Knowsley’s latest Outbreak Management Board meeting took place on Thursday 23 July 2020. The Board reviewed the latest data available for the borough, the new National Contain Strategy, the communications plan and guidance issued around visitors to care homes.
The Board considered figures and information presented by Knowsley’s Director of Public Health showing the current number of cases in Knowsley, tests undertaken and public participation in and performance of the test and trace programme.
Overall, the Board was satisfied that the current data raised no areas for concern and concluded that:
- The number of residents with confirmed COVID-19 continues to be low.
- Reported confirmed cases have declined from last week.
- Whilst lockdown measures are being lifted, no reported spike in cases has been reported. Residents are reminded to continue to embed a few simple steps into their everyday lives to help to stop the spread of the virus. This includes maintaining social distancing, wearing a face covering on public transport, in hospital settings and (from today, Friday 24 July) in shops and with regular hand washing.
- Testing levels remains high, helped by testing units located in the borough making testing more accessible.
- Residents are encouraged to take part in the Test and Trace programme if they are contacted. This is an essential part of containing the virus and stopping further transmission as people can (unknowingly) spread the virus, particularly if they aren’t displaying symptoms. If you are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace team by text, it will come from NHS tracing and calls will come from 0300 0135000.
- Care settings are reminded of the need to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help to stop the spread of the virus.
- Guidance on visitors to care homes yesterday was issued. Despite the media headlines, it does not mean that visitors will be permitted at the moment. Robust risk assessments need to be completed in advance of any visitors being allowed and a consistent approach across Cheshire and Merseyside will be developed. At the moment, the advice remains to ‘please be patient’ whilst the visitor plans are developed.
- Communications will continue to focus on prevention messages and that you can start to return to normal if you take steps which should now be embedded into your daily life – maintain social distancing, wearing a face covering in public places, carrying a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes and if you do display symptoms, stay at home and arrange a test through nhs.uk or by ringing 119.
Cllr Graham Morgan, Chair of the Knowsley Outbreak Management Board, said: “I’d like to say thank you to our communities for taking on board the information we have shared around the steps you can take to protect yourself and those around you. We are seeing high levels of testing in Knowsley, resulting in a low number of confirmed cases, which is encouraging and I’d ask everyone to continue to take these steps which will help us all to return to some kind of normality.”
The Board is chaired by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Graham Morgan, and membership includes the Council’s Health and Social Care Cabinet Member (Councillor Sean Donnelly), Resources Cabinet Member (Councillor Jayne Aston), and Chief Executive (Mike Harden) alongside Knowsley’s Director of Public Health (Dr Sarah McNulty) and representatives from Merseyside Police and the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.