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What the papers are saying in Northamptonshire

How are the newspapers in Northamptonshire reporting the coronavirus pandemic?

  • The Northamptonshire Telegraph reports that the county's police dogs are still out on the beat despite the coronavirus lockdown — particularly their newest recruit
  • It also reveals how Corby and East Northants MP Tom Pursglove is working with the foreign office to get locals who are stranded abroad back home
  • The Northampton Chronicle & Echo has a story about Primark staff being "scared" as pictures taken inside its Islip warehouse show social distancing guidelines flouted

BBC reporter ends 14 days of self-isolation

Northamptonshire-based reporter Kris Holland was forced to self-isolate after returning from Italy a fortnight ago.

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Police search for man over hand sanitiser theft

Police have issued a CCTV image of a man they want to speak to after hand sanitiser was ripped from a hospital wall.

CCTV image
Northamptonshire Police

it disappeared from Northampton General Hospital at about 19:45 GMT on 9 March, Northamptonshire Police said.

The wall was damaged as a result.

The force said the man pictured "may have information that could help their inquiries" and has called for anyone who recognises him to come forward.

Cheers all round as the East says thanks to NHS

Coronavirus: Cheers all round as the East says thanks to NHS
There was clapping, cheering, pots clanging and car horns honking as people across the East of England gave their thanks to the NHS.

Many people took part in the social media campaign on Thursday night, where people across the UK applauded the work of the health service treating coronavirus patients.

Six more coronavirus deaths reported in East of England

Nikki Fox

BBC Look East

Six more deaths from coronavirus were recorded in the BBC East region on Thursday evening.

Thee people died in hospitals run by East and North Herts NHS Trust and three at Princess Alexandra in Harlow.

The UK death date rose to more than 550 as of yesterday evening.

Here are the latest numbers of positive cases (not deaths) recorded in our region:

  • Norfolk 51 (a rise of 6 on previous day)
  • Suffolk 42 (up 7)
  • Peterborough 10 (up 1)
  • Cambridgeshire 47 (up 6)
  • Northamptonshire 64 (up 21)
  • Bedford 10 (up 3)
  • Central Bedfordshire 28 (up 4)
  • Milton Keynes 38 (up 9)
  • Buckinghamshire 66 (up 7)
  • Luton 30 (up 1)
  • Hertfordshire 170 (up 23)
  • Essex 130 (up 42)
  • Southend12 (up 3)
  • Thurrock 20 (up 5)

These figures will not include people have show symptoms, but have not been tested.

Further figures can be found at Public Health England.

Three more deaths at Princess Alexandra Hospital

Three more patients have died at Harlow's Princess Alexandra Hospital, it has been announced.

Chief executive Lance McCarthy confirmed two patients in their 70s and one in the 90s had passed away after testing positive for COVID-19.

All three patients had underlying conditions.

"Our thoughts and condolences remain with the patient’s family and loved ones at this difficult time," Mr McCarthy said.

The hospital announced on Monday that a patient in their 80s - also with underlying health conditions - had died after testing positive for COVID-19.

Princess Alexandria Hospital

Coronavirus updates - the latest

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Welcome to our live updates page where you can keep up with all the regional news on the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you for joining us.

We'll bring you all the latest developments and news from the East of England until 18:00 GMT.

Pupils and parents join teachers for singalong film

Coronavirus: Perfect Day video singalong for Roade school
A primary school has made its own version of the Lou Reed song Perfect Day as a way of bringing people together during the coronavirus pandemic.

Children, parents and teachers at Roade Primary in Northamptonshire, who are staying at home on government advice, filmed themselves each singing a line of the 1972 classic.

Their clips were then joined together to make a video, which was posted on social media. 

Head teacher Mark Currell said he wanted the children and families to know the school was "thinking about them all" during the lockdown.

Clap for our Carers

Set your alarms for 20:00 this evening when a big round of applause is planned to thank all the NHS staff working tirelessly to keep us safe.

If you want to take part all you need do is put your hands together from your windows and doors.

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'You could kill a relative', son warns public

Doreen Hunt with her family
Hunt family

The family of a grandmother who died after contracting Covid-19 have warned people to follow government advice and stay home.

Doreen Hunt, 72, who died at Luton and Dunstable Hospital, had underlying health issues.

Her son Stephen Hunt warned: "You might catch it. You might give it to somebody else. You might touch something somebody else touches and you could kill a relative, you just don't know."

Doreen Hunt
Hunt family

Five more coronavirus deaths reported in the East

Orla Moore

BBC News

Five more deaths from coronavirus were recorded in the East of England on Wednesday evening.

Four people died in hospitals run by the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, and a fifth was reported at the West Suffolk Hospital.

They were among 28 people nationally whose deaths after testing positive for coronavirus were announced on Wednesday.

Here are the latest numbers of positive cases recorded in our region:

  • Norfolk 45
  • Suffolk 35
  • Peterborough 9
  • Cambridgeshire 41
  • Northamptonshire 43
  • Bedford 7
  • Central Bedfordshire 24
  • Milton Keynes 29
  • Buckinghamshire 59
  • Luton 29
  • Hertfordshire 147
  • Essex 88
  • Southend 9
  • Thurrock 15

Further figures can be found at Public Health England.

Visitors banned from Northampton hospital

Northampton General Hospital says it is banning visitors with immediate effect, in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus.

