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Public Health Officials advise residents to ‘Let fresh air in and viruses out’


12 November 2021

Rapid covid test

‘Let fresh air in and viruses out' is the message from Northamptonshire’s Public Health team this week as a further 2,965 residents test positive for COVID-19.

Did you know that the coronavirus can linger in the air for hours, even when an infected person has left the room? Did you also know that by opening a window or door you are allowing the fresh air in to dilute the strength of many airborne viruses?

When someone with COVID-19 breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release droplet or aerosol particles containing the virus. In poorly ventilated rooms the amount of virus in the air can build up, increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19 and other viruses, especially if there are lots of infected people in the room.

Airborne viruses include the common cold, the flu, chickenpox, mumps, measles and whooping cough.

I know the winter is drawing in and it’s feeling chilly, but it is very important that we leave a window or door open if there are a number of people in the room. People are much more likely to become infected with COVID-19 in a room with windows that can’t be opened or that lack any ventilation system.

It is now clear that the coronavirus transmits mostly between people at close range through inhalation. Improved indoor air quality through better ventilation will bring other benefits, including reduced sickness and work or school absence due to other respiratory viruses and even environmentally related complaints such as allergies and sick building syndrome.
Improving air quality will help all of us to stay safe, now and in the future. The message is to let fresh air in and viruses out.

As we head towards winter it’s worth remembering that it’s never too late to get your lifesaving COVID-19 vaccination – the offer from the NHS is ‘evergreen’. There is a vaccine locally for everyone and we will happily vaccinate those who have not yet had their first or second dose, as well as support you to access your booster jab. Vaccination provides powerful protection against severe illness with COVID-19 so getting the jab is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself. Boosters are also vital to maintain a high level of protection because the vaccine starts to ‘wear off’ as time goes by.
Lucy Wightman, Joint Director of Public Health, North and West Northamptonshire Councils

This weeks’ data surveillance report, an analysis of the county’s recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 01 – 07 November 2021, shows:

  • 2,965 residents tested positive for COVID-19 this week. This is a decrease of 5% compared with previous week.
  • Northamptonshire’s infection rate per 100,000 population is 409.0, which is significantly higher than the national average (374.5).
  • The highest rates locally are Daventry (472.4) and Northampton (452.8).
  • Nine people died within 28 days of a positive test.
  • Positive cases for both males and females aged 0 to 9 years increased rapidly since September but have now started to decrease.
  • The age group with the most positive cases for both males and females was predominately 10- to 19-year-olds, followed by 40- to 49-year-olds.
  • Over the last 4-week period the number of cases amongst people aged 60+ has plateaued but numbers remain high.
  • Overall, more women than men tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 28 days.
  • The latest data shows a total of 99 COVID-19 patients occupied hospital beds in Northamptonshire on 9 November 2021, which represents no change since the previous week (2 November 2021).

Public Health Officials are also supporting the NHS in encouraging pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine as new data shows that nearly 20 per cent of the most critically ill COVID-19 patients are pregnant women who have not been vaccinated. England’s top midwife is publicly reassuring women that the vaccine is safe and effective during pregnancy and is recommended by clinicians and charities.  
Booster vaccine doses are also now available on the NHS for people most at risk from COVID-19 who have already had two doses of a vaccine. The NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have one. If you have been contacted by the NHS to say that you are eligible for a booster dose, you can book your booster dose appointment on the NHS website now or visit selected local drop-in services. If you have been contacted previously but have not yet booked your appointment, you're still eligible and can arrange your appointments any time. Visit the NHS website for more information about the COVID-19 vaccine. Alternatively patients can call 119 or book via the National Booking Service.