Wellingborough folk must 'step up' to avoid a local lockdown says council leader

Cllr Griffiths has urged residents to keep sticking to the social distancing rules.Cllr Griffiths has urged residents to keep sticking to the social distancing rules.
Cllr Griffiths has urged residents to keep sticking to the social distancing rules.
Positive Covid-19 cases in the town have been rising over recent weeks

Wellingborough’s council leader has called on residents to ‘step up’ to avoid a local lockdown.

As cases continue to rise across the county, Wellingborough along with Northampton has moved into the spotlight as hotspot areas where the virus appears to be spreading faster.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A long term testing unit will be set up in the Market Square next week, after public health made a request to the Department of Health and by Sunday 30,000 leaflets will have been delivered to residents warning them to stick to social distancing measures to help slow down the transmission of the virus.

There will also be council staff going round pubs and clubs this weekend to give advice and ensure businesses and drinkers are observing social distancing measures.

The increased activity and arrival of a longer term walk-in mobile testing unit shows the level of concern in the town which has seen 39 new cases since August 1.

At a press briefing this afternoon Cllr Martin Griffiths appealed for residents’ help in stopping the spread of the virus.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: “We have come such a long way. We have made huge sacrifices this summer. We really need to step and make sure we do everything we can to avoid a local lockdown because that will have serious repercussions for community and our businesses.”

Health bosses have not as yet given any indication of why the number of cases in Wellingborough have been rising at an increased rate.

There is a lockdown fear for Northamptonshire but as yet health and council leaders say the town has not reached the levels that will trigger it into effect.

The county has been rocked this week by a major outbreak of the virus at sandwich producer Greencore on the Moulton Park industrial estate in Northampton.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

292 workers have tested positive for the virus, a situation which the leader of the borough council today called of national significance and ‘a disaster’.

The blame for the Greencore major outbreak is now being put largely at the door of the employees. Today the director of public health again reiterated that the company had been exemplary in its Covid measures and said some staff were leaving Covid safety measures at the door.

She said 60 per cent of those who had tested positive were car sharers and many also lived together in homes of multiple occupancy. There also appears to have been transmission on public transport from people not wearing masks.

She said anyone who had come into contact with someone who had tested positive had to self-isolate and this could be an almost impossible ask for those who live in homes of multiple occupancy who share washing and eating facilities.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There are also 16 other active outbreaks being managed in Northamptonshire – a number that has been revised downward from the 20 declared yesterday.

Asked at the press conference where the other workplace outbreaks were Lucy Wightman said as the numbers of cases were currently under five, then the guidance was not to reveal the workplaces.

In total the workplace outbreaks amount to 309 cases – with 292 of those at Greencore.

She did say the working environments at those places with outbreaks were similar to those of food producer Greencore.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Lucy Wightman also announced that from Wednesday next week local test and tracing would begin in the county, with data shared from central government about the contacts who the central services, administered by SERCO, had not been able to get in contact with.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper when you do your weekly shop.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

David Summers