Local lockdown risk in Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough if residents do not follow extra rules, officials warn

Public health officials are asking residents to take action now

Friday, 7th August 2020, 4:40 pm
Updated Friday, 7th August 2020, 4:43 pm
The three boroughs in the north of the county are at risk of local lockdown, public health officals say

Public health officials are asking Corby, Wellingborough and Kettering residents to follow government guidelines and extra rules to avoid a local lockdown.

In a press conference today (Friday), officials revealed there had been 110 positive tests for coronavirus in Northamptonshire in the week between July 27 and August 2, part of a four week increase in Covid-19 cases across Northants.

Lucy Wightman, director of public health for Northamptonshire County Council (NCC), said: "As a population, we must take collective responsibility and follow the guidelines so we can get on top of this situation."

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There were 13 new cases in a week in Wellingborough and another 13 in East Northants. Corby had eight new cases while Kettering was the only borough in Northants to have a decrease in new cases, with three positive tests between July 27 and August 2.

However, Kettering's rate of infection remains significantly higher than the national and county rates, and is a public health area of concern.

Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough residents are being asked to:

- keep two metres distances at all times

- limit contact with anyone outside your household or bubble

- if you must meet with others outside your household or bubble then meet outside

- do not share items with others outside your household or bubble

- if social distancing of two metres is not possible then wear a face covering

- avoid using public transport or car sharing and wear a mask if you must travel with others

- wash hands regularly and thoroughly for 20 seconds

- work from home if you can.

Health officials have also banned multi-team sports gatherings and tournaments until further notice and visiting times to care homes have been restricted.

Despite residents of at risk areas being warned to follow additional guidance to avoid a local lockdown, when asked about Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley's comments that the county is "odds on" to go into lockdown, Lucy Wightman said: "It's one person's view."

She said health officials would first look to target restrictions where necessary, rather than borough or country-wide measures.

Health officials are closely monitoring the hospitality sector and are urging customers not to go into restaurants, pubs, bars or other establishments that are not actively participating in the track and trace system.

Lucy Wightman said testing was the key to monitoring the county's coronavirus situation and health officials say residents with Covid-19 symptoms must get tested.

There are now test sites in Kettering and Corby and a mobile testing unit will be in Wellingborough over the weekend. Tests can be booked by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus.

While increased testing will be causing cases to go up, Ms Wightman said to be sure there is a handle on the situation in Northants, the proportion of tests coming back positive need to go down over a sustained period of time.

She said: "We have increased access to testing so we will naturally find more cases, but we would expect this to be relatively short lived.

"What we are looking for is a downward trend in positive tests, we want to see those reducing over time."