23 October 2020
Public Health Northamptonshire urges all parents to ‘be firm this half term’

This week's surveillance report, an analysis of the recent COVID-19 cases and rates over the period 12 – 18 October, shows that 785 residents have tested positive with COVID-19 since last week's data was revealed.

The county continues to be placed in Tier 1, medium, of the national Covid-19 alert system, but positive cases have quadrupled since the week beginning 21 September. While the increasing trend has slowed slightly in the last week, cases are still continuing to rise and the latest week's figures are likely to increase further, as data for the most recent days are subject to reporting delays.

The county as a whole and all districts and boroughs, except for Corby and Daventry, have seen an increase in cases compared to the previous week. 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.

Residents are continued to be warned 'Just because you can, doesn't mean you should,' in a bid to curb a further rapid rise, and parents and carers are 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.

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.

Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health at Northamptonshire County Council, says:

"The county continues to be at a tipping point to elevate from medium alert in Level 1 into Level 2, high alert. Local evidence shows spread is within and between households so logic dictates that if we don't mix, we don't spread!

"We are asking all mums, dads and carers of children to stop and think - 'Be firm this half-term' and make this half-term holiday a natural circuit breaker. Meet and play outside in the park instead of private gardens and get together outside in the daytime instead of sleepovers!

"Just because we are still allowed to mix households – it really doesn't mean we should. So act now to protect yourself, your children, your parents and friends from the virus and avoid stricter restrictions and a local lockdown."

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.

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.​