Let’s all play our part once again, take Plan B seriously and follow the rules strictly
|Author: Northamptonshire Local Resilience Forum||Published: 10th December 2021 16:04|
“Let’s all play our part once again, take Plan B seriously and follow the rules strictly.” That’s the message from Public Health officials this week as a further 4,359 residents test positive and COVID related hospital admissions rise by 17%.
Northamptonshire’s Director of Public Health is reiterating the message to residents that faced with the Omicron variant, now is the time to follow Plan B in a bid to curb the rate of transmission.
The Omicron variant is now circulating in Northamptonshire. Our coronavirus infection rate per 100,000 population is 570 - significantly higher than the 485.9 national average and South Northamptonshire’s rate is ranked amongst the top ten highest rates in England at 824.4 following the identification of an Omicron cluster in the Brackley area.
On Wednesday (8 December 2021) the Government introduced COVID-19 Plan B restrictions to help limit the spread of the Omicron variant while more data on vaccine efficacy is assessed. It is hoped that moving to Plan B will help to slow the spread of the variant and reduce the chances of the NHS coming under unsustainable pressure, while buying time to deliver more boosters.
This means in Northamptonshire and across
· From today (10 December 2021), face masks will be required in more public settings including theatres and cinemas.
· People should return to working from home if they can from Monday 13 December 2021.
· From Wednesday (15 December), the NHS Covid Pass will be required for visitors to nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any event with more than 10,000 people. The NHS Covid Pass can still be obtained with two doses, but this will be kept under review as the boosters roll out. A negative lateral flow test will also be sufficient.
These measures are in addition to:
· A call for everyone to take a Lateral Flow Test at least twice weekly, before meeting others, socialising, or entering crowded or enclosed places.
· A call for all those eligible to come forward for vaccines and boosters - being fully vaccinated is the best way for people to protect themselves against catching COVID-19.
· A reminder that good hand hygiene protects against COVID-19 as well as other winter viruses.
· A reminder to everyone to let fresh air in and COVID out when meeting indoors.
Lucy Wightman Joint Director of Public Health - North and West Northamptonshire Councils says:
“Since the start of the pandemic our communities in Northamptonshire have rallied round one another and worked tirelessly to keep people safe. Once more I’m asking that everyone plays their part and together, we will overcome this latest challenge.
“I know this will be hard for many people, but by following the additional rules and reducing your contacts in the workplace you will help slow transmission. To anyone who is yet to be vaccinated or is overdue a second or third/booster dose, I would also urge you to make sure you are fully protected at the earliest opportunity. The three approved vaccines – Moderna, Astra Zeneca, and Pfizer – are proven to offer high levels of protection, and there are good reasons to believe that a full course of vaccine treatment will protect against severe disease and death with Omicron as well. If you have become eligible for a booster vaccination as part of the most recent announcement, you will be contacted by the NHS and advised when to come forward.
“Beyond that we should all double down on our efforts to implement the measures that have already proven themselves to be effective at controlling all variants of this virus. This means taking care to give each other space, washing hands regularly, keeping indoor spaces ventilated, getting tested and self-isolating where required.”
This weeks’ data surveillance report, an analysis of the county’s recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 29 November – 05 December 2021, shows:
· 4,359 residents tested positive for COVID-19 this week. This is an increase of 12% compared with previous week.
· Since last week, all local areas have seen rapid rises in case rates. These rises have been predominantly seen within the South Northamptonshire, Daventry, and East Northamptonshire areas.
· Northamptonshire’s infection rate per 100,000 population is 570.0, which is higher than last week (448.0) and significantly higher than the national average (485.9).
· The highest rates locally are South Northamptonshire (824.4), ranked amongst the top 10 highest rates in England, and East Northamptonshire (604.1).
· Fourteen people died in Northamptonshire within 28 days of a positive test.
· Positive cases for both males and females aged 0 to 9 years have continued to increase since the beginning of November.
· 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 104 COVID-19 patients occupied hospital beds in Northamptonshire on 7th December 2021, which represents a 17% increase when compared to the previous week (30th November 2021).