Public Health Northamptonshire is warning residents who mixed on Christmas Day that they could be at their highest infectivity tonight. With a plea to not have family and friends around for New Year's Eve parties, potentially raising the County's infection rate higher and putting more pressure on an already overstretched NHS.
Northamptonshire saw case rates double in the week running up to Christmas, even before mixing on Christmas Day, which many will have done.
The NHS locally, both the hospitals and the primary care networks, is under a huge amount of pressure and there are fears that even though Northamptonshire is in Tier 4 that there will be those who break the law and mix households in private spaces.
Rhosyn Harris, Consultant in Public Health for Northamptonshire County Council says:
"We know that the virus on average takes five or six days after you've been infected to develop. And that's also the point at which you're at peak infectiousness.
"So if people mixed on Christmas Day, and there were any people that were infectious at that point and they've passed it on to their friends or relatives, those friends and relatives are likely to be at their peak infectiousness on New Year's Eve."
"We've all had a pretty rubbish year and I have so much sympathy for people who just want to celebrate the end of it. However, I think we just need to think about the big party that we can have at the end of this when we can mix safely and really enjoy.
"I'd ask people to start planning for that day rather than putting ourselves at risk now, potentially setting ourselves even further back, putting ourselves at risk of an even longer lockdown and more deaths.
"Please don't mix on New Year's Eve."
We caught up with Public Health Consultant, Rhosyn Harris, about the Tier restrictions and what it means for New Year’s Eve. Sadly, it will mean parties can’t happen but it doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate with our friends and family in other ways.View our discussion with Rhosyn on YouTube