With lockdown restrictions easing, the Corby Covid case rate - the highest in England for most of 2021 has been dropping - but the town still tops the regional and countrywide charts.
Cases per 100,000 residents reported over seven days for Corby have been stubbornly high in comparison to those of other areas causing concern for Public Health officials.
Rates soared in January after Christmas when social mixing of households was blamed for the rapid rise in rates caused a spike in Covid cases from 396 per 100,000 people on January 2, to an astonishing 1,106 in 100,000 people just a week later.
Now most recent rates have shown Corby remaining at the top of the local authority leader board, with a case rate of 134 - a drop of one third from 186 a week ago.
Last Thursday community leaders in Corby rallied round a message to draw on the spirit of Corby to beat the virus and lower the case rate.
The snapshot rates show that on April 7, Corby was the number one ranked authority in England; Wellingborough was at number 13 with 74 cases per 100,00, Kettering 48th with 48 cases and East Northamptonshire 51st with 45 cases per 100,000.
Lucy Wightman, Joint Director of Public Health - North and West Northamptonshire Councils said: “There is no denying that despite a drop in the past week Corby still has high case rates. However, we do also have higher rates of testing recently which is helping to find positive cases, which means that more people are isolating which I am hopeful will help bring rates down even further.
“One in three people with Covid-19 won’t have any symptoms and so could unintentionally pass it on to others so testing, particularly testing for those who don’t have symptoms, really is a vital part of our armoury in getting the Corby rates down lower and keeping them there as restrictions ease further next week.
“I would urge those without symptoms, who don’t currently get tested through their workplaces or as part of a school or childcare support bubble to book a test at one of the two sites in Corby - Lodge Park Sports Centre, Shetland Way Tuesday to Saturday from 8 to 12 noon and 3pm to 7pm, or Hazelwood Neighbourhood Centre, Gainsborough Road which is open Monday to Friday 3pm to 6.45pm. Please if you are showing any Covid-19 symptoms don’t attend those sites but book a PCR test by calling 119 or booking a test online
“And please do continue to follow all the guidance, even if you have a negative Lateral Flow Test, or have had a vaccine.”
In a bid to curb Covid-19 cases Public Health Northamptonshire launched a new coronavirus awareness campaign called ‘Take Care in the Open Air,’ with the aim is to remind everyone to stay alert and stay 2m apart, avoid face to face and physical contact, not to share drinks, avoid shouting and remain aware of surface transmission.
Residents were also be reminded to use contactless payments where possible, sanitise if they can’t find a tap to wash their hands and discard face coverings in the bin.
Residents have also been urged to continue to get tested and get vaccinated.
They are also being reminded that if they have had a vaccine or a negative Lateral Flow Test, they must still continue to follow all guidance.
People in the top nine priority groups awaiting their first dose can proactively contact their GP practice or book an appointment at the Vaccination Centre or a local pharmacy-led site online at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccination or by calling 119.
The top nine priority groups are:
• People aged 50 and over,
• People at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable),
• People who live and work in care homes, Health and social care workers,
• People with a condition that puts them at higher risk (clinically vulnerable),
• People with a learning disability,
• People who are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus.
Adults in their families, meanwhile, can get a COVID-19 test twice each week at a local test site or by collecting a home test kit from a test site. For more information, click here North Northamptonshire’s community based testing sites, for workers who cannot work from home, are at Lodge Park Sports Centre in Corby, Hazelwood Neighbourhood Centre in Corby, and Redwell Leisure Centre in Wellingborough,
Tests can be booked on the Test and Trace app, online at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. Home testing kits can also be ordered subject to availability.