Northampton General apologises for online 'anxiety' over social distancing concern in Clap For Our Carers video

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A video of the event outside NGH last week has caused a debate online about social distancing

The weekly Clap For Our Carers event has grown louder and more enthusiastic each passing Thursday in Northampton.

But at last Thursday's Clap (April 16), a video was shared online of the event outside Northampton General Hospital of more than 100 emergency workers celebrating.

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While the video shows police officers, fire officers and dozens of healthcare staff from the hospital energetically cheering, the video caused concern online after viewers criticised emergency workers for gathering in a large number without adhering to social distancing rules.

It drew comparisons to a widely-shared video taken on Westminster Bridge on the same night showing hundreds of people - including emergency services workers - gathered closely at 8pm.

One Chronicle & Echo reader, Sam Watson Hanwell, commented on this paper's Facebook page to say: "This is absolutely wonderful, so lovely that everyone has come together for our essential workers and the amazing Captain Tom Moore.

"But why is it that the crowd of people outside the hospital are allowed to stand so close together? What has happened to the two-metre apart rule?"

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And on Twitter, reader @booksfromboxes7 wrote: "As amazing as this is, it really can't happen again like this. No social distancing at all."

A video of emergency workers celebrating the Clap For Our Carers event outside NGH has caused a conversation online about social distancing.A video of emergency workers celebrating the Clap For Our Carers event outside NGH has caused a conversation online about social distancing.
A video of emergency workers celebrating the Clap For Our Carers event outside NGH has caused a conversation online about social distancing. | other

Amongst the conversation, some readers criticised Northamptonshire Police officers for their position in the gathering following a press conference a week earlier where Chief Constable Nick Adderley stated the force would be clamping down on gatherings and social distancing flouters.

A Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said of the video from April 16: “We are proud to support our keyworker colleagues and will continue to do so with social distancing in mind.”

A spokeswoman for Northampton General Hospital said: "We are sorry for any anxiety caused on Thursday evening. We did not anticipate so many people coming to our site and will be making sure that this does not happen again.

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"We are truly grateful for the support shown to NGH and the NHS by our local community."

Northamptonshire Police officers and fire officers were also at the event.Northamptonshire Police officers and fire officers were also at the event.
Northamptonshire Police officers and fire officers were also at the event. | other

The total number of Covid-19 deaths in Northampton General Hospital has now reached 106, which is taken from data collected at 5pm yesterday (April 18).Nationally, there has been 596 more deaths recorded, taking the UK total to 16,060.

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