Government data shows which areas have the highest Covid-19 infection rates. Source: coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/interactive-map

Three areas of Northampton where Covid-19 cases are among highest in the country

Health chief's plea to follow lockdown rules after positive tests spike again

By Kevin Nicholls
Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 1:18 pm

Three areas of Northampton have hit the highest level on the Government's scale of Covid-19 infection rates.

Blackthorn, Lings and Billing are all listed above 400 in terms of the number of new positive tests per week per 100,000 population — more than both Liverpool and Nottingham, which were in the top tier of the National Alert System before the second national lockdown started.

More big rises in the number of cases have dampened local health chiefs' hopes that the spread of the virus had slowed in the county.

And Lucy Wightman, Public Health Director admitted the latest figures underline the need for a second national lockdown and a robust testing programme.

Mrs Wightman said: "It’s hard not seeing family and friends.

"However, the simple fact is that dramatically reducing the number and frequency of contacts between people is a highly effective way of stopping person to person transmission.

“You can and will make again make a difference. By staying at home you can once again ensure that our NHS is not overwhelmed by this pandemic."

Data analysts divide the country into areas of roughly equal population, around 7,200, to make comparisons. They then take the number of weekly positive Covid-19 tests, divide it by the population and multiply by 100,000 to find the infection rate.

The most affected areas in Northamptonshire so far have seen figures well below 300.

But in the seven days to November 4, Little Billing saw 478 positive tests per 100,000 people, Blackthorn & Lings 432 and Billing & Riverside 420. The county's average infection rate is 196.6 — which is below the national average of 236.

Public Health England last night reported 223 lab-confrmed positive tests for Covid-19 in the most recent 24-hour period up to Sunday. The figure has been above 200 for five days in a row.

The weekly total according to daily figures taken from the Government's coronavirus data dashboard is 1,470 — 40 per cent up on the 1,039 revealed at Friday's weekly press briefing.

Officials allow a four-day lag before announcing official numbers as daily figures are subject to correction. But they give a strong indication of which way the infection rate is trending.

Mrs Wightman added: “Staying home whenever you can is vital. However it’s also really important to still get a test if you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus.

"If you have a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to the sense of smell or taste I urge you to book a test now by going to nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. Please also follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace if you are contacted to protect others and stop the spread of the virus."

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