Public Health Officials are reminding residents to act COVID safely during Halloween and Bonfire Night as a further 3,974 residents test positive this week.
In order to have a spookily safe Halloween and a brilliantly bright Bonfire Night the following advice has been issued:
• Wash and sanitize hands regularly - especially when trick-or-treating
• Do not share bowls of crisps or individual sweets with those outside your household
• Wear a face covering in crowded areas
• Keep windows open if gathering indoors
• Stick to smaller groups where possible
• Make space for you and your household if in a crowd
• Stay at home if you're not feeling well or have any COVID-19 symptoms
• Continue to take LFD tests at least twice a week and before going trick or treating
Lucy Wightman Joint Director of Public Health - North and West Northamptonshire Councils says: “It’s great that this year we can all get together to enjoy Halloween and Bonfire night but we must remember that although restrictions are now lifted, government guidance is still in place. Coronavirus remains a serious health risk and we should all stay cautious to help protect ourselves and others.
“We don’t want to dampen people’s spirits, but this Halloween make sure you don’t get a bigger fright than you bargained for or cause fireworks in the family by taking COVID-19 home with you. Coronavirus is still here so please remember to think about how to protect yourself and your children. That means continuing to practice good hand hygiene, limiting the number of people you come into contact with, and where possible meeting others outside. If you are celebrating Halloween inside, I’d advise wearing a mask - and I don’t mean the Halloween kind. Face masks help prevent us all from spreading coronavirus to other people.
“And remember, if you do have symptoms of COVID, you should stay at home and take a PCR test. With just a little thought it’s possible to have spectacular time without putting yourselves and others at risk.”
This Weeks’ Data surveillance report, an analysis of the county’s recent coronavirus cases and rates over the period 18 – 24 October 2021, shows:
• 3,974 residents test positive this week. A decrease of 17% in the number of COVID-19 cases since last week’s figures were published.
• Northamptonshire’s infection rate per 100,000 population is 581.5, which is significantly higher than the national average (489.7).
• The highest rates locally are Daventry (660.8) and Wellingborough (636.1).
• Eight of the county’s loved ones died within 28 days of a positive test.
• Positive cases for both males and females aged 0 to 9 years have increased rapidly in recent weeks and of the ten-year age bands, the younger adults’ group, 10 to 19-year olds have the most cases, followed by 40 to 49-year olds.
• Over the last 4-week period the number of cases amongst people aged 60+ has increased and numbers remain high.
• Overall, more women than men tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 28 days. • A total of 110 COVID-19 patients occupied hospital beds in Northamptonshire on 26th October 2021 – a 25% increase when compared to the previous week (19th October 2021).
Public Health Officials are also reiterating to residents that they strongly recommend full vaccination and to continue taking Lateral Flow Device tests twice weekly to determine whether or not they are carrying the virus and could pass it to others while contagious. Everyone in Northamptonshire can access free, regular, rapid coronavirus testing. Test kits are available for home use or at test centres, some workplaces and schools. You can order home test kits here and get home deliveries or you can pick up test kits at pharmacies and other local sites.
The test involves a swab of the mouth and nose and provides a result within 30 minutes. The test does not tell you if you are COVID-19 free, so all COVID-19 secure measures must be exercised even if you get a negative result. These include regular hand washing, keeping a distance from those who are vulnerable and wearing a face covering in crowded or enclosed spaces.
They are also supporting the NHS in encouraging pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine as new data shows that nearly 20 per cent of the most critically ill COVID-19 patients are pregnant women who have not been vaccinated. England’s top midwife is publicly reassuring women that the vaccine is safe and effective during pregnancy and is recommended by clinicians and charities.