INDEPENDENT councillors have called for a “united endeavour” to help drive down a rocketing coronavirus infection rate in Rainhill.

Since the turn of the month, Rainhill’s infection rate has surged well beyond any other area in St Helens.

The latest data from St Helens Borough Council’s public health team show that between October 6 and 12, Rainhill recorded 90 cases of Covid-19.

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This equates to a seven-day infection rate of 822.2 per 100,000 population.

Sutton, the area with the second highest rate during this period, recorded 63 cases, equating to an infection rate of 530.3.

Across the whole of St Helens, 774 cases were recorded, giving a seven-day infection rate of 428.6.

Public health officials do not really have any concrete answers as to why the infection rate in Rainhill is so high.

Rainhill councillor James Tasker, leader of The Independents, has been trying to find answers himself, but has yet to find any.

Cllr Tasker said: “Donna (Greaves) and I, along with St Helens Council, are extremely concerned about the high rates of Covid in Rainhill in comparison to other St Helens wards.

“We wish everyone affected by this a speedy recovery, you’re all in our thoughts.

“We don’t have the answers as to why Rainhill has such a high number of cases.

“We are speaking to Sue Forster, director of public health at St Helens Borough Council to drill down into the statistics.”

Rainhill High School has previously taken action after students and staff tested positive for Covid-19.

However, Rainhill was not included in a list of schools affected by coronavirus in the two weeks leading up to October 8, which was provided by St Helens Borough Council.

In response to the recent rise in the area, a mobile testing unit was deployed to the former Eccleston Park Golf Course on Thursday and Friday.

Cllr Tasker said businesses in Rainhill will also be targeted to make sure they are doing all they can to keep people safe in the area.

One working theory as to why Rainhill has seen such high rates is its close link with Knowsley and Liverpool.

Both experiencing some of the highest rates in the country, with Nottingham being the only area that is seeing a higher infection rate.

In light of the current situation, Cllr Tasker said The Independents will be “communicating” with councillors across the way in Whiston and Prescot.

“Yes, of course we’re close to Knowsley,” he said. “Yes, we work and live in each other’s boroughs.

“It is only natural for our community to be impacted in the same way our friends and neighbours have.

“We will be communicating with the councillors in Whiston and Prescot moving forwards.

“This is not a time for party politics. Our united endeavour is to protect our community, and its residents and businesses in the most effective way possible.

“Our message for residents in Rainhill and for our neighbours in the surrounding communities is this: hands, face, space.

“Make sure you continue to wash your hands. Make sure your face is covered (if possible when in public places), and remember to keep your 2m distance.”

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These three basic measures have also been reiterated by Labour Rainhill councillor, Barrie Grunewald.

“It’s a worrying trend in Rainhill,” the former leader of St Helens Borough Council said.

“I urge all people to abide by the rules, keep your distance, wear a mask and wash your hands.

“It might not stop you getting it, but will undoubtedly help.”