'Stay home this weekend' urges Northamptonshire's public health boss

Ahead of speculation the government may lift some parts of lockdown from Monday Lucy Wightman asks residents to stay indoors this weekend

By Sarah Ward
Thursday, 7th May 2020, 6:14 pm

The county’s public health boss has warned that lives could be put at risk if people flout the lockdown measures over the bank holiday weekend.

Lucy Wightman has made the plea in the midst of strong hints by politicians that lockdown measures could be eased after the weekend, leading to fears that people could decide to step out early and meet with friends amid the VE day celebrations.

To date, 306 people have died either at Kettering or Northampton hospital and at least 60 Northamptonshire care home residents have died from Covid-19.

Lucy Wightman has urged residents to stay in lockdown.

The Director of Public Health, said: “The people of Northamptonshire have been fantastic so far in the way they have embraced social distancing and followed the health and government advice.

By staying at home they have already played a huge role in ensuring that our NHS has not been overwhelmed by this pandemic.

“But until the official guidance changes it’s absolutely vital that we all keep going to protect the NHS and save lives.

“Dramatically reducing the number and frequency of contacts between people is very effective at stopping transmission from person to person. You are making the difference – it’s down to you that we are seeing cases reduce in the county and fewer people are dying from the Covid-19 virus.

“Of course it’s hard not seeing family and friends – these measures are not easy for any of us but they are working and the spread of the disease is slowing.

“I urge everyone in our county to continue to follow the government and health advice. It may be tempting, but trying to return to normal too quickly could mean that we see cases rapidly increase again, resulting in more people needing hospital care and sadly more deaths in Northamptonshire.

“So please continue to stay at home, observe social distancing and wash your hands regularly. Your actions are helping to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities and to save lives.”

As yet it is not clear what the coronavirus infection levels in the county are, as health bosses have not put into the public domain the number of people with Covid 19 who have been admitted to the county’s two hospitals since the pandemic began.

It is also not known how many people in the county have tested positive for the deadly virus. The county’s Local Resilience Forum, which is leading the pandemic response, says it is following national guidelines by not releasing the information.