Pings from Covid-19 Test and Trace app DOUBLE in a week across Northamptonshire
Fears of staff shortages grow as positive tests rise nearly 400 per cent
The number of Northamptonshire people forced to self-isolate after a 'ping' by the NHS Test and Trace app nearly DOUBLED in a week.
NHS statistics show 3,993 alerts were sent out to the county in the week up to July 7.
That compares to 1,792 the previous week who were identified as close contacts of someone who later tested positive for Covid-19.
The number is sure to have risen even further as new cases continue to mount up in the county.
Government bulletins yesterday (Thursday) showed 473 positive tests during the latest 24-hour period — the highest daily total since January and nearly FOUR TIMES the daily number from just a week earlier.
The gov.uk website has now reported around 2,500 people testing positive in Northamptonshire during the last ten days.
All will still be self-isolating as a result, along with all their close contacts identified by NHS Test and Trace.
Critics are calling for the app to be scrapped amid reports of workers being encouraged to turn it off and avoid being pinged.
Pressure is growing on county NHS services as more staff go absent and, nationally, some companies are reportedly missing 20 percent of their workers.
Factories across Britain are in danger of closing down as a result of employees being 'pinged' by the app, union Unite has warned.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said today the government is "concerned" about the number of people off work but, according to Sky News, there are "no plans" to change the app's sensitivity ahead of Freedom Day.
Remaining Covid restrictions will be lifted on Monday (July 19) scrapping the need for face coverings and social distancing and allowing people to mix freely in pubs and clubs and at sporting events.
But around 140,000 people are yet to receive even one dose of Covid vaccine in Northamptonshire and critics say Prime Minister Boris Johnson is taking a massive gamble by lifting restrictions.
Northamptonshire's health chief Lucy Wightman warned: "Let’s be absolutely clear, this is not yet a full return to normal.
"I echo the Prime Minister’s words when he says 'it is absolutely vital that we proceed now with caution, this pandemic is not over'.
"So, despite the freedoms being returned, this by no means marks the end of the need for caution and restraint."
Figures of those being pinged varied widely across Northamptonshire with Corby seeing just a 26.8 per cent increase while numbers more than doubled in Kettering and South Northamptonshire
■ Corby 228 pinged in week to June 30, 289 in week to July 7, increase 26.8 percent
■ Daventry 322 in week to June 30, 549 to July 7, increase 70.5 percent
■ East Northamptonshire 228 in week to June 30, 416 to July 7, increase 82.5 percent
■ Kettering 258 in week to June 30, 545 to July 7, increase 111.2 percent
■ Northampton 606 in week to June 30, 1,201 to July 7, increase 98.2
■ South Northamptonshire 326 in week to June 30, 661 to July 7, increase 102.8
■ Wellingborough 233 pinged to June 30, 332 to July 7, increase 42.5