Lockdown outcome lies with Corby residents and everyone needs to take responsibility

Thousands of Corby residents are 'doing the right thing'

Friday, 26th March 2021, 5:22 pm
Updated Friday, 26th March 2021, 5:26 pm

On Monday, March 29, residents of Northamptonshire and across England will take the second stage of step one on the four-step ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown.

Health chiefs have today warned all residents to continue to remain vigilant and practice 'Hands, Face, Space' to prevent the spread of Covid 19.

In the weekly press conference Lucy Wightman, director of public health at Northamptonshire County Council, responded firmly to a question aimed at her and her team suggesting that the next road map step on Monday easing some outdoor gatherings limited outdoor mixing and sports could be disastrous for Corby considering the town's high Covid rates.

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Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health at Northamptonshire County Council

She said: "I don't think that's a question for you and I, I think that's a question for the residents of Corby because we've done everything that that we feel is physically within our means.

"We've educated, we've enforced where people haven't understood or haven't been compliant or been deliberately been non-compliant. We have provided testing facilities. All of the settings that are reopening we have worked really hard to provide risk assessment - to provide additional safety measures - our employers are engaging in testing themselves and also encouraging their employees to go to one of the two testing sites that we've opened.

"So the question as to whether it's going to be disastrous or not really lies within in the behaviours and the responsibility of each individual Corby resident and indeed across Northamptonshire."

Only when the Government is sure that it is safe to move from one step to the next will the final decision be made to ease restrictions.

The decision will be based on four tests:

• The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully

• Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated

• Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS

• Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern

Pauline Sturman from Northants Police said: "Next Monday is a transitional step, it's not an ending, it's just a next phase. Therefore if there was a significant step change in everybody's behaviours we all have the ability to control those behaviours and choices. For the community in Corby and for the people there, the risk isn't gone on Monday. It's how we work safely through that and how they interact in the community."

Corby continues to have one of the highest case rates in England. Cases have now started to climb again in the past two weeks and people have been urged to stick to the rules and try to reduce any risk of transmission.

Rhosyn Harris, one of four public health consultants for NCC, added: "Thank you to those in Corby. There will be thousands of you for doing everything that we need to do to keep case rate down.

"There are issues with case rates increasing and factors in Corby that make that more challenging. For example you are less likely to want to get tested and take up our offer of testing if you feel that you are in a low paid job or have insecure employment and you are worried about what will happen if you have to isolate for two weeks.

"We know that more people in Corby than in other parts of the country fall into that category and it's a really tight-knit community - you live close to your mum, your aunties, your grandparents and it is really really hard to not mix households when you're such close families.

"There's lots of factors I can't begin to list but the majority of people are doing all the right things and keeping to those restrictions and if they weren't then we would be seeing cases exponentially rising."