Covid results across the UK which looks for presence of the S gene in the sample.

The S Gene is part of the Covid-19 virus that is not present in the Omicron variant. When it doesn’t show up in lab results, it means that the positive result is likely to be an Omicron case.

Some of Blackburn with Darwen’s Omicron cases are linked to recent international travel, while it would appear some people have picked up the virus locally.

Community transmission is occurring in other parts of the UK, due to the highly transmissible nature of the Omicron variant.

UKHSA has already declared that Omicron may be the dominant Coronavirus variant across the UK within weeks.

Public health leaders in Blackburn with Darwen are urging local residents not to panic about the arrival of Omicron, but to remain vigilant and follow all the infection control measures, including those reintroduced this week under the government’s Plan B.

Prof Dominic Harrison, Director of Public Health for Blackburn with Darwen, said:

Blackburn with Darwen was among the first areas to see a peak in the Delta variant wave in the spring. At that time we learnt a lot about surge testing and vaccination, and collaborative working with local partners to reach residents in all our communities with important public health messages as rapidly as possible.

As a result, we have established teams and procedures in place and are already acting on new case data to respond early to the Omicron wave.

It’s so important that everyone in Blackburn with Darwen does their bit now to prevent further spread – including by getting fully vaccinated against Coronavirus, and wearing face coverings in public – particularly given what we know about Omicron being more transmissible than other Covid variants we have seen. We also know that people who test positive for the Omicron variant are more infectious in the days before they show symptoms.

The UKHSA believe that the doubling rate of the Omicron variant is three days – this means that every three days, the number of Covid cases in England will double. Such a rapid rise could see an Omicron wave peak during January, a time when our local health services are already under normal winter pressures.

There are five ways we can all help to slow and prevent the spread of Covid in our communities:

  • Wearing a face covering in public places and around vulnerable people
  • Washing our hands regularly and carrying hand sanitiser when we go out
  • Taking regular rapid tests, particularly before mixing with others
  • Getting fully vaccinated against Covid – including the booster dose
  • And keeping rooms well-ventilated, particularly when spending time indoors with people we don’t live with.

Coun Mohammed Khan CBE, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, added:

Blackburn with Darwen has faced challenges during the pandemic, more so than many other areas of the country.

As a community, we have pulled together before, and we can do it again. Let’s take all the precautions we can now to avoid having to face any tighter restrictions this winter, especially over Christmas and New Year when many of us are looking forward to precious time with family and friends.

If you haven’t yet taken up the offer of a Covid vaccine, please, do it now to help protect yourself and the ones you love.

Find more information about getting tested for Covid and the vaccination programme at

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