Health chiefs backing jabs and testing to beat rise in Northamptonshire Covid-19 cases

'We've seen how this can escalate very rapidly, we need to keep it under control," warns Public Health director

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 11:03 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 11:32 am

Health chiefs say they are prepared for sharp rises in new Covid-19 cases across Northamptonshire.

Numbers of positive tests across the county have gone up by nearly 70 percent in ONE WEEK, according to government data.

Former local authority areas of Northampton, Daventry and South Northants have seen the biggest increases week-on-week.

Latest official figures show cases also spiking in Rushden — which borders areas of Bedford and Bedfordshire where the Delta variant prompted surge testing to be carried out last month.

Public Health Northamptonshire director Lucy Wightman admits the rises are being fuelled by cases of the highly-transmissable Delta variant.

But she insists that the vaccination roll-out, availability of regular testing and anyone with symptoms isolating will be key to controlling any surges in cases.

Mrs Wightman said: "We're seeing a different picture across the UK with rise of the variants and we're not escaping that.

Heath chiefs are confident the speed of Northamptonshire's vaccine rollout can control new Covid-19 cases

"In comparison to areas of north-west England our rates are very, very low. But some areas have seen huge increase in cases during the last seven days compared to the previous weeks.

"Obvously we've got to be sure that we can keep this under control locally because we've seen in other areas how this can start to escalate very rapidly.

"Vaccination and regular testing is going to be the key to doing that."Anyone over 25 is now eligible for a covid-19 jab following health secretary Matt Hancock's latest announcement.

The spread of a Covid variant of concern first identified in India — now dubbed the Delta strain — forced to the NHS to speed up its vaccination timetable.

How Covid cases have risen week-on-week in Northamptonshire

People are now being invited back for a second dose after eight weeks as opposed to the original 12 while yesterday's Commons announcement opened the door for nearly 45,000 in Northamptonshire aged between 25 and 29 to get their first jab.

Mr Hancock told MPs: ““The jabs are working.

"We have to keep coming forward to get them and that includes vitally that second jab which we know gives better protection against the Delta variant.

"The majority of people in hospital with Covid appear to be those who haven’t had the vaccine at all.

"As of June 3 our data show that of the 12,383 cases of the Delta variant, 464 went on to present at emergency care and 126 people were admitted to hospital. Of these 126 people, 83 were unvaccinated, 28 had received one dose and just three had received both doses of the vaccine.”

■ Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms — a new continuous cough, loss of or change in sense of taste or a high temperature should self-isolate immediately and book a test online HERE, via the Test and Trace app or by calling 119

■ Free lateral flow device tests are available at sites across the county — click HERE for more details — or kits can be ordered and collected for home use

■ All those aged 25 or over are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccination. Click HERE to book or contact your GP