Northampton Covid cases among highest in England as Plan B restrictions set to end tomorrow

Health chiefs urge people to carry on wearing masks, getting tested and keeping your distance to keep vulnerable safe

By Kevin Nicholls
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 10:19 am

Health chiefs say wearing a mask will still be vital to protecting the vulnerable when more Covid-19 restrictions in Northamptonshire are lifted from Thursday (January 27).

Northampton is one of the top four areas in England with highest coronavirus rates following another rise in cases.

Corby is also among the top dozen with nearly 1,400 cases weekly per 100,000 people according to latest data.

Northampton and Corby are both among the areas with highest Covid case rates

Boris Johnson last week announced Plan B rules over wearing masks in shops and on public transport would be lifted as data showed infection levels were falling in England, adding: "It is likely that the Omicron wave has now peaked nationally."

Daily figures issued by the government on Tuesday (January 25) showed 1,689 new positive tests in Northamptonshire — the most since January 7. More than 10,000 people have tested positive in the last seven days, a 20 percent rise on the previous week.

Public Health Northamptonshire director, Lucy Wightman, said: "We're not out of the woods yet.

“We all know the science now and if we all maintain some simple protection from infection measures, we will keep ourselves and others safe.

“We can’t always see others clinical vulnerability so hand washing, testing twice weekly, getting a PCR if you have symptoms, keeping a distance from those when out and about, getting jabbed and ventilating whilst indoors will all contribute to this.

"I for one will also continue to wear a face mask when out shopping and on public transport. That is my personal choice but I believe it to be the right choice."

Mr Johnson told the Commons last week that hospital cases were stabilising yet more than ten percent of the 1,400 beds in Northamptonshire's two main hospitals were being used to treat Covid patients, according to the latest figures published last Tuesday (January 18).

According to NHS England figures, 49 people have sadly died while being treated for Covid in the county since January 1.

A county-wide major incident called by the Local Resilience Forum made up of NHS chiefs, councils and emergency services on January 7 remains in force.

Some non-clinical work at Northampton General and Kettering General hospitals is being carried out by Army personnel deployed last week to ease pressure on medical staff.

The hospitals' CEO, Simon Weldon, admitted: "We are fortunate that numbers have not risen in the way we initially expected.

"But that's still more than ten percent of our total bed stock given over to patients who have one condition and that is no healthy place for a system to be."