Three Covid deaths in one day brings stark reminder Northamptonshire is not out of the woods yet
NHS publishes sobering news on anniversary of first lockdown starting
Front-line staff continue to battle on as three deaths of Covid-19 patients are recorded in a single day at Northampton General Hospital.
Latest figures published by NHS England today (Tuesday) — on the anniversary of the first coronavirus lockdown starting — showed the three deaths on Sunday (March 21).
That came just two days after NGH had revealed just 60 Covid patients were being treated in the hospital, five of them in intensive care.
That took the official toll at the Cliftonville site to 676 and 1,165 in both the county's acute hospitals at Northampton and Kettering since the pandemic began just over a year ago.
The number of hospital patients and deaths reported daily in Northamptonshire had dwindled alongside numbers of positive tests since the peak of the second wave in January and early February.
So three deaths in a single day, following on from another on Friday, came as a shock and underlined health chiefs' warnings over sticking to lockdown restrictions.
'Stay At Home' orders officially end on Monday when people are allowed to mix in groups of six or two households in private gardens and public outdoor spaces.
But director of public health Lucy Wightman warned: "We are still seeing transmission of the virus among the county's working-age population which is a major concern.
"Lockdown was working but there has been a steeper increase in case numbers across the county recently.
"Nobody is immune to this and complacency is our biggest enemy in this as we see the light at the end of the table. Yes, we have vaccinations and yes we have lateral flow testing but transmission is rife.
"Boring as it is, if we want to progress we must stick to the rules."
Deborah Needham CEO of Kettering General Hospital — where 489 Covid patients have died — said: "The decrease in the number of COvid-positive in-patients has been become news.
"But Covid is still out there in the community and if we don't stick to the rules and the guidelines it will continue to spread.
People are being urged to stand out on their doorsteps with candles and torches at 8pm tonight (Tuesday) to create a beacon of remembrance on a national day of reflection for all those who have died or lost loved ones.