No more pingdemic from TODAY for 450,000 double-jabbed Northamptonshire adults

Regular testing is now an even bigger key to keeping virus in check, says health chief

By Kevin Nicholls
Monday, 16th August 2021, 7:31 am

Around 450,000 adults across Northamptonshire will be largely free from the pingdemic from Monday (August 16).

The latest step on the roadmap out of lockdown means anybody who has had two Covid-19 jabs will not be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive.

Latest NHS England figures showed more than 4,000 people county-wide were 'pinged' by NHS Test and Trace in the week up to August 4.

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Lateral flow tests deliver results in less than 30 minutes and are designed to detect the virus in people without symptoms

Anybody is identified as a close contact will be still be advised to take a PCR test to check if they have the virus — but will not need to self-isolate unless the swab shows they do.

The change also applies to under-18s clearing the way for more kids to stay in school when the new term gets under way next month.

County health chiefs are begging residents not to be fooled into thinking the pandemic is over.

Lucy Wightman Northamptonshire's Director of Public Health said: This is another huge step towards living normal lives again.

"But the coronavirus has not gone away! In fact, cases across the county are rising slightly.

"It is still the case that double-jabbed people or those under 18 will need to self-isolate if they test positive and close contacts must continue to come forward for a PCR test, in order to detect the virus.

“As further restrictions ease, regular lateral flow testing, getting both jabs and ensuring we stay Covid-safe as we go about our daily lives remains critical to controlling the virus.

"So we need to continue to be careful and extreme caution is key."

Among those who do still need to self-isolate if pinged are:

■ Any adults who have not had both doses of Covid-19 vaccination — around 220,000 here in Northamptonshire

■ Those who have received their second vaccine dose within the last 14 days

■ Those who tested positive following a PCR test — around 2,500 people in the county in the week to Sunday (August 15)

■ Those who are fully vaccinated but have symptoms.

Anyone with any of the three key symptoms — a high temperature, a new and continuous cough or a loss or change in sense of smell or taste — is advised get a PCR test immediately and stay at home until the result is confirmed, even if the symptoms are mild.

Even those with no symptoms, are advised to take a twice-weekly lateral flow test make sure they are not unwittingly spreading the virus, which only presents itself with symptoms in one in three cases.