Northampton council leader warns Covid-19 lockdown 'still up for grabs'

Cllr Jonathan Nunn said a lockdown could still go either way despite efforts of businesses and residents

By Sarah Ward
Thursday, 13th August 2020, 3:05 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th August 2020, 3:07 pm
Cllr Nunn says a lockdown is still an option as covid cases continue to rise  in Northampton.
Cllr Nunn says a lockdown is still an option as covid cases continue to rise in Northampton.

Northampton Borough Council’s leader has today said a town lockdown is ‘still up for grabs’ and it could go either way as cases continue to rise.

Leader Jonathan Nunn made the statement this morning (August 13) during the Covid oversight board meeting at which Director of Public Health Lucy Wightman gave an overview of cases up until August 2 and outlined the action local leaders and health officials have been taking to tackle the virus.

Northampton has had the highest number of cases in the county and the numbers are still growing, with particular hotspots in the Castle, Abington, Brookside, Delapre and Briar Hill wards.

In the past seven days up until yesterday (August 12) there were 70 new confirmed cases in Northampton alone and the infection rate is well above the county rate with 580 cases per 100,000 population.

Cases are still rising however across almost all parts of the county, with concentrations in the urban areas. Since August 1 there have been 207 new cases in Northants.

This morning public health announced an outbreak at Northampton food factory Greencore.

Cllr Nunn said: “We were a while ago stood at a fork in the road. Let’s hope we have taken that road away from a local lockdown although we have to say at this stage it is not certain. We can see the impact of all the hard that business and residents are doing but it is still up for grabs and it could go either way.”

He added: “I’d reiterate personal responsibility. In some areas we are regulated. When we go to a shop they insist we wear a mask. At work we are probably well organised. It is what we do outside of those. It is car sharing, it is going on a bus and taking your mask off.

“One particular thing we are keen people to engage with is track and trace. If you go into a hospitality establishment, if they do not ask you for their personal details, which will enable them to alert you later, if they do not ask, they have little care for you and your loved ones. If they do ask you and you resist, well actually it is you who is showing a lack of are for your loved ones.

“It is still within our grasp to avoid local lockdown but we have got to keep the pressure up.

“I’m afraid we have to keep our foot on the gas and keep going. We have to continue all these initiatives. Whatever you have heard is a good precaution, just keep doing it now.”

At the meeting Lucy Wightman said the virus was now spreading among the working age and younger population and urged A-Level students to be mindful of the virus and adhere to social distancing measures if they go out celebrating tonight.