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COVID on the rise among young people

by Lisa Bennett

Across Knowsley the number of young people aged 17-24 with COVID is rising faster than in any other age group.

The rise in cases is most likely due to increased socialising and mixing over the festive period. Unfortunately, the increasing number of cases in this group will mean that the number of cases in other age groups starts to rise as the virus moves through households.

Reminder to observe the rules

This has led Knowsley Council to remind all young adults, and their families, of the importance for young people to observe lockdown rules too.

Although in most cases people in this age group are not seriously affected by the virus, they are just as likely as anyone else to catch it and pass it on. And given that symptoms may be mild or indeed non-existent they are much more likely to do this without knowing.

Knowsley Council is calling on young people to think about the potential impact of them socialising during lockdown and help save lives by staying home.

Cllr Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said:

“We know that the pandemic has had a huge impact on our young people. From disruption to education to the loss of social events and day to day interaction. There is no doubt that this has been tough.

However, it is really important that young people continue to follow the rules and help us stop COVID-19 spreading. With rates continuing to rise across the borough, and in particular amongst those aged 17-24, there is a real risk that young people will pass on the virus to more vulnerable relatives or members of the community.

I know from talking to lots of young people that they would be absolutely mortified to think that their actions would be the cause of someone else becoming seriously ill or worse still, dying from COVID-19. But, I can also see that so many young people are persuaded by friends and peers to push the boundaries when they are so desperate to socialise and mix with others of the same age who are sharing the same experiences.

I know it is hard, but we need young people to help. The message is simple – stay at home and limit contact with anyone outside of your household to only in essential circumstances. By doing this we can all get back to doing the things we love sooner.”

Continued rise in positive cases

Rates of COVID-19 in Knowsley reached a new peak at 932 per 100,000 population (3 January rate). Predictions are that rates will continue to rise for some time. This latest figure exceeds the borough’s previous tally which was recorded back in October 2020 (which was 720 per 100,000) when Knowsley was the top of the UK league table for the number of cases of COVID-19. Action is needed and everyone needs to stay at home – now!

What to do if you have symptoms

If you start to experience symptoms of COVID-19 then you and your household and support bubble must isolate immediately and book a test. The main COVID-19 symptoms are a high temperature, a new continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

You can book a test online https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119. Remember if you do test positive, you and your household, support bubble and close contacts must self-isolate for 10 days to prevent the further spread of the virus.

You can read the full lockdown restrictions on the Government’s website.