19 March 2021
Stay at home in letters

​As Northamptonshire’s COVID-19 cases show a slight increase, Public Health officials issue a stern reminder to residents to stay at home until March 29 and strictly follow the guidance when at work, school, out for essential shopping or exercise.

This week’s surveillance report, an analysis of the county’s recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 8 February to 14 March 2021, shows 578 residents have tested positive. Northamptonshire’s total weekly case number shows an increase of 4% compared to the previous week with increased numbers namely in Corby, East Northamptonshire and South Northamptonshire. More recent data shows that cases are also rising in Kettering and that the rate of increase is stepping up.

Northamptonshire’s weekly infection rate per 100,000 population is 76.2, an increase of 6% compared to the previous week and significantly higher than the national average of 58.6. All district and borough infection rates, except for South Northamptonshire’s, are significantly higher than or similar to the national average. Wellingborough, Kettering and Corby’s rates are significantly higher.

View the latest surveillance report

Due to the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccination in the elderly and clinically vulnerable, over the last four-week period there have been steady decreases in numbers of cases amongst people aged 60+ and the number of sad deaths of loved ones is reducing more rapidly.

Now, and in the coming months, residents are being urged to continue to get tested, get vaccinated when the call comes and follow the gold standard protective trio: Hands, Face, Space. This will ensure that the county progresses through the four steps outlined in the Government’s ‘Roadmap out of lockdown’ at the earliest opportunity. They are also being reminded that if they have had a vaccine or a negative Lateral Flow Test, they must still continue to follow all guidance.

Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health at Northamptonshire County Council, says:

 

The latest figures are concerning. We are still in lockdown and the figures to date have reflected this but it would appear that this week cases are starting to rise again. Only we can change this trajectory and the only way we can do this is to stay at home until 29 March and practice COVID-secure behaviours if we must venture out for work,school, essential shopping or exercise.

Those with access to rapid testing must complete this regularly to help us identify positive cases, isolate as required and reduce the risk of significant spikes in rates locally that may further set our progress back.

The other way to tackle this is to get the jab when the call comes. If you receive an invite to get your jab, then please honour the appointment.
Vaccinations are precious – let’s not waste them. Also, please rest assured that the vaccine is safe. You may have read or heard in the news that a small number of countries in Europe have paused the roll out of the
AstraZeneca vaccine due to reports of blood clots in a small number of
people vaccinated.

I want to reassure you that these pauses are purely precautionary whilst authorities in those countries investigate but both the World Health Organisation and the UK medicines regulator (MHRA) have made it clear that they have no concerns given the current available evidence. In the UK, more than 11 million people have already received at least one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and reports of blood clots so far are no greater than the number that we would naturally expect in the vaccinated population.

Please remember that you may only leave the house for limited reasons
permitted in law and mixing indoors with individuals other than household
members or those in your care bubble is not permitted. Even when outdoors please leave the 2 metre safe distance and adhere to the mantra: Hands, Face, Space.

The next date for easing of lockdown measures in March 29 but they will only be eased if the data support it. We are nearly there, let’s not risk being held back now.”


The following people now have access to free regular rapid lateral flow testing: adults who are unable to work from home, secondary school pupils and college students, staff of primary and secondary schools,nurseries and colleges, adults in households, childcare and support bubbles of nursery children, primary and secondary-age pupils and college students. Pupils in secondary schools and colleges will now get
home testing kits from their school or college.

Adults in their families, meanwhile, can get a COVID-19 test twice each week at a local test site or by collecting a home test kit from a test site.

Find out more about testing

Remember: a negative test is not a free pass to ignore the guidance.

The county’s community based testing sites for workers who cannot work from home are at:

  • Lodge Park Sports Centre in Corby
  • Hazelwood Neighbourhood Centre in Corby
  • Danes Camp Leisure Centre in Northampton
  • Brackley Leisure Centre in South Northants
  • Redwell Leisure Centre in Wellingborough
  • Daventry Leisure Centre in Daventry

The test is called a Lateral Flow Test and involves a swab of the mouth and
nose and provides a result within 30 minutes. The University of Northampton site is now restricted to students and university staff.

  • If you are not showing symptoms but must work with others, get the rapid test to find out if you are infectious and isolate if positive. It is vital however to understand that the test only tells you whether you are at peak infectiousness at the time of the test, it does not tell you that you are COVID-free. Levels of infectiousness change from the point of contracting the virus to the point you recover from it, which can take up to 14 days, during which time you may not
    have experienced any symptoms. It is therefore vital that you exercise all COVID-secure measures even if you get a negative result. You must continue to follow COVID guidelines and remember to wash your hands, wear a face covering indoors and maintain 2m distance from others.

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, remember to get tested as soon as possible to find out if you are positive. If you have a high temperature, continuous cough or loss of or change in sense of smell or taste, you should immediately self-isolate and book a PCR test.

  • If you have either type of COVID-19 test and it is positive, you must self-isolate for ten days – with your household also isolating for 10 days from when the positive person’s symptoms started or test result was positive if they have no symptoms. 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.