26 February 2021
Doctor wearing PPE in a hospital ward

​Public Health officials are reminding Northamptonshire’s residents that ‘lockdown continues until 29 March’ and to ‘stay at home and follow current government guidelines’ until then.

This week’s surveillance report, an analysis of the county’s recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 09 to 21 February 2021, shows 1,273 residents have tested positive. COVID-19 case numbers have started to reduce more slowly than in previous weeks and more recent data is showing a slight increase in cases in Corby, Daventry and Wellingborough.

All district and borough infection rates, except for South Northamptonshire, are still significantly higher than or similar to the national average. Wellingborough, Northampton, Kettering, East Northamptonshire and Corby’s rates are higher. Corby continues to have amongst the highest case rates in England.

When compared to the previous week, with the exception of Corby and Kettering where the number has remained the same, and Daventry where there was a slight increase, all districts and boroughs have seen a decrease in the numbers of sad deaths of our loved ones.

View the latest surveillance report

This week the government announced a four-step roadmap, starting on March 8, which offers a route back to a more normal life. This dictates that until March 29 residents of Northamptonshire and across England must continue to ‘Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives.’

At this time, you may only leave the house for limited reasons permitted in law, such as:

  • To shop for essentials
  • To work, if you absolutely cannot work from home
  • To exercise once a day
  • To seek medical assistance, for example to get a COVID-19 test
  • Or to escape domestic abuse

From 8 March, residents will see some restrictions start to lift as 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.

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. They are also being reminded that if they have had a vaccine, they must still continue to follow all guidance.

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

 

Please remember that we are still in lockdown until the 29thMarch. Please stay at home. Every outing carries the risk of transmitting the virus and passing it on to someone. We all need to do our bit to keep case rates on a downward trend in order to unlock the next step of the roadmap to recovery. If we don’t keep our rates down, we spend longer with restrictions in place – it’s that simple!

We have called on the help of all our citizens this winter and ask that you continue to work with us for a bit longer, so we can all look forward to a brighter summer.

It is also critical that we all continue to get tested, now and over the coming months as our freedoms return. If we can’t track the levels of virus in our population, we will be effectively working blind in keeping everyone safe. It is our civic duty to protect ourselves and each other and getting tested is a good way of helping us to help everyone else.

As we move through each of the four step phases, we must all remember that COVID-19 remains a part of our lives. We are going to have to keep living our lives differently to keep ourselves and others safe. We must carry on with ‘hands, face, space,’ and comply with all COVID-Secure measures that will remain in place.

We must meet outdoors when the rules finally permit that we can, we must keep letting fresh air in, get tested and get vaccinated. If, and only if, we all continue to play our part, then we will be that bit closer to a future that is more familiar.”

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. More hospital admissions and deaths are being observed in this age category, so people in this age group must remain vigilant and adhere to the rules in order to protect themselves and others.

The county’s community based testing sites for workers who must mix with others are at Lodge Park Sports Centre in Corby, the University of Northampton and 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.

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.

You can book a test online, on the Test and Trace app, or by calling 119.

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.

Book a test online