Northamptonshire saw its highest daily number of new Covid-19 cases in more than three months as figures showed two major towns still lagging behind in vaccine uptake.
NHS England reported 106 positive tests in the county on its daily bulletin on Tuesday (June 29), the first time the figure has topped 100 since March 26.
Meanwhile Northampton is now 303rd in a list of 347 local authorities measuring a proportion of adults who have had a first dose of vaccine. Corby is 308th.
Numbers dipped through April and May, bottoming out at seven on May 30.
But increases in the number of new cases are now spreading across the county with all seven former boroughs and districts — Northampton, Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby, Daventry and East and South Northamptonshire — seeing a marked jump during the last week.
The number of new cases in the county published weekly each Friday has hovered just above 300. Taking the latest raw data on the government data dashboard, however, the figure for the last seven days is 508 which is again the highest since the end of March.
Infection rates in the county — the number of new positives per 100,000 people — remains well below both the national and regional average and health chiefs remain "tentatively confident" about the national lifting of Covid restrictions on July 19.
But they also admit these latest figures underline the importance of people being vaccinated to protect themselves against the worst effects of the virus.
Public Health Northamptonshire director, Lucy Wightman, said: "We are still seeing cases rising nationally and locally but they are not having as great an impact on mortality and morbidity.
"People are not getting very ill and ending up in hospital in greater numbers and, touch wood, we're not seeing numbers of deaths that we have seen previously.
"That is largely due to people accepting the vaccine so as long as we continue with that uptake — particularly in the younger age groups — then we should be able to proceed with lockdown lifting completely."
The government is aiming to offer at least one dose of vaccine to all those aged 18-and-over in time for 'Terminus Day' on July 19 when all remaining Covid restrictions are due to be lifted
More than 500,000 people have had a first vaccine jab across Northamptonshire, including 361,990 who have had both doses.
Latest NHS figures available showed three Covid patients were being treated in acute hospitals at Northampton and Kettering last week, with one in the critical care unit. New data is due to be published tomorrow (Thursday, July 1)
One person sadly died with Covid at Kettering General Hospital on June 14 — the first coronavirus-linked death reported in the county since April.
■ Anyone aged 18 or over is eligible for a Covid-19 vaccination — book online HERE any time or call 119 free between 7am and 11pm, seven days a week. You can turn up without an appointment at Moulton Park Vaccination Centre any day between 5.30pm and 7.30pm.
■ Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms — a new, continuous cough, high temperature, or loss or change in sense of taste — should immediately self-isolate and book a PCR test online HERE or by calling 119.