The Omicron variant continues to spread rapidly in our communities and the rate of infection in Knowsley is now the 2nd highest in the country. Across all ages, the rate as of 5 January stands at 2,672.3 per 100,000 the highest it has ever been since the start of the pandemic.
The increase is positive cases is also now moving into hospitals with admissions increasing. Both St Helens & Knowsley Trust and Liverpool University Hospitals Trust both have 15% of their beds taken up by COVID patients – up from around 8% the previous week.
High rates of COVID-19 are also causing incredible strain on our local services, schools and businesses, with many residents having to isolate or take time off work to look after family members.
To help protect our borough, it is vital that all Knowsley residents take steps to reduce the spread of the virus and protect themselves and those around them. This includes:
- Get your COVID-19 vaccination. The vaccine is your best defensive against getting very sick and also reduces your chances of catching and spreading the virus. Find out more
- Regular testing helps us identify asymptomatic cases and stops people unknowingly spreading the virus. 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 don’t experience any symptoms. Find out more on testing
- Wear a face covering where required (unless exempt) and in crowded areas.
- If you are meeting people that you don’t live with, ensure the rooms are well ventilated (this includes at home and at work).
- Regularly wash your hands with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
- Carry a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes (discard of the tissue immediately and then wash your hands).
- Remember if you test positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate for 10 days from the date your developed symptoms (or from the date you tested positive if you didn’t have any symptoms). You can stop isolating if you test negative on the 6th and 7th day of your isolation through a lateral flow test.
- Close contact of someone who tests positive? If you’re unvaccinated you must isolate for 10 days. If you’ve been vaccinated, you should take daily LFT tests for 10 days to make sure you have not caught the virus.
Cllr Christine Bannon, Cabinet Member for Health, said: “It is really important that we all work together to bring down the rate of infection in Knowsley.
“Although many people have reported the latest variant to mild, we are still seeing an increase in hospitalisations and there are still many unknowns about the long-term health implications of the virus. In particular, for those suffering with long COVID.
“Taking the steps outlined above will help reduce the spread of the virus, protect our communities and reduce the strain that our local services and businesses are currently feeling. I urge everyone to play their role and help keep Knowsley safe.”