Information on outbreaks in Northamptonshire was not published because director 'did not think public would be interested'

She called the lack of information "an oversight on her part"

By Alastair Ulke
Saturday, 15th August 2020, 6:00 am
Information on Northamptonshire's local outbreaks has only recently been published.
Information on Northamptonshire's local outbreaks has only recently been published.

Information about local outbreaks in Northamptonshire has not been published so far because the Director of Health for Northamptonshire Lucy Wightman "didn't think the public would be interested".

It was revealed for the first time on Thursday this week (August 13) that Northamptonshire was dealing with 20 different Covid-19 outbreaks across the county.

The most severe of which has been at the Greencore sandwich factory in Moulton Park where it was revealed on Thursday that 292 employees had tested positive for the virus since July 27.

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Where an outbreak means at least two the virus, it means that twelve more are in care home settings, three are in hospitals and the rest are in workplaces.

At a Covid-19 press conference on Friday, the Chronicle and Echo asked the Director of Health for Northamptonshire Lucy Wightman why the county was only just hearing about these outbreaks all at once.

In response, Director Wightman said she had not considered the public would be interested in it.

"I didn't provide that publicly. We've talked about it freely in Covid-19 oversight meetings, but it's one of those things I didn't think the public would be interested in.

"It's an oversight on my part. The information has been freely available, I just didn't think to provide it publicly."

It comes after Northampton has been cautioned about slipping into a local lockdown for over three weeks, and residents have been warned to follow additional guidance.

In the week between August 3 and August 9, 151 cases were recorded in Northamptonshire.

The county is being asked to avoid carsharing and public transport, and to limit contact with other households.