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Public Health Officials urge residents to take up their vaccines and take twice weekly lateral flow device tests.

Author: Northamptonshire Local Resilience Forum Published: 18th September 2021 09:09

Public Health Officials urge residents to take up their vaccines and take twice weekly lateral flow device tests.Public Health Officials urge residents to take up their vaccines and take twice weekly lateral flow device tests.

Prevalence of the virus remains high within the County with a further 2,486 COVID-19 cases reported across Northamptonshire in the week up to 12 September.

The county’s Public Health team is particularly concerned about the high case rates in Corby and is urging residents to take up the offer of both vaccinations and to continue with twice weekly Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing.

This week’s surveillance report, an analysis of the county’s recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 05 September – 12 September 2021, shows a small decrease of 14% in the number of COVID-19 cases since last week’s figures were published.

Northamptonshire’s infection rate per 100,000 population over the most recent week is 372.2, and remains significantly higher than the national average of 322.9. There has been a 6% increase in the case rate since the last recorded seven-day period.

Corby and Kettering continue to show significantly higher case rates than other areas of the County. The Corby area case rate is 746.4 and it remains the area with the highest rate in Northamptonshire. It also continues to have one of the highest rates in England. The Kettering area has a case rate of 440.2 per 100,000.

East Northants, Northampton and South Northamptonshire have seen slight decreases in case rates since last week with Wellingborough and Daventry having rates which remain similar to the previous week.

This week’s report also shows that of the ten-year age bands, the 10 to 19-year olds continue to have the most cases, followed by 20 to 29-year olds. The number of cases amongst people aged 60+ continues to increase and more women than men tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 28 days.

Hospital bed occupancy due to COVID-19 infections continues to increase. The latest data shows a total of 85 COVID-19 patients occupied hospital beds in Northamptonshire on 13th September 2021, which represents a 27% increase when compared to the previous week (7st Sept 2021).

Sadly, in the most recent week, Northamptonshire saw an increase in the number of deaths when compared to the previous week with nine people having died within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test.

Lucy Wightman Joint Director of Public Health - North and West Northamptonshire Councils says: 

“As we go about our daily lives now, the world certainly looks and feels more normal, and it is good for our mental wellbeing to be able to socialise with friends and family and catch up on postponed celebrations. Students are returning to education and hoping for a year without the disruption that we have seen over the last 18 months.

“We must all continue to balance this familiarity with caution and follow a few key behaviours to help minimise the spread of the virus, prevent excessive strain on the NHS and maintain the normality that we all need.

“Vaccination remains the single biggest factor in reducing the risk of death and serious illness from COVID-19 and I urge those yet to have their first or second vaccine to take up the offer. Look out for our “Grab a jab” sessions and drop in sessions by following the Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership on Twitter @ourNHCP which provides up to date information on drop in sessions across the County. We will shortly be contacting people for booster vaccines in line with the national announcements. Our teams are ready to help you once more, so please come forward when contacted.

“I would like to reach out specifically to the residents of Corby once more. It is evident that case rates remain high in this area and one of the significant contributory factors is that vaccination rates remain lower in Corby than all other areas of the County. We know that vaccinations reduce the transmission risk by 50% and the risk of hospitalisation by up to 80%. Please let us help to protect you and your loved ones by getting vaccinated.

“It is great that people are taking PCR tests when they have symptoms, as this means that transmission can be cut through self-isolation. However, taking regular twice weekly LFD tests is something we can all do, free of charge, so that when we are meeting friends and family, we can be reassured that we are unlikely to be infected with the virus. These free tests are available to order online for next day delivery or to pick up at most pharmacies.

“In addition to these two crucial measures, adopting the following behaviours will further help to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Continue to meet outside when you can, if you are meeting indoors, open windows or doors if you have visitors. Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds and wear face coverings in indoor or crowded areas. Get vaccinated with two jabs for best protection and take twice weekly free LFD tests. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, book a PCR test as soon as possible.

“The winter period is challenging for many with the spread of flu and winter illnesses on top of COVID-19. Do look out for invitations to receive your flu jab which will be coming soon. Maintaining the balance of normality and caution is critical to protecting ourselves and our families and most importantly avoiding excessive strain on the NHS this winter. Let’s keep on doing our bit and continue to enjoy a return to normal life safely.”

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