Public Health Northamptonshire director ahead of indoor reopenings: 'Put your mind at rest - take a regular test'

Indoor mixing remains the main concern regarding transmission, but regular testing can give residents piece of mind

By Carly Odell
Friday, 14th May 2021, 4:31 pm
Updated Friday, 14th May 2021, 4:41 pm

Ahead of the next stage of lockdown easing, Public Health Northamptonshire is urging residents to engage in regular testing.

As indoor hospitality reopens on Monday (May 17), as well as indoor attractions such as cinemas and soft play centres, the county's health authority held a press briefing today (May 14) ahead of Boris Johnson's conference at 5pm.

Data published for the week up to May 9, shows a 30 percent increase in cases across Northamptonshire with 254 people testing positive. There has also been an outbreak of the Indian variant at a school in South Northamptonshire, which is not linked to international travel, but rather an individual travelling to a part of this country where the variant is more prominent.

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Lucy Wightman is urging all residents to take part in regular testing.

With indoor mixing remaining the main concern for transmission, the Director of Public Health Northamptonshire, Lucy Wightman is asking all residents to partake in free, twice-a-week testing as more indoor socialising is allowed.

Ms Wightman said: "I will take this opportunity to reinforce the importance of testing, particularly after Monday, we are going to see a lot more in depth testing.

"We know that indoor you are likely to see greater levels of transmission and even with vaccination programmes and even with people who are vaccinated, people should be regularly testing - so twice a week.

"You will start to see a lot of communication messages going about putting your mind at rest and taking a regular test.

"That twice a week testing does mean that as and when you do want to go and socialise, you can go with a level of confidence that you are not infectious.

"But please do recognise that these rapid flow tests don't tell you you're Covid-free they just let you know if you are likely to have a level of infection that might cause problem to other people.

"So please, please, please do ensure you understand where you can get those tests from and you engage in that process on a regular basis.

"It gives you piece of mind but it obviously enables you to protect the people you love and your wider community particularly those who may not be able to be vaccinated for some reason.

"We are all still in this together and we all need to continue to play our part."

■ Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms — a new continuous cough, loss of or change in sense of taste or a high temperature should self-isolate immediately and book a test online HERE, via the Test and Trace app or by calling 119.

■ Free lateral flow device tests are available at sites across the county — click HERE for more details — or kits can be ordered and collected for home use.