Northampton’s health chiefs warn ‘we must take action now or risk potential local lockdown measures’

Health chiefs admit the threat of a local lockdown in Northampton in real as the Borough battles a rising number of Covid-19 cases.

A statement from the county’s Local Resilience Forum issued at at just after 2pm today (Thursday) warned: “The rate of infection is increasing and the amount of positive tests are also increasing within the borough.

“This increase in the infection rate means that we need to take action now to prevent further spread of the virus and potential local lockdown measures.”

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A list of what the public should and should not do includes continuing to work from home, avoid using public transport or car sharing, avoid meeting anyone from outside your own household or ‘bubble’ in indoor spaces.

Borough Council leader Councillor Jonathon Nunn said: “We have been urging caution for a number of weeks, but now we are asking for action from our local residents.

“If we follow the additional advice provided now, and if we are successful in reducing our rate of transmission, we can avoid having to introduce further restrictive measures.”

Indoor spaces includes those shops, pubs, cafes or restaurants which have all reopened in recent weeks following the easing of a UK-wide lockdown.

Shoppers returned to Northampton town centre last month but are now being warned to avoid meeting others in indoor spaces. Photo: Leila Coker

HERE’S THE ADVICE YOU NEED TO FOLLOW IN AND AROUND NORTHAMPTON ..

• Limit contact with others outside of your household or bubble

• Work from home if you can

• Keep two metres from others at all times. Use a face covering where you are less than two metres apart

• Avoid using public transport or car sharing. Wear face coverings if you cannot avoid these

• If you have Covid-19 symptoms, stay at home, self-isolate and get a test

• Avoid meeting those outside of your household or bubble in an indoor space

• Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for 20 seconds each time

• Do not share items with others outside of your household or bubble

• If you have Covid-19 symptoms, do not go to work, either work from home or report sick, self-isolate and get a test — even if you only have mild symptoms

• If you are contacted by Test and Trace and asked to self-isolate, stay at home for 14 days

Recent increases in the rate of infection in Northampton are not being linked to any one specific incident or a single method of transmission.

Currently, the number of new reported Covid-19 cases in Northampton is around 23 per 100,000 of the population during the last seven days. Leicester’s equivalent figure was around 140 when the city was ordered back into lockdown 3½ weeks ago.

But county councillor Ian Morris, Portfolio holder for Public Health admitted: “We are concerned that coronavirus cases in Northampton remain higher than we would like them to be.

“So we are issuing a set of messages to the residents of Northampton to help us to start to reduce the level of transmission.

“If you have symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, get tested and self-isolate. It is essential that the public follow the guidance and that everyone acts responsibly in reducing the risk of transmission and protecting those in our communities who are most vulnerable.”

Health officials have drafted in an extra mobile testing unit to the town centre from today through to Monday (27 July) enabling more local people to get a drive-through or walk-in test closer to where they live.

Tests can be booked online HEREor by calling 119. Home testing kits can also be ordered subject to availability.

Northamptonshire Telegraph