Public Health officials are thanking residents for their hard work and compliance as positive cases continue to fall one year on since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Northamptonshire.
On 5 March 2020 Public Health Northamptonshire received notice of the first a case of the ‘coronavirus’ in the county. Since that day 45,289 positive cases have been identified and there are 1,335 families who have experienced the grief of a lost loved one.
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 in order to 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.
This week’s surveillance report, an analysis of the county’s recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 22 to 28 February 2021, shows 749 residents have tested positive. Cases have declined steadily over the last few weeks and the latest weekly case total is 69% lower than that seen in the week of 25 January 2021.
All district and borough infection rates, except for South Northamptonshire, are significantly higher than or similar to the national average. Wellingborough, Northampton, Kettering, and Corby’s rates are significantly higher. Corby continues to have the highest case rates in England, although the area has made further progress in driving down rates in more recent data.
When compared to the previous week, with the exception of Northampton and Wellingborough, all districts and boroughs have seen a decrease in the numbers of sad deaths of loved ones.
View the latest surveillance report
Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health at Northamptonshire County Council, says:
A year on from the first case of COVID-19, our county has 1,335 families who have experienced the grief of a lost loved one. Friends, lovers, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, daughters and sons. We have a workforce across so many professions which is worn out, a generation of youngsters whose education and social engagement has been severely disrupted and a world which will never quite be the same again. This is a very sombre day.
I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the NHS staff, the police, all the emergency services, the Environmental Health Officers, care workers, teachers, supermarket staff, all of you, who have worked bravely and tirelessly to meet the needs of others over the past year. It has been an incredible effort and I know that we are all tired at a time when we are being told that we need one last push, but now is definitely not the time to stop as we’re making good progress!
Despite specific easing of lockdown measures from Monday, when children return to schools and colleges, care home residents will be allowed one regular visitor and you will be able to meet with one other person for outdoor recreation or activity, residents must continue to abide by the rules until the next step on the Roadmap on March 29.
If, and only if, we all continue to play our part as well as we have done to date, we will be that bit closer to a future that is more familiar".
Residents are being reminded to abide by the rules or face the consequences. Gatherings in private dwellings; undertaking non-essential journeys; a failure to wear face coverings and failure to self-isolate when required to do so will result in the use of proportionate enforcement powers aimed at protecting public health which will include the serving of Fixed Penalty Notices.
The Joint Enforcement Team, established by Public Health Northamptonshire, Environmental Health Departments within District and Borough Councils, Northamptonshire County Council and Northants Police will continue to use enforcement powers where there is non-compliance in relation to COVID-19 Regulations.
The age group with the most positive tests in this week’s data was again the 30 to 39 year olds for both men and women, which is typically the working population.
The county’s community based testing sites for workers who cannot work from home are at Lodge Park Sports Centre in Corby, Danes Camp Leisure Centre in Northampton and Brackley Leisure Centre in South Northants’ which opened this week. The test is called a Lateral Flow Test and involves a swab of the mouth and nose and provides a result within 30 minutes. From Monday 8 March The University of Northampton site will be 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.
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.
Book a test online