Public health boss 'disappointed' by Covid case rates in Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough

The North Northamptonshire area has been driving the rise in cases

Friday, 19th March 2021, 6:05 pm

As latest figures show an increase in Covid cases in Northamptonshire, it is the cases in the north of the county that are driving the numbers up again.

Of the community cases overt the last 28 days, six of the top seven areas were in Corby - Snatchill, Corby North, Kingswood, Old Village and Weldon, Rowlett, Gretton and Cottingham, and Lodge Park. Out of all the areas in Northamptonshire the top thirteen were from North Northamptonshire wards.

Using data of the positive Covid-19 case numbers over the last 28 days, if each local community had the exact same size population of 100,000, Rowlett, Gretton and Cottingham ward recorded a cases per community rate of 1,093.2 per 100,000.

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Lucy Wightman, director of public health at Northamptonshire County Council, said: “The latest figures are concerning. We are still in lockdown and the figures to date have reflected this but it would appear that this week cases are starting to rise again. Although we remain in lockdown we have seen a slight increase in our case numbers compared to last week which is disappointing.

"It really is a cause for concern sadly mixing between households continues to be despite it being against the legislation the cause of transmission locally. We are still seeing high rates in our working age adults."

Ms Wightman warned that with the Government keeping a close eye on the county the statistics could influence decisions about coming out of lockdown.

She said: "It may have significant consequences if need we see continued increases for the county. We do know that the data is driving the decisions around coming out of lockdown and I'm obviously in close contact with those in central Government around what that means locally. We will understand more next week. This is not putting us in a positive position.

"We have seen a steeper increase in case numbers so this is really concerning. The effect of lockdown was working and making really positive progress over the last couple of weeks but now unfortunately it's started to turn itself around and we are back up at the top of the list of the Chief Medical Officers watch list that absolutely not where we wanted to be.

"We are now seeing other areas as well as Corby slip backwards. We have not only got a statistically significant higher rate in Corby in comparison to the county rate bit we also have a statistically significant higher rate as a county which is really disappointing and driven by increases in number primarily in Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough.

"It's a real challenge. We are concerned. People are starting to let their guard down."

Leader of Corby Council, Tom Beattie, ruled out a full lockdown as it would be draconian but warned people were suffering from lockdown fatigue and complacency may have crept in.

He said: "We've been in lockdown now for a long time. We've had a series of lockdowns people are suffering from lockdown fatigue. I think there's also an element of complacency which has set in perhaps because of the vaccination programme."

"A complete lockdown with a curfew would have an exceedingly negative effect on public morale and I think it would have a negative effect on people's mental health

"What we need to continue to do is we have measures in place - abide by the measures and we will get out of this.

"We've been saying that for a while and we have seen a reduction from the high points back in early January but it hasn't come down in Corby as quickly as we wanted and the recent upward spike is a concern. I'm not sure that requires a draconian measure of a complete lockdown and curfew because that brings with it other consequences which could be as equally damaging to public health and morale."