Northamptonshire's 'pingdemic' grows as 5,000-a-week are forced to self-isolate

Test and Trace quarantine rules piling pressure on council services and businesses

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 11:54 am

More than 5,000 people in Northamptonshire were 'pinged' in one week and forced to self-isolate, according to latest figures released today (July 22).

NHS Test and Trace data showed 5,320 alerts were sent out county-wide in the week to July 14 — over one-third more than during the previous seven days.

But the true number of people currently quarantined in the county could be as high as 17,000.

More than 5,000 people across Northamptonshire were pinged in the week to July 14

Those identified as a close contact of someone testing positive for Covid-19 is contacted by the Test and Trace service and told to stay at home for ten days.

Today's figures relate to a seven-day period when 1,513 positive coronavirus tests were reported but that number more than doubled to 3,261 in the seven days since July 14.

Numbers of people being 'pinged' has increased steadily in line with rises in the number of positive tests nationally, leading to pressure on the government to bring forward its plans from August 16 to relax rules for those who have had two vaccine doses.

West Northamptonshire Council, train companies, shops and restaurants have all been forced to cutback services, close or reduce opening hours as they battle with staff shortages being caused by workers having to self-isolate.

How the number of people being forced into self-isolation has soared in the last three weeks

Some food and graden waste collections have been missed in Northampton and Daventry this week and council cabinet member Phil Larratt admitted: "Due to the increased levels of Covid-19 transmission, our contactors have experienced increased staff sickness levels and, in some cases, a requirement to self-isolate which may lead to some service disruptions."

Northampton's Nando's is set to open tomorrow (Friday) after being shut for more than a week since one member of staff tested positive, leading to a number of colleagues being pinged.

London Northwestern Railway confirmed it will be reducing services after seeing a 400 percent rise in train crews having to quarantine.

Latest figures showed more than 1,600 people pinged in Northampton in the seven days to July 14, up from 1,203 the week before.