Health chiefs' concern at rise in Covid-19 cases among Northamptonshire's older age groups
Number of positive tests among over-60s FOUR TIMES higher in a month
Health chiefs admit they are concerned by Covid-19 spreading among Northamptonshire's older age groups.
Figures from Public Health Northamptonshire on Friday showed the number of lab-confirmed positive tests has more than quadrupled in a month, from 117 in a week to October 4 to 480 on November 1.
And Health Director Lucy Wightman fears more cases among vulnerable groups will translate into more hospital cases putting pressure on the NHS.
Mrs Wightman said: "One of our concerns is that older age groups are vulnerable to potentially more complex symptoms and more complex disease process.
"They are more likely to be admitted to hospital, more likely to have long-term implications for their health or, if they are particularly vulnerable, more likely to die.
"We have to understand how this disease is moving through our age groups and through our generations and younger people have a role to protect the more vulnerable in our population."
Northamptonshire's two acute hospitals were treating 87 Covid-19 patients up to Thursday, with six in intensive care.
Northampton General Hospital has reported 17 coronavirus deaths in just over a month — those who had tested positive for Covid-19 within the previous 28 days or had the virus mentioned on their death certificate.
A further ten have died at Kettering General Hospital.
Neither hospital has plans to cut back other services and want patients to continue turning up for appointments.
NGH Chief Operating Officer, Deborah Needham said: "At present we are continuing with all of our routine elective operations and out-patients. So patients should continue to attend appointments as planned and if something is urgent or immediately life-threatening please do come to A&E."
"Both our hosptials are operating at a very high occupancy level and we are expecting numbers of patients with Covid to increase over next few weeks and into winter.
"We have some robust escalation measures in place and this includes increasing bed capacity through the winter as it becomes needed."