This week's surveillance report, an analysis of the recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 30 November to 06 December, shows that 981 residents have tested positive with COVID-19 since last week's data was published.
The report shows weekly case volumes remain high and rates are similar to those pre-lockdown. The proportion of residents aged 60+ continues on a rising trend and cases amongst people aged 80+ have increased over the last month. These age groups tend to be at greater risk of more severe disease, hospital admission and death.
The virus is also thriving in the county's working population and the age group with the most positive tests this week is the 40 to 49 year olds, both men and women. Residents are being reminded of Tier 2 guidance to only spend time indoors with people they live with. This includes pubs, restaurants and cafes. It is also vital that residents work from home where possible and employees must remember Christmas work parties are currently illegal.
Across all age groups Northampton, South Northamptonshire and Wellingborough have seen increases in cases this week and Northampton's rate is now significantly higher than the national average.
Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health at Northamptonshire County Council, says:
"As COVID-19 hospital related admissions continue to rise, I'm continuing to ask all residents to protect themselves and the vulnerable older population of 60+ who tend to be at greater risk of more severe disease.
"At the moment I am still deeply concerned about the rising trend of cases as we head into more relaxed restrictions over the festive period.
"The last thing anyone wants to give the ones they love for Christmas is COVID-19 so we all need to be extra cautious. In addition to adhering to all Tier 2 guidance, simple hand washing, social distancing and face covering must be maintained."
The first COVID-19 vaccination was given in Northamptonshire this week and frontline health workers and the vulnerable are the first to be vaccinated. Health leaders are reminding residents "Don't call us, the NHS will call you" when the time comes to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Residents will be called in due course as long as they are registered with a GP.
Pregnant women and residents aged between 50 and 64 are also being urged to book their flu jabs now and protect their immune system. The jab will not only protect individuals from the potentially serious consequences of catching flu but also help to keep pressure off the NHS at a time when it is under enormous pressure because of COVID-19.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms (high temperature, continuous cough or loss of or change in sense of smell or taste), you should immediately 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.
You can book a test online, on the Test and Trace app or by calling 119. Home testing kits can also be ordered subject to availability.