ST HELENS is looking increasingly at risk of being placed under tighter restrictions as the rising coronavirus infection rate shows no sign of slowing down.

Cases have continued to rise at a rapid pace and last Friday, Merseyside was placed on the national watch list after being identified as “an area of concern” by the Government.

It is understood ministers are due to meet to discuss the growing problem in the region and will consider what further measures could be put in place.

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Figures from St Helens’ public health team sent to councillors today showed that, between September 6 and 12, there were 201 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

This pushes the local infection rate beyond the 100 mark, to a rate of 111.6 per 100,000 population.

According to this data, Newton now has the most number of cases (43) in the borough, equating to an infection rate of 344.9.

Earlestown saw 41 new cases during this period, giving an infection rate of 351.8.

St Helens Star: Fairclough Road Car Park in Ealrestown is being used as a coronavirus testing site today and ThursdayFairclough Road Car Park in Ealrestown is being used as a coronavirus testing site today and Thursday

The number of new infections has seen a significant jump in Thatto Heath – compared with the data given to councillors yesterday showing cases between September 5 and 10 – rising from 12 to 20.

St Helens is not alone in dealing with a rapid rise in cases, with Knowsley and Liverpool both seeing similar infection rates.

Last week the Government announced that further restrictions would be implemented in Birmingham, which has a lower infection rate than all the local authority areas in Merseyside, bar Sefton.

Given the rising rates in Merseyside, further restrictions appear to be on the cards, and a senior council source confirmed an announcement is expected this week.

And on Tuesday night, St Helens’ director of public health Sue Forster took to Twitter to say she had “deep concerns” about the rate of infection and also the speed of the increase.

In response to the spike in Newton-le-Willows, a mobile testing unit was deployed on Saturday and returned today.

The walk-in facility is stationed at Fairclough Street Car Park for two days, today and Thursday, and will be by appointment only.

Only people with these symptoms – continuous cough, high temperature or a loss of or change in their normal sense of smell or taste – should book a test.

Motorists are advised to use Sankey Street and Tamworth Street car parks as an alternative on the day.

People without a booking will be turned away – without exception. A time slot will be provided upon booking.

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Instructions on how to take the test and how and when people they will receive their results will be provided when taking the test.

Alternatively, testing is also available at Haydock Park Racecourse, although the regional test centre has seen capacity issues over the past week.

You can apply for a test online or by calling NHS 119.