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If you have symptoms or you are a household contact, get a PCR test


07 January 2022

Rapid covid test

'If you have symptoms or you are a household contact, still get a PCR test.'

That’s the message from the Director of Public Health, Lucy Wightman, this week as a further 11,643 residents test positive and COVID related hospital admissions rise by 45%.

The Omicron variant is now circulating in Northamptonshire and our coronavirus infection rate per 100,000 population is 1406.3.

Advice on testing

From 11 January in England, people who receive positive lateral flow device (LFD) test results for coronavirus (COVID-19) will be required to self-isolate immediately and won’t be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.

This is a temporary measure while COVID-19 rates remain high across the UK. Whilst levels of COVID-19 are high, the vast majority of people with positive LFD results can be confident that they have COVID-19. Lateral flow tests are taken by people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

Under this new approach, anyone who receives a positive LFD test result should report their result on the GOV.UK website and must self-isolate immediately but will not need to take a follow-up PCR test.

After reporting a positive LFD test result, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace so that their contacts can be traced and must continue to self-isolate.

However, Northamptonshire’s Director of Public Health is reminding all residents that anyone who develops one or more of the three main COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and self-isolate and take a PCR test.

They must self-isolate if they get a positive test result, even if they have had a recent negative lateral flow test – these rules have not changed.

While cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the county and the UK, this tried-and-tested approach means that LFDs can be used confidently to indicate COVID-19 infection without the need for PCR confirmation.

It remains really important that anyone who experiences COVID-19 symptoms self-isolates immediately.  They should also order a PCR test on GOV.UK or by phoning 119.

I’m really grateful to the public and all of our critical workers who continue to test regularly and self-isolate when necessary, along with other practical and important public health behaviours, as this is the most effective way of stopping the spread of the virus and keeping our friends, families and communities safe.
Lucy Wightman, Joint Director of Public Health, North and West Northamptonshire Councils

The latest stats for Northamptonshire

An analysis of the county’s recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 27 December 2021 to 2 January 2022 shows:

  • 11,643 residents tested positive for COVID-19 this week. This is an increase of 53% compared with previous week.
  • Northamptonshire’s infection rate per 100,000 population is 1406.3 which is significantly lower than the national average (1588.1).
  • The highest rates locally are Corby (1585.2) and Kettering (1578.1)
  • West Northamptonshire’s rate is 1330.4, significantly lower than both the Northamptonshire average and the national average.
  • North Northamptonshire’s rate is 1494.4, significantly higher than the Northamptonshire average but significantly lower than the national average.
  • Seven people died in Northamptonshire within 28 days of a positive test.
  • Overall, more women than men tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 28 days.
  • The age group with the most positive cases for both males and females was predominately 30–39-year-olds, followed closely by 20- to 29-year-olds, 40-49 also remain high when compared to the previous week.
  • Positive cases for both males and females aged 0 to 9 years have continued decrease when compared to the previous week.
  • Over the last 4-week period the number of cases amongst people aged 60+ have increased, numbers remain high.
  • The latest data shows a total of 139 COVID-19 patients occupied hospital beds in Northamptonshire on 4 January 2022, which represents a 45% increase when compared to the previous week (28 December 2021).