Public health reminder to stay Covid-Safe if mixing indoors

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

18 June 2021

Graphic reminding people of the Hands, Face, Space, Fresh air message

Public health officials are reminding residents to stick to Step 3 rules and be COVID-Safe if mixing indoors, particularly as the weather worsens, the European Championship football is on TV and Northamptonshire’s cases rise again this week.

This week’s surveillance report, an analysis of the county’s recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 7 – 13 June 2021, shows an increase of 21% since last week with 303 residents having tested positive. The Delta variant is now the most dominant strain of the virus in England and is up to 60% more transmissible than the original virus.

The coronavirus and its variants continue to circulate and those who are unvaccinated are still at risk. Public health officials are reminding residents that ‘vulnerability to the virus is not visible.’ They are urging residents to meet outdoors when they can and if they must meet indoors within the Step 3 rules – to open windows and let the fresh air in.

While this week’s data report shows all district and borough area infection rates per 100,000 population continue to be either statistically significantly lower than or similar to the national average, cases are on the rise. The county’s infection rate has increased by 87% this week and is now 43.4.This is lower than the national average of 69.9; however this is due to a continued sharp increase in the national case rate being driven by the more contagious Delta variant. Locally the highest rates are showing in the Northampton area (59.7), followed by the Daventry area (54.7) and then the South Northamptonshire area (54.0).

This week’s report also shows that of the ten-year age bands, secondary school age children (10 to 19-year olds) continue to have the highest case numbers, but this week more females than males are affected. The younger group, 20 to 29-year olds, have overtaken the 30-39 year olds with the second highest numbers of positive cases. Over the last 4-week period the number of cases amongst people aged 60+ has plateaued.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 vaccination in the elderly and most vulnerable people, together with the positive impact lockdown has had on community transmission, again no deaths have been recorded in Northampton shire in the last six weeks. Recent research shows that the vaccinations are effective against the Indian variant of concern (now called the Delta variant) in reducing infections and deaths.

The number of patients in hospital due to COVID-19 has recently plateaued following a decreasing trend since mid-January. The latest data shows a total of five COVID-19 patients occupied hospital beds in Northamptonshire on 15thJune 2021, which represents an increase of four when compared to the previous week.

Residents are being reminded of the importance of the COVID-19 vaccination in protection against serious disease and to get both doses of the vaccine when the call comes for the greatest protection.

All residents are also being retold that one in three people do not show symptoms and can still unwittingly pass on the virus. Everyone is being urged to get tested twice weekly, even after receiving both doses of the vaccine. After two doses individuals may largely be protected from severe disease themselves, but they can still pass the virus on and put others at risk.

With a change in the weather and the European Championship on the TV, the temptation to meet indoors will be even greater than before. The coronavirus is circulating across the county and numbers are rising once again. We can’t ignore this and we must act to prevent further spread.  

“Please remember that COVID-19 spreads much more easily indoors and just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. It is much safer to meet people outdoors if you can. If you must mix indoors open doors and windows to let the fresh air in and stick to the Step 3 rules. You are permitted to meet up indoors with friends and family you do not live with, either in a group of up to six from any number of households (children of all ages count towards the limit of six) or in a group of any size from up to two households (each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible).    

“If you are meeting friends and family, you can also make a personal choice on whether to keep your distance from them, but you should still be very cautious.
Lucy Wightman, joint director of public health for North and West Northamptonshire Councils
  • Both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are important for the best possible protection against COVID -19 and variants of concern, in particular the Delta variant, first identified in India. Getting vaccinated is the single most important thing we can do to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities against coronavirus, so it’s vital that everyone who is eligible should come forward for both vaccines as soon as they are invited.
     
  • Test, Test, Test
    Regular twice weekly testing has been happening in health and care settings for a good while and has reduced the spread of Covid-19 amongst colleagues, residents and patients. It's also working well in educational settings and in companies where employees aren't able to work from home. We are all still in this together, so we need to get tested twice a week and not let the team down. Whatever age we are and whatever we do for a living – if we leave the house and mix with others then we need to make sure we are not unwittingly spreading the virus. Around one in three people with coronavirus do not show symptoms, so can spread the virus to others without knowing. Testing regularly will help to reduce risk, particularly before meeting people from outside your household. You can order free home tests for you and your loved ones that give results in 30 minutes.
     
  • There are a variety of ways in which you can access LFT testing

Community-based Asymptomatic Testing sites have been set up across the county

You can also access tests through the Community Collect service, where you can pick up packs for home use. Find details of your nearest service.

If you can’t get to an asymptomatic testing site or easily access Community Collect, you can order test kits for home delivery.

Residents should strictly follow all self-isolation guidance. See the full self-isolation guidance.
The community-based testing sites, as well as being a collection point for test kit orders, are listed below.

  • Sessions House, County Hall, Northampton (variable opening days – please check council website)
  • Lodge Park Sports Centre, Corby (Hazelwood Neighbourhood Centre open for collection of test kits only)
  • Brackley Leisure Centre, South Northamptonshire
  • Daventry Leisure Centre, Daventry
  • Wellingborough Swanspool Pavilion
  • Hall Park, Rushden
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, remember to get a PCR test as soon as possible to find out if you are positive. If you have a high temperature, continuous cough or loss of or change in sense of smell or taste, you should immediately self-isolate and book a PCR test. Tests can be booked on the Test and Trace app, NHS website or by calling 119.
  • Home testing kits can also be ordered subject to availability.