Warning from public health officials as coronavirus hospital admissions keep rising in Northamptonshire
'It is vital that all of our community does as much as they can to reduce transmission'
Coronavirus-related hospital admissions for over-60s in Northamptonshire continue to rise despite the number of cases going down during the second national lockdown.
Northampton and Kettering hospitals also remain exceptionally busy as the usual winter pressures return with residents urged only to go to A&E in an emergency.
Meanwhile, Corby and South Northamptonshire saw significant increases in the case rates for those aged over 60 - thought to be mainly down to care home outbreaks.
Northamptonshire County Council public health consultant Rhosyn Harris implored people to follow the Covid-19 rules at a virtual press conference on Friday (December 4).
"There are huge pressures on our acute services and it is vital that all of our community does as much as they can to reduce transmission," she said.
A total of 946 residents tested positive with Covid-19 over November 23-29 - an expected decrease from previous weeks because of the lockdown.
But the figures have only just returned to rates similar to those pre-lockdown and remain much higher than in late summer.
In better news, the council has surpassed its target for winter flu jabs for over-65s in Northamptonshire.
But plenty more people are eligible for the inoculation, including pregnant women, Covid-vulnerable people under 65 and those aged between 50 and 64.
The jab will not only protect individuals from the potentially serious consequences of catching flu but also helps to keep pressure off the NHS, which is under enormous pressure because of Covid-19.
The press conference heard that it is important to get the flu jab sooner rather than later to avoid any possible clash with coronavirus vaccine.
Dr Joanne Watt, who represent GPs at Nene Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "Now is a good opportunity if you've been putting off getting the flu jab to get it done.
"This is because we know there needs to be a gap between the flu jab and the Covid vaccine."
If you have Covid-19 symptoms - high temperature, continuous cough or loss of or change in sense of smell or taste - you should immediately self-isolate and book a test.
New booking slots are available each evening for the next day and more are released each morning. Pre-booking is essential.
If you test positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days – with your household isolating for 14 days - do not go to your workplace, to school or to the shops. Either work from home or report sick.
Those who test positive for Covid-19 will be helped by the NHS test and trace service to identify the people they have recently been in contact with so they can be alerted and also self-isolate if required.
Tests can be booked on the Test and Trace app, online at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. Home testing kits can also be ordered subject to availability.