This week's surveillance report, an analysis of the county's recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 4 to 10 January 2021, shows 4,604 residents have tested positive. This figure has doubled in the last month.
In the same week, the figures also show 55 deaths across the county and our local hospitals are reporting that up to 40% of patient beds are occupied by residents with the virus.
The county's infection rate per 100,000 population as a weekly average is 658, which is higher than the national average, and Corby has seen a 500% increase in cases since Christmas.
Public Health officials are warning against the consequences of further transmission. They are urging residents to strictly obey lockdown rules, not mix households unless absolutely vital for caring responsibilities and to stick to the gold standard protective trio; hands, face, space.
The virus continues to thrive in the county's working population and the age groups with the most positive tests were 30 to 39 year olds for men and 20 to 29 year olds for women.
Case rates for ages above 60 have also risen in Northampton and Corby and are higher than the county average. This is of extreme concern as these age groups tend to be at greater risk of more severe disease and observed hospital admission and deaths. Corby's case rate for ages 60 and above has increased sharply over the last couple of weeks and is now the highest in the county.
View the latest surveillance report
Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health at Northamptonshire County Council, says:
"Stay at home, Protect the NHS, Save lives and act as though you have the virus. Despite the lockdown rules, we have received reports of unwarranted household mixing. This must stop. This behaviour is unacceptable given the Government lockdown rules and is extremely risky. It continues to be the biggest cause of the spread of the virus. If you mix with other households, you can contract the virus by touching surfaces or just by breathing in the same air. Obey the law and stop.
"We must all act as though we have the virus and stick to the gold standard protective trio: Hands, face, Space. We must stand apart to stand together. The new variant is in Northamptonshire and spreads 70% faster than before. Cases are rising in the over 60s. If we don't act now, more and more services will be adversely affected – hospital services, council front line services – waste bin collections, postal services. We are reaching breaking point as a community."
Residents are also being reminded that the virus can be transferred on all surfaces and that 'every contact leaves a trace.' Pedestrian crossing buttons, lift buttons, handrails and car doors are all touch points which may be harbouring the coronavirus. When using public transport, shopping, accepting parcels and deliveries (including online shopping), car sharing (in bubbles), touching doors, going in and out of buildings – they are all potential points of COVID-19 transmission and so frequent hand washing is a must if you don't want to contract COVID-19 from surfaces.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms (high temperature, continuous cough or loss of or change in sense of smell or taste), you should immediately self-isolate and book a test. New booking slots are available each evening for the next day and more are released each morning. Pre-booking is essential.
If you test positive, you must self-isolate for ten days – with your household also isolating for 10 days from when the positive person's symptoms started - do not go to your workplace, to school or to the shops. Either work from home or report sick. Those who test positive for COVID-19 will be helped by the NHS test and trace service to identify the people they've recently been in contact with so they can be alerted and also self-isolate if required.
Book a test online, on the Test and Trace app, or by calling 119. Home testing kits can also be ordered subject to availability.