Northamptonshire has been placed in Tier 1 of the national Covid-19 alert system, but positive cases have trebled since September and residents are warned 'Just because you can, doesn't mean you should,' in a bid to curb a further rapid rise.
This week's surveillance report, an analysis of the recent COVID-19 cases and rates over the period 5 to 11 October, shows that 701 residents have tested positive with COVID-19 since last week, that's 284 more in a seven-day period.
The most recent data, subject to reporting delays, shows figures are likely to increase further and the county is approaching a tipping point to elevate from medium alert in Tier 1 into Tier 2, high alert.
All districts and boroughs have weekly total rates below the England average but have seen rapid increases since the end of September. Northampton currently has the highest weekly rate of cases in the county, followed by Daventry.
Positive cases are continuing to increase in the over 60s which is of great concern as these age groups tend to be at greater risk of more severe disease.
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.
Parents and carers are also being urged to 'be firm this half term' and meet to play outside in the park instead of private gardens, not to mix households or have sleepovers.
Book a test online, use the Test and Trace app, or call 119. Home testing kits can also be ordered subject to availability.
Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health at Northamptonshire County Council, says:
"On Monday we were placed in Tier 1 of the Government's alert system which leaves a number of activities which we are all still permitted to do.
"However, I can not stress enough that community household transmission is a large factor in spreading the virus. If we are mixing indoors with up to six people, we are at risk.
"I have said it before and I will say it again – just because you can, doesn't mean you should. We all need to protect ourselves and each other. Together, and only together, do we stand a chance of doing so. Every one of us needs to take personal responsibility for the spread of this disease right now or we will face very troubling times ahead.
"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."