COUNCIL bosses have warned transmission between households is driving the rise in coronavirus infections across Bury.

With 38 residents testing positive for covid-19 in the week to August 1, compared to 22 new cases the week before, health and council leaders are urging everyone to follow the latest guidelines to prevent a wider lockdown across the borough.

The latest figures put Bury's seven-day infection rate at 20.0 per 100,000 residents, up from 11.5 in the previous week.

Councillor Andrea Simpson, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We’re seeing a rise in the number of cases in Bury since the national lockdown was eased.

"Although we remain the second lowest in Greater Manchester, this is still a cause for concern.

“Our local intelligence suggests that transmission in large households, and between households, is a leading cause of this increase.

"Sadly, there is anecdotal evidence that some people are still not following the rules and continuing to visit relatives indoors and in their gardens.

"This is not fair on the majority of people who have been scrupulous in following the guidance.”

At a neighbourhood level, Bury East has seen the most infections, with 15 new cases in the latest week of data.

Whitefield is the second most infectious area, with eight new cases.

Bury West has seen the third most cases, with six people testing positive for the virus, but its higher population means only 13.2 cases are seen for every 100,000 people.

Although Prestwich has seen the fourth highest infections, at five new cases, its infection rate – 14.2 – is highest than Bury West's because it has a lower population.

Bury North has seen the lowest rate of infections, with just four new cases.

Younger adults, particularly those in the 18-39 age group, account for most of the new infections.

Cllr Simpson added: “The numbers of over-65s contracting coronavirus in Bury is now relatively low. Nearly half of the newest cases in Bury are in working age adults, particularly those aged 18-39.

“And the rise is not confined to one area or community. These new cases are spread out across the whole borough, while the ethnicity of confirmed cases is roughly evenly split between people who identified as White, and people who identified as Asian or Asian British.”

Under the new rules, residents of Bury cannot meet with someone from another household inside a private home or garden, and cannot visit someone else's home or garden – even if they live outside of Greater Manchester or other affected areas.

New legislation which came into effect at midnight on Wednesday legally enforces the new restrictions, which were brought into effect at the end of last week.

From Saturday, face coverings must be worn inside cinemas, places of worship, libraries, and community centres.

Dr Jeffrey Schryer, chair of NHS Bury CCG, said: “I cannot emphasise how serious this is. Around 46,000 people in the UK have died from this disease, around 240 here in Bury.

“Every single one of us must follow the rules: keep your distance, wash your hands, wear a face covering where required, and don’t meet people from other households.

“Nobody likes it, but we must do it. The last thing we want is for another widespread lockdown to be imposed.”