This week's surveillance report, an analysis of the recent COVID-19 cases and rates over the period 28 September – 04 October, shows that 417 residents have tested positive with COVID-19 since last week. This is more than double last week's figure of 148 and is not a result of the data recording delays recently reported by Public Health England – this is a real and significant increase.
The county as a whole, and all districts and boroughs, have seen an increase in cases compared to the previous week. The areas with the highest case numbers were in Northampton, East Northamptonshire and Kettering.
All Northamptonshire's residents are being told to strictly follow the local and national guidance to avoid a further spike in cases and to reduce the likely increase in hospital admissions and pressure on the NHS as winter approaches.
Earlier in the year more women than men were testing positive for COVID-19 but cases in the last 28 days are more equally split between genders. For both genders, the age group with the most positive tests is the 20 to 29-year olds, followed by 10 to 19-year olds. Both of these age ranges are socially active and may see higher case rates due to high levels of social interaction.
Incidence is also high in adults aged 50 to 59. People in this age group may be more susceptible to becoming infected in work environments or catching the disease from younger family members.
Positive cases are also increasing in the over 60s which is of particular concern as these age groups tend to be at greater risk of more severe disease.
Tests can be booked on the Test and Trace app,
online or by calling 119. Home testing kits can also be ordered subject to availability.
Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health at Northamptonshire County Council, says: "This week we are increasing local restrictions in a bid to address the spread of the virus in our community. We are asking spectators of sports to stay away and with a very heavy heart we are asking visitors at care homes to protect their loved ones and only visit in exceptional circumstances.
"There are many restrictions imposed on us all at the moment but with the activity which remains permitted, I'm pleading with you - just because you can doesn't mean you should. Every one of us needs to take responsibility for the spread of coronavirus. Together we can halt the spread if we protect ourselves and each other.
"If you have COVID-19 symptoms (high temperature, continuous cough or loss of or change in sense of smell or taste), you should 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."