Health chiefs monitoring sharp rise in new Covid-19 cases in Wellingborough villages
Three percent of population tested positive in space of 14 days
Health chiefs are monitoring a sharp rise in Covid cases among a cluster of villages near Wellingborough.
Just under three percent of the 11,000 population in and around Irchester, Wollaston and Bozeat tested positive in the space of just a fortnight.
Figures relate to those who live in the area — which also includes includes Little Irchester, Grendon, Easton Maudit and Strixton — and not those who go to school or work there and live elsewhere.
Public Health Northamptonshire says it has identified no single reason behind the spike in cases but is urging people who come into contact with those testing positive to urgently get a PCR test.
Government data showed 311 positive tests in the area with a population of 10,900 between September 29 and October 12. That equates to a rate of more than 1,800 cases per 100,000 people compared to the national average of 410.
The number accounted for more than a quarter of 1,100 positives in the entire former Borough Council of Wellingborough area over the same period.
A spokesman for Public Health Northamptonshire insisted the number of cases was simply down to community transmission — people passing it on.
But director Lucy Wightman warns anyone who finds they have been in contact with someone who tests positive should get their own PCR test even if they have been fully vaccinated to avoid the risk of passing on the virus.
Mrs Wightman said: “Anyone who has been close to a person who has tested positive for Covid-19 up to two days BEFORE they first had symptoms is at risk of developing the virus themselves in the next ten days.
"They could spread the virus to others, even before any symptoms begin, so any negative PCR test should then be followed up with regular lateral flow tests.
“If you test positive after your PCR, you can help the NHS contact people who may have in turn caught the virus from you. They can then self-isolate and avoid passing it on to others.”
Latest figures show around 5,000 people tested positive for the virus in Northamptonshire during the last week.
The number of Covid patients being treated in Northamptonshire's two hospitals rose slightly to 94 on October 12, according to latest NHS figures.
Nine of those were in critical care units at Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital, around 40 per cent of all ITU patients.
NHS England confirmed on Monday (October 18) three Covid-19 patients sadly died in the two hospitals — one in KGH and one in NGH on Thursday and one in NGH on Friday.