Kettering hospital's first Covid-19 death for 19 days follows health chiefs' concern over rise in cases

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Residents urged to "act with caution" as Corby becomes latest area identified as possible hotspot

Covid-19 has claimed its first victim in 19 days at Kettering General Hospital.

This latest death — the 218th at KGH during the pandemic — occurred on Thursday but was only revealed in today's NHS bulletin.

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It came just over a week after health authorities identified Kettering as a potential hotspot for new coronavirus cases.

The previous fatality among patients testing positive for coronavirus at KGH was on July 4. The one before that was a month ago, on June 26.

Two more victims were also revealed to have died at Northampton General Hospital on Thursday, taking the grim total to 658 dead at the county's two main NHS trusts since the pandemic hit Northamptonshire in March.

The number of positive tests being reported in Kettering has dropped back in recent days, although health chiefs now admit some concern about possible spikes in infections in Corby after numbers there rose for a third week in a row.

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They also say non-compliant car sharing, social distancing outside areas of work and at bus stops could be contributing to the rise in cases.

Kettering General Hospital has seen it's first Covid-19 death since July 4Kettering General Hospital has seen it's first Covid-19 death since July 4
Kettering General Hospital has seen it's first Covid-19 death since July 4

Northamptonshire's Director of Public Health, Lucy Wightman, said: “A lockdown could mean that non-essential shops and businesses are closed and there would be tight restrictions on travel and who people are able to meet with.

“We have also seen a change in the age range of those testing positive for Covid-19 with a larger proportion of positive cases aged in their 20s and 30s

"As people in this age group tend to be more socially active, I am appealing to this section of our communities in particular to follow the additional guidance and help to protect those who are most vulnerable.

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“The additional measures we have introduced in Northampton are general good practice and I would urge residents in Corby and Kettering to also act with caution.

"The virus is not going away any time soon and we have to take these measures seriously.

“It is also essential that if you experience symptoms of coronavirus — high temperature, continuous cough or loss of / change in sense of smell or taste — that you book a test,"

Extra mobile testing units have been drafted in to Wellingborough and Northampton this weekend to allow more people to be swabbed.

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Test appointments for any of the units can be made online by clicking HERE.

Local health officials issued new guidance for Northampton residents on Thursday after Public Health England identified the town as an "area of concern" over rising infection rates.

HERE'S THE ADVICE YOU NEED TO FOLLOW IN AND AROUND NORTHAMPTONEligibility criteria for tests have been extended to include anyone with coronavirus symptoms — new, continuous cough; high temperature; loss of or change in sense of smell or taste. Essential workers will be given a priority.

For tests to be effective you must be symptomatic. More guidance can be found HERE.People who test positive for Covid-19 will be helped by the NHS test and trace service to identify the people they’ve recently been in contact with so they can be alerted.

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Anyone who has had close recent contact with someone with coronavirus must then self-isolate for 14 days, if they are advised to do so by the NHS test and trace service, to help contain the spread of infection.

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