NHS England has confirmed another Covid-related death among patients in Northamptonshire's hospitals.
Tuesday’s bulletin reported 73 people sadly dying with the virus in England, including one at Kettering General Hospital on Saturday (July 17).
This is the third Covid-related death in the county in just over a month and takes the toll to 1,186 since the pandemic began.
Hospital chiefs yesterday confirmed 38 Covid patients occupying beds at Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital — an increase from 24 since Friday.
Yesterday's sad news came as 666 positive tests were reported in the county on Tuesday, which is the highest daily number since January 9.
The 3,732 who have tested positive in the last ten days plus all those pinged as close contacts — believed to be around 10,000 people — will all currently be self-isolating.
Boris Johnson gave the go ahead for Freedom Day on Monday (July 19), allowing people to mix freely without the need for face coverings or social distance because Covid vaccines had weakened the link between the virus and hospitalisations.
But the Prime Minister also delivered a grim warning: "We're seeing rising hospital admissions, and we must reconcile ourselves, sadly, to more deaths from Covid."
Every adult in Northamptonshire has been offered at least a first Covid jab but more than 140,000 are yet to take up the offer — nearly 22 percent of all over-18s in the county.
More than a quarter-of-a-million adults, close to 40 percent, are still to have both jabs.
Uptake has been even lower in Northampton and Corby with
Chris Pallot, director of the county's vaccination programme, said: "There are still many people who can come forward and have that vaccination who have not take up that offer that has been made to everybody across our county."
The growing number of people pinged as close contacts of those testing positive is putting workforces under pressure.