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Public Health Officials urge residents to get vaccinated and continue to test twice weekly


22 October 2021

Rapid covid test

Public Health Officials are urging residents to get vaccinated and continue to test twice weekly in a bid to contain further transmission, as this week’s COVID-19 data report shows a further 4, 712 positive cases in Northamptonshire.

Rates per 100,000 population in the county are again significantly higher than the national average and those in Wellingborough are currently ranked as amongst the top seven highest in England. In the most recent week 11 of the county’s loved ones died within 28 days of a positive test.

Officials are reiterating to residents that they strongly recommend vaccination and to continue taking lateral flow tests twice weekly to determine whether or not they are carrying the virus and could pass it to others while contagious.

Everyone in Northamptonshire can access free, regular, rapid coronavirus testing. Test kits are available for home use or at test centres, some workplaces and schools. You can order home test kits from the GOV.UK website and get home deliveries, or you can pick up test kits at pharmacies and other local sites. The test involves a swab of the mouth and nose and provides a result within 30 minutes.

The test does not tell you if you are COVID-19 free, so all COVID-19 secure measures must be exercised even if you get a negative result. These include regular hand washing, keeping a distance from those who are vulnerable and mask wearing in crowded, enclosed spaces.

This week’s surveillance report, an analysis of the county’s recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 10–17 October 2021, shows a decrease of 2% in the number of COVID-19 cases since last week’s figures were published. This figure is 51% higher than the total for the week of 13 September 2021.

Positive cases for both males and females aged 0 to 9 years have increased rapidly in recent weeks. Of the ten-year age bands, the younger adults’ group, 10 to 19-year olds have the most cases, followed by 40 to 49-year olds. Over the last 4-week period the number of cases amongst people aged 60+ has increased and numbers remain high. Overall, more women than men tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 28 days.

Northamptonshire’s infection rate per 100,000 population for the most recent week is 659.3, which is significantly higher than the national average (438.2). The Wellingborough area has the highest case rate (821.8) in Northamptonshire, followed by the Daventry area (713.2) which is similar to East Northamptonshire area (712). The Wellingborough area case rate is currently ranked amongst the top 7 highest in England.

The latest data shows a total of 88 COVID-19 patients occupied hospital beds in Northamptonshire on 19 October 2021, which represents a 6% decrease when compared to the previous week (12 October 2021).

The virus is continuing to circulate at high levels across our county and we must do everything within our power to curb this spread. It’s particularly important to be cautious this half term, especially when children might well be mixing with those who they don’t usually mix with at organised activities or sports clubs. Please also keep up asymptomatic testing, also known as Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) at least twice a week during the break. This test is for people with no symptoms and is the test that your secondary school aged children carry out twice weekly. We’d also highly recommend that parents and guardians do the tests too.

One in three people with coronavirus do not have any symptoms, so could be unknowingly spreading the infection to others. Rapid testing helps us find COVID-19 cases that we wouldn't otherwise know about, it is important, though, that people with symptoms should still get a PCR test rather than the lateral-flow version.

Our best defence against COVID-19 remains our vaccination programme so I urge all of you who are eligible for the booster to take up the offer. Likewise, those who are eligible for the flu vaccine, which includes all school aged children, should take part when offered.
Lucy Wightman, Joint Director of Public Health, North and West Northamptonshire Councils