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Health messaging reminds residents of safer behaviours that reduce the risk of infection


29 July 2022

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Messaging was put out earlier this week around safety advice and I would like to reinforce why this decision was taken and how this reflects public health responsibilities, and indeed the public’s responsibilities over their behaviour.

I remain committed to the government’s Living Safely with COVID-19 guidance and the commonsense measures which are implicit in the document.
John Ashton, Interim Director of Public Health for North Northamptonshire

During this time of Living Safely with COVID-19 we have a statutory duty as public health to advise and remind our communities of the safer behaviours that they can carry out to reduce the risk of infection. This comes under the national guidance on 'Living safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19'.

Public Health regularly reviews this risk assessment and as such put out advice earlier this week. This guidance included reminding residents about 'wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, especially where we come into contact with people we do not usually meet, and especially when rates of transmission are high'. 

North Northamptonshire has seen rising COVID-19 case rates since early June, as well as other respiratory virus infections. New symptoms appear to be being seen in COVID-19 cases, including fatigue on waking and a sore throat, symptoms more commonly associated with other respiratory conditions. Because of this we are asking residents to be alert to any respiratory type symptoms and take precautions to protect themselves and others. As it is the summer holiday period and mixing with others is increasing, this is likely to translate into additional respiratory infection cases including COVID-19.

This is why the Director of Public Health has called on residents to heed the national guidance which states 'wearing a face covering or face mask can reduce the number of particles containing viruses that are released from the mouth and nose of someone who is infected with COVID-19 and other respiratory infections. Face coverings can also protect the person wearing the face covering from becoming infected by some viruses'.   

It particularly advises to wear face coverings when someone is coming into close contact with someone at 'higher risk of becoming seriously unwell', which is why mask wearing is advisable practice for care home visitors.

While there are rising case numbers we all have the opportunity to reconsider the different actions as set out in living Safely with COVID-19 that we can all take.

As we learn to live safely with COVID-19, there are actions we can all take to help reduce the risk of catching COVID-19 and passing it on to others.

The guidance encourages those who have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and are unwell, to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. If you have symptoms and are unwell it is particularly important to avoid close contact with anyone who you know is at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell if they are infected with COVID-19 and other respiratory infections. 

This is something I am confident North Northamptonshire residents can get behind as they did with other national and local guidance earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Councillor Helen Harrison, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing