NEARLY 40 per cent of people who tested positive for coronavirus in Bolton over the last two weeks were under the age of 45.

Around 21 per cent of COVID-19 people were aged between 35 and 44.

The second largest age group to test positive for the virus was 16 to 24 which made up 18 per cent of new cases in the two-week period.

Bolton Council’s director of public health, Dr Helen Lowey, told the clinical commissioning group (CCG) board on Friday of a shift to younger adults.

But she said the virus is being transmitted within and between households.

She said: “We’re aware that the case numbers have increase in the last week, particularly from Pillar 2 testing, and the drivers of transmission are within the community and within and between households.

“People who don’t live with each other, but also someone who has tested positive could be transmitting the virus to other family members.”

The total number of deaths with Covid in the borough is now 321 deaths.

There have been 82 new coronavirus cases in total over the last seven days.

This takes the total number of confirmed cases to 2,119 confirmed cases.

Dr Lowey revealed that the positivity rate – the proportion of people testing with a positive result – is around 2.2 per cent in Bolton, which she said is “low”.

The public health director said authorities look at a “number of metrics” when assessing the picture across the borough, not just one particular measure.

But the regional restrictions affecting Bolton, the rest of Greater Manchester and parts of East Lancashire and West Yorkshire, are dictated by government.

Current rules on banning social gatherings with other households indoors will remain in place for another week, the government announced on Friday.

Casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys and indoor play centres will not be allowed to open, the Department for Health and Social Care confirmed.

Earlier this week Mayor of Greater Manchester said he supported the regional restrictions continuing, but urged against a Leicester-style local lockdown.

Speaking at the CCG’s public board meeting on Friday morning, Dr Lowey said: “We’re not actually in lockdown. We’ve just had further interventions in Greater Manchester to slow the spread of the virus because of the behaviour of the virus.”

She added: “Test and trace is really important in stopping the spread of the virus. We’ve got good models here in Bolton, but if we’re going to be picking up more of the work in Bolton, we need the resources as well.”