Anybody hoping that Covid-19 was dead and gone might need to think again, according to experts.
Health chiefs are warning of early signs indicating Northamptonshire may be at the start of a new wave of coronavirus infections
Latest government data published on Monday (June 20) showed an average of around 140 new cases daily were reported in the county, more than double the number during the first week in June.
Experts believe the true figure for people with the virus is much higher, however, as many cases are going unreported since free testing ended in April.
Numbers of patients receiving treatment for the virus in county hospitals are also rising consistently for the first time in two months.
Latest NHS England figures showed 45 Covid patients in Northampton and Kettering General Hospitals on Tuesday (June 14) compared to 13 on May 25.
Four deaths among Covid patients have sadly been recorded in the county’s two main NHS hospitals during the last ten days.
Dr Mary Ramsay, UK Health Security Agency’s Director of Clinical Programmes, said: “After a period of low case rates, we are now seeing increases in outbreaks within care homes and in hospitalisations among those aged 80 years and over.
“It is encouraging that we are not seeing an increase in intensive care admissions but we are monitoring data closely and assessing the possible impact of subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.
"As we enter summer, it’s still important to remember that Covid-19 has not gone away and to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill with the virus.
“If you’re not yet up to date with your jabs please come forward now – it’s not too late to get protected.”
Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 were designated variants of concern in the UK on May 20 which health chiefs fear could spark a new spread of infections as immunity from third vaccine doses wanes in most population groups.
Around 140,000 people in Northamptonshire who have not been vaccinated at all, however, and remain most vulnerable to severe symptoms.