It has been a very difficult year for schools and pupils across Knowsley and no doubt everyone is looking forward to the summer and further easing of COVID-19 restrictions as we move to Step Four on the roadmap.
During the last academic year, it was through the hard work of school staff, children and young people that learning across the borough was able to continue and schools were successfully able to return to the classroom in March.
Unfortunately, despite all of this, COVID-19 has still not gone away. Rates in Knowsley have been steadily increasing over the last few weeks and we have seen many schools sending bubbles home to isolate due to cases in the classroom.
The only way to reduce COVID-19 rates in the Knowsley community is through regular testing, isolation and vaccination.
Over the summer holiday, the testing programme in Knowsley secondary schools will pause. However, Knowsley Council is urging parents to continue testing through home rapid testing kits or the local assisted testing sites. You can find out more on how to access regular testing here.
Regular testing, especially before meeting up with friends and family, can help stop the potential spread of COVID-19 and allow everyone to enjoy the summer as safely as possible.
Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Firstly I would like to thank all of school staff, pupils, parents and carers for their hard work in supporting our schools to return to classroom in March.
“Regular testing has been crucial in keeping our young people and children safe and I would urge households to continue testing during the summer holidays.”
Cllr Christine Bannon, Cabinet Member for Health said: “Ahead of the summer holidays, the country will move to Step Four on the roadmap and the majority of restrictions will be lifted. Unfortunately, we are already seeing the impact of easing of restrictions with the infection rate in Knowsley now at its highest since lockdown.
“Regular testing during the summer holidays is vital to ensuring that we keep safe and stop the spread. Young people will spend a lot of their summer socialising and could easily bring the virus back home and potentially give it someone more vulnerable.
“Through testing, everyone can play their part in enjoying the summer and easing of restrictions safely.”
Can we get vaccinated?
Vaccination is only available to those aged 18 and over, or 16 and over with underlying health conditions. You can find out more about COVID-19 vaccination here.
What to do if someone in the household has symptoms?
Residents should isolate and book a test immediately if they, or anyone in their household, starts to experience symptoms. Coronavirus symptoms are a new persistent cough, a high temperature or a loss of sense of taste or smell. You can book a PCR test by calling 119 or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
What to do if you or your child tests positive
If you receive a positive test result, you should stay at home and book a PCR test through www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or ring 119. If your PCR test comes back positive, you, your household and close contacts must self-isolate for 10 days.