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COVID-19 – where we are now

by Guy Murphy

We are now almost 15 months into the COVID-19 pandemic and whilst we are in a much better position than just a few months’ ago when a national lockdown was announced, it’s important to remember that COVID-19 is a virus that is still in circulation, so it hasn’t yet gone away.

In Knowsley, our case numbers are currently low, with 15.9 cases per 100,000 population. However, restrictions are still in place which must still be followed in order to keep our case numbers low. This includes only meeting up with up to six people or two households indoors – wherever possible, meet outside rather than inside.

People can have COVID-19 without having any symptoms and it is easily transmitted from person to person, so it’s really important that we continue to remain cautious and not complacent. Behaviours such as regular hand washing, wearing a face covering and maintaining social distancing are essential – not only for your own protection, but also for other people’s protection too.

Thousands of Knowsley residents have taken up the offer to have the COVID-19 vaccination. One dose may give you some protection, but it’s important that you have the two doses to give the maximum protection. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective so you should continue to follow the rules and continue with the behaviours that have now become part of our daily routines to protect yourself, and those around you.

You can still pass on the infection even if you have been vaccinated and whilst your symptoms are likely to be less severe, that won’t be the case if you pass it on to people who haven’t been vaccinated or those who have only received one dose of the vaccine.

The vaccine is available to anyone over the age of 30 or to residents over the age of 16 in ‘at risk’ groups. You can book an appointment through www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or ring 119.

Cllr Christine Bannon, Cabinet Member for Health, said “I’d like to thank our residents for their continued support by following the rules which has helped to reduce our COVID cases across the Borough. I know it hasn’t been easy, but no-one wants to go into another lockdown, so we need to continue to follow the restrictions that are in place.

“People can have COVID-19 without having any symptoms, which is why regular testing is essential. It can identify people who have COVID and they can then self-isolate to stop them passing the virus on to others. There are a range of testing sites across the Borough where testing kits can be collected, including workplaces, schools, pharmacies and collection points.

Let’s continue to follow the advice being issued so that we can hopefully return to normality soon.”

Further information about testing sites in Knowsley can be found here.