The number Covid-19 victims in Northamptonshire's two main hospitals has reached another sad milestone.
Wednesday's NHS bulletin revealed 500 patients have died after testing positive for the bug in just 98 days since the pandemic first struck in the the county.
There have been some heart-warming stories along the way — Gordon Anderson was cheered all the way out of the doors at Northampton General Hospital last week after winning an 86-day battle with the killer bug.
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But seven more deaths at NGH between last Friday and Sunday (June 22) takes the sobering number of coronavirus victims at the Cliftonville site to 290.
Another 210 have died at Kettering General Hospital although today's figures revealed no new fatalities there for a fifth day in a row.
Three of the latest deaths at Northampton were on Saturday and two more on Monday took the total to exactly 500 between the county's two NHS Trusts.
One death at NGH last Friday was the 14th in a week — down by three on the total of 17 from the seven-day period ending June 12.
The number for Northampton is the highest among all England's 219 NHS trusts announced today. But the local figure is spread over four days while others include data from one or two days.
NHS figures are collated at 5pm and announced at 2pm the following day. But these bulletins allow for up to a five-day lag in reporting new deaths — or occasionally longer — so any hospital fatalities which occurred over the weekend may only be included in official records for the first time today.
Office for National Statistics data has also identified a further 127 coronavirus-related deaths in Northamptonshire's care homes — although none in the most recent seven-day period up to June 19 included in figures announced on Tuesday.
That leaves the total number of known victims in the county currently standing at 627.
Northamptonshire's first Covid-19 victims were a 92-year-old at Northampton General Hospital and 45-year-old dad-of-two Craig Ruston who died at KGH, both on March 16
Ten more victims have died in the care of Northamptonshire Health Foundation Trust during Covid-19 crisis, according the NHS.
NHFT provides services in the community here and also in other counties. Since no locations have been confirmed for any of the deaths so they are not counted in the confirmed total for Northamptonshire.
The latest figures for infections in the county rose to 1,675 at 9am on Tuesday with four new cases confirmed by lab tests in the previous 24 hours.
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