However, there are small number of exceptions to this, including:

  • On maternity wards, one birth partner will be allowed - provided they do not show symptoms of the disease.
  • Children's wards are to be visited by one parent or guardian only, but no siblings.
  • End-of-life care visits, at the discretion of a duty nurse.

A full thread on the restrictions can be found here.

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Meanwhile, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has urged pregnant women to go on their own to antenatal and ultrasound appointments, reports the Eastern Daily Press.

Coronavirus updates - the latest

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Welcome to our live updates page where you can keep up with all the regional news on the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you for joining us.

We'll bring you all the latest developments and news from the East of England until 18:00 GMT.

Inquests postponed or suspended due to crisis

Patrick Byrne

BBC News

Some coroner's courts are responding to the coronavirus crisis with inquests in Northamptonshire suspended until September.

Coroner Anne Pember said: "In view of the present COVID-19 situation it is with regret that I need to inform you that all inquests listed between now and 1 September have been suspended until further notice."I will review the situation on 31 July."

All inquests due to be heard at Buckinghamshire Coroner's Court until Monday, 27 April have been postponed and will be rescheduled.

In Cambridgeshire, the coroner and inquests website warns that "during these unprecedented times, hearings may change at short notice".

People are asked to check the website the evening before a hearing is scheduled, for the most up to date information.

Suffolk County Council said: “Due to the fast-changing situation in respect of COVID-19 the Coroner’s Service is closely monitoring the government advice and considering any impact this might have.

But no announcements have been made by the coroners in Bedfordshire, Essex, Norfolk or Hertfordshire.

Shake It Off to lift our spirits

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Everyone needs their spirits lifting at the moment, so St John Ambulance cadets in the East of England have come up with a "banging" idea to make us feel a little bit better.

Luke Stevenson, and others, want fellow cadets and St John Ambulance members to make up dance moves.

They are putting together a video to Taylor Swift's Shake It Off - but need some help.

They want to show that everyone is "standing together" and that some "fun" can still be had.

So send your best moves via email - - or via Twitter using #SJADanceForEast.

Just make sure you never miss a beat especially if you are lightning on your feet!

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What the papers are saying...

These are some of the headlines from Northamptonshire's newspapers as the country faces new restrictions outlined by the government on Monday:

Coronavirus: 'Drive-by' 7th birthday party held for boy
Friends of Sam, 7, were not going to let social distancing stop them celebrating his birthday.
Coronavirus: Young florists donate leftover flowers to retirement home
Lucy and Jessica Simmons gave away their flowers after having an unsold backlog from Mother's Day.

Libraries and country parks closed in Northants

Kris Holland

BBC News

Northamptonshire County Council has closed all of its country parks and libraries until further notice.

In an update to library users, the council said all items due back during the closures would be renewed until the services re-open, with no fines incurred.

However, library members can still access a range of online services, including e-books.

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Meanwhile, country parks run by the county council have also been closed:

  • Brixworth
  • Irchester
  • Fermyn Woods
  • Barnwell
  • Sywell
Brixworth Country Park

And what about self-isolation?

Self-isolating means staying at home and not leaving it, other than for exercise. Don't go to work, school or public areas during this time, is the government's advice.

If possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials. If you are unable to get supplies delivered, you should do what you can to limit social contact when you do leave the house.

Who should self-isolate?

Everyone who shows coronavirus symptoms - a fever of above 37.8C, a persistent cough or breathing problem - and everyone who lives in the same house or flat as someone with symptoms.

  • If you live alone, you must stay at home for seven days from the day symptoms start
  • If someone you live with develop symptoms, they must isolate for seven days and the rest of the household needs to isolate for 14 days and monitor for signs of COVID-19
  • If someone else does become ill during that period, their seven-day isolation starts that day. For example, it might run from day three to day 10 - when that person's isolation would then end. It would not restart if another member of the household fell ill
  • But anyone who fell ill on day 13 would see their seven-day isolation begin then - for their illness rather than to monitor for symptoms - meaning they would spend a total of 20 days at home

Recycling centres close

Rubbish bins
Luton Council

To ensure the safety of staff and customers, household recycling centres across the region are now closed.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: "In accordance with current government Coronavirus guidelines of avoiding non-essential contact and preventing a risk of infection to others, the sites will close.

"It is essential that we do all we can to slow down the spread of the virus."

Here is a breakdown of each council so you can access their information directly:

'Do not cripple our phone lines'

Everyone is waking up this morning to the reality that we have been asked to "stay at home".

The Chief Constable of Northamptonshire is asking people not to "cripple our phone lines with inquiries as to what you can and cannot do during the conditions imposed by the Prime Minister".

He also said the force was "ready to support the measures in order to save lives".

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All information on what you can do is on on the following website.

Surprise arrival outside a Lincoln park

Fast asleep in his mother's arms, this is baby William who arrived into the world in a bit of a hurry!

Mum Nikita called 999 on Tuesday when she realised she wasn't far off giving birth. But William couldn't wait and was delivered by paramedics in the back of an ambulance outside Hartsholme Park.

Baby William and parents Gavin and Nikita
BBC Radio Lincolnshire

Nikita has thanked the paramedics: "I'm just so grateful, from the bottom of my heart. Happy and so thankful."

Nikita is pictured with baby William and partner Gavin