Northamptonshire’s residents are reminded to obey lockdown measures ahead of Tier 2 ‘high’ alert restrictions coming next week.
This week’s surveillance report, an analysis of the recent COVID-19 cases and rates over the period 16-22 November, shows that 1,296 residents have tested positive with COVID-19 since last week’s data was published.
As COVID-19 hospital related admissions continue to rise, Public Health and NHS officials are highlighting the continued need to protect the over 60s as this age group tend to be at greater risk of more severe disease and potential hospital admission.
This week’s data shows the rate of positive cases for people aged over 60 in Northamptonshire has steadily increased since the end of October.
The borough of Corby has seen a significant rise over the last fortnight and currently has the highest rate in the county by a large margin. South Northamptonshire currently has the second highest rate in the over 60s.
As the majority of coronavirus cases continue to be passed on within and between households, residents are being reminded that meeting indoors remains, and will remain, prohibited under Tier 2 restrictions. Furthermore, if you are in a bubble, and contact can’t be minimised with the over 60s due to caring responsibilities etc., then it must be minimised elsewhere to help protect this more vulnerable age group.
Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health at Northamptonshire County Council, says:
“The number of cases recorded in the last week, especially in light of the fact we have been in lockdown, is really disappointing. It’s true that the number of cases in the last week has decreased compared to the previous two weeks, but due to the significant spike in cases the week we entered national restrictions, we had further to go to bend the trend and start to reduce cases. We have yet to return to our pre-lockdown position with only one week of lockdown to go.
“Next week we will be placed in Tier 2, which is officially high on the three tier alert system. Lockdown restrictions may start to ease regarding certain activities but now more than ever; just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. We must not be COVID-complacent and it is paramount that we continue to take measures to ensure ourselves and our loved ones are protected from the virus.
“If we all work together on this, in the way we did earlier in the year when areas in Northamptonshire were on the Chief Medical Officers Watch List, we can exit to a lower tier with all the benefits that brings. In addition to this, the more we curb the virus now, the better position we will be in come Christmas when some of you may choose to mix.”
All pregnant women and those with long term conditions continue to be reminded to book the flu jab as soon as possible. Health leaders want to protect the workforce in Northamptonshire against sickness absence at this critical time. They also want to ensure all eligible residents are protected against flu before rolling out the flu jab to the over 50s and before the implementation of a robust and effective COVID-19 vaccination programme.
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 isolating for 14 days - 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.
Tests can be booked online, on the Test and Trace app, or by calling 119. Home testing kits can also be ordered subject to availability.