Lockdown lift decision day

We look at how our county is faring according to the public health team’s latest published data

By Sarah Ward

Today PM Boris Johnson will give the nation an update on the coronavirus situation ahead of the long planned lifting of all restrictions on social contact on June 21.

Due to the impact of the new very fast spreading Delta variant (first reported in India) many are expecting the lockdown lift to be delayed, with a number of scientists saying more time is needed to assess whether the rapidly rising number of cases of the variant will lead to more hospital admissions.

Here’s the current situation in Northants.

Cases

On Friday the county’s public health team published their weekly update (with figures up to June 6). The headline is that the Delta variant is spreading rapidly, with case numbers up a huge 72 per cent on the previous week. There were 255 cases recorded in Northants between May 31 and June 6, compared to 148 the week before.

The report says:

“Weekly case numbers fell rapidly in late March from a plateauing trend. A brief rise in cases was seen in early May, after which weekly case volumes decreased and then plateaued. Sadly there has been a rise in cases in the last week.

“Northamptonshire’s infection rate per 100,000 population for the most recent week up to 3rd June is 23.4 which represents an increase when compared to the previous week but is significantly lower than the national average (44.2).

“It is worth noting though that the national case rate is rapidly growing due to the growth of the Delta variant. West Northamptonshire’s rate (23.7) and North Northamptonshire’s rate (23) are both significantly lower than the national average but similar to the Northamptonshire average.”

The public health team says mixing between households is the biggest cause of onward transmission in the county.

The case rates are highest in South Northants (34.9) and East Northants (32.8) with Kettering currently having the lowest rate (12.8).

In the week between 31 May and June 6 case numbers rose in every part of the county apart from Corby and Wellingborough (which saw a drop).

The report says in the past 28 days (May 10 to June 6) the most cases were recorded in the 10-19 year age bracket, with most cases of secondary school age. The schools have been open since Easter and children are not being vaccinated, although testing in schools is taking place. In those 28 days 108 girls and 82 boys tested positive.

The second highest age group where positive tests were recorded were the 30-39 age bracket, with 61 men and 73 women testing positive in that time period. In almost every age category more women in Northants have been catching the virus than men.

On June 7th there were three active outbreaks in the county. Corby and Daventry both had an outbreak in a workplace and there was an outbreak at a care home/service in Northampton.

Hospital admissions and deaths

The report says:

“There have been no deaths recorded in Northamptonshire since 24th April 2021. East Northamptonshire and South Northamptonshire have seen no deaths since mid-march and Corby has seen no deaths since 5th April.”

There is just one person being treated for the virus at Kettering General (at June 6) with hospital admissions falling rapidly since January when the two hospitals were treating more than 400 Covid-19 patients.

Vaccinations

To date (June 13) 796,934 doses have been given in Northamptonshire, with a total of 429,641 doses in the West and 367,293 in the North. 179,667 people have had both doses in the West and 153,872 have had both in the North.

People in the over 25 age bracket are now being vaccinated and the 12 week gap between vaccines is being shortened to eight weeks to try and get the vaccine rollout done as quickly as possible in the face of the Delta variant.

The public health report says that recent research shows that a double dose is effective against the Delta variant in reducing infections and deaths.

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