New figures published by Public Health England show that Oldham has overtaken Leicester as having the second-highest coronavirus infection rate in the country.
It now has the second highest rate in England, NHS figures show – with only Blackburn with Darwen ahead of it.
It comes as a further 83 people died from the deadly virus across the UK, bringing the official death toll since the start of the pandemic to 45,961.
And worrying data shows the number of new cases is no longer falling.
New data shows there are 54.3 cases per 100,000 people in Oldham – slightly higher than Leicester’s 53.2.
Blackburn with Darwen, in Lancashire, remains the worst-affected area, with 85.9 cases per 100,000 people.
An estimated 235,000 residents in Oldham have been told not to allow visitors into their homes, and stay two metres apart while outdoors.
Care homes are not allowing visitors, and people who are “shielding” have been told they must do so for at least another two weeks.
It comes after warnings more towns could follow the East Midlands city of Leicester into a local lockdown.
Blackburn with Darwen in Lancashire and Luton in Bedfordshire were both on high alert due to local infection rates.
In the former, the number of guests allowed to visit another household is limited to just two.
The council has also instructed residents to wear masks in enclosed public spaces, such as shops and beauty salons.
The 10 areas with the highest infection rates (shown as number of cases per 100,000 of the population)
- Blackburn with Darwen: 85.9
- Oldham: 54.3
- Leicester: 53.2
- Bradford: 45.1
- Trafford: 36.8
- Rochdale: 32.7
- Sandwell: 30.9
- Calderdale: 28.6
- Manchester: 22.1
- Kirklees: 19.8