BOLTON's coronavirus infection rate has fallen in the last week, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has revealed.

In a press briefing today, Wednesday, figures were shown that found the seven-day rate of positive COVID-19 tests per 100,000 people in the town was 12.2 on July 7, compared with 21.6 on June 30.

There had been concern over the rate after a leaked Public Health England report listed Bolton in the top 10 most infected places in the country.

The Bolton News:

The Bolton News:

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham during a press briefing today, Wednesday

Speaking about the rate, Mr Burnham said: "I am pleased that is a significant reduction from where it was.

"The director of public health in Bolton, Helen Lowey, is working with her team and doing a fantastic job.

"I have had a discussion with the leader of Bolton Council around what more we can do.

"All kinds of things are being done to make sure that we keep these figures where they should be and in a better place today."

Mr Burnham, who is "cautiously encouraged" by the latest figures in the region, has written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock to ask for patient specific data to be released to help Greater Manchester health bosses tackle the virus.

Following the briefing, Bolton Council’s director of public health, Dr Helen Lowey, said: “Though it is encouraging to see the seven-day rate for Bolton has reduced from the previous week, COVID-19 has not gone away, nor is it any less serious of a disease than it was 3 months ago.

"We must continue to exercise a great deal of caution.

We should continue to take care of each other by washing our hands regularly and keeping 2m apart from each other; if 2m is proving difficult (in the supermarket perhaps) then wear a face covering if you can.

"On public transport you will need to wear a face covering.

If you start to experience symptoms of COVID-19 then you should self-isolate immediately and arrange a test as soon as possible.

If someone you have been in contact with tests positive you may be contacted by the NHS Test & Trace service, they will tell you what you need to do in terms of isolating.

My team and I continue to use all information available to us monitor the situation closely and respond quickly to situations where necessary to limit further spread.

"This coupled with everyone following the guidance is the key to us safely getting through this crisis.”

The mayor also welcomed aspects of Chancellor Rishi Sunak's mini budget announcement today such as support for apprentices.

But he thinks more needs to be done to address other issues such as helping small businesses as well as workers who have been told to self-isolate and cannot afford to rely on sick pay.