How the county's Covid map looked on February 12 with the large white areas showing three or fewer cases in the previous week

Covid-free Northamptonshire villages are sitting right next door to towns with the country's highest rate

PM's problem with huge variation in number of cases as he plots road out of lockdown

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 18th February 2021, 1:17 pm

Northamptonshire's latest 'Covid map' sums up perfectly the problems Boris Johnson and his team of experts face in plotting the road out of lockdown.

The Prime Minister is set to unveil his plans on Monday of how and when things will start to get back to normal.

Health chiefs have warned for weeks about Covid-19 infection rates remaining "stubbornly high" in Corby and Kettering, fearing it could force the PM to turn back to the tier system with more restrictions for those areas with more coronavirus cases.

Yet a large slice of countryside between those two troublesom towns is now largely Covid-free.

Latest official figures revealed three or fewer new positive tests during the seven days leading up to February 12 in an area tagged Geddington, Rushton and Stoke Albany — turning it white on the Government's coronavirus map among neighbourhoods with "surpressed" weekly infection rates hovering around zero or just above.

The area — known as a Middle Layer Super Output Area by the number crunchers — runs from Cranford in the South, taking in Weekly, Warkton, Grafton Underwood, Little Oakley and up towards the Leicestershire border.

In all, about 8,000 people, the figure analysts use to compare the spread of infection in different areas.

It's the same in the neighbouring area to the east of Clipston, Naseby and Yelvertoft which also includes Kelmarsh, Cold Ashby and Thornby among others.

A third area in the far south of the county, near Brackley, has been classed as Covid -free for nearly a week.

At the same time, five neighbourhoods in Corby, Kettering and Wellingbrough are still coloured purple on the tell-tale map with case rates well over 400 per 100,000 people per week — nearly three times the England average.

Seven–day rates are expressed per 100,000 population calculated by dividing the weekly count by each area's population and multiplying by 100,000.

An interactive map shows current rates in every neighbourhood accessible by entering a postcode.

If you have Covid-19 symptoms — a high temperature, continuous cough or loss of or change in sense of smell or taste — get tested as soon as possible to confirm if you have the virus or not.

Tests can be booked on the Test and Trace app, online at HERE, or by calling 119.

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