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Knowsley businesses urged to take steps to reduce COVID-19 spread

by Guy Murphy

With COVID-19 cases prevalent in the borough, Knowsley Council is urging all local businesses to ensure that they are taking steps to help reduce the risk of transmission within the workplace.

The UK Government has issued working safely guidance for all types of business and employers should be following the principles outlined in the guide.

Employers also have a legal duty to manage risks, including COVID-19, and the majority of Knowsley businesses have already carried out risk assessments to identify these. By identifying and taking steps to mitigate the risks posed by COVID-19, businesses can play a vital role in reducing the spread of the virus and potential workplace outbreaks.

Knowsley Council is asking all local businesses to familiarise themselves with the guidance and ensure that they are:

  • Continuing to undertake regular cleaning.
  • Keeping windows open wherever possible to improve ventilation and where any areas of poor ventilation are identified, take steps to improve air flow. For more detailed guidance, visit: Ventilation and air conditioning during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (hse.gov.uk).
  • Ensure that staff undertake regular COVID-19 testing. Find out more on testing in Knowsley
  • Communicate the sickness policy to staff and ensure that staff with any symptoms of Covid DO NOT come into the workplace, isolate and get a test.
  • Encourage staff to continue with preventative measures such as regular hand washing and wearing a face mask in crowded areas.
  • When you do have a member of staff who has tested positive for Covid, help identify close workplace contacts. A close contact who is not fully vaccinated must isolate for 10 days. Close contacts who are fully vaccinated can remain in work but should get a PCR test, remain vigilant for symptoms, limit contact with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable and continue to regularly test using quick turnaround lateral flow tests.
  • Encourage employees to get vaccinated. You can find out more about vaccination in Knowsley

Knowsley businesses can access a range of funding support to assist with reducing the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace.

Knowsley Working Well has secured additional funding from Knowsley’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) to assist businesses, community groups and registered charities based in Knowsley with improving ventilation. More information on the Workplace Ventilation Grant can be found here.

Cllr Tony Brennan, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “COVID-19  hasn’t gone away and with the colder months now upon us, it is vital we all take steps to reduce the risk to our communities.

“Knowsley businesses have worked so hard throughout the pandemic, and we really do appreciate their efforts in the face of very challenging times.

“Local employers can play a really important part in helping to reduce the spread of the virus in Knowsley through encouraging their staff to get vaccinated, undertake regular testing and continue with those behaviours that will help reduce the spread of COVID-19.”