PLEASE NOTE: THIS ARTICLE HAS NOW BEEN ARCHIVED AND THE DATA CONTAINED BELOW IS NO LONGER UP-TO-DATE.
Knowsley’s latest Outbreak Management Board meeting took place on Thursday 1 October 2020. At the meeting, the Board reviewed the latest data available and was also updated on the significant recent increase in cases across the Liverpool City Region.
- In the preceding seven days, 4,114 tests had been carried out – 464 were positive, equating to 10.1% of those tested. This level of positive test outcomes was higher than the North West rate of 8.1% and the national rate of 4%.
- The seven-day COVID-19 case rate in Knowsley per 100,000 population stood at 264.1 – making Knowsley one of the worst affected areas in the country.
- Local data was showing rapid growth in the Knowsley community and this was of deep concern. Cases were spread widely in terms of geographical location, age profile and gender. There were no specific “hotspots” and transmission was being seen across the Knowsley community. It was clear that further action needed to be taken quickly.
- National research conducted around COVID-19 had identified that fewer than half of respondents (48.9%) could identify the symptoms, only 18.2% who reported symptoms had actually then self-isolated, and only 10.9% who had been told to self-isolate by Test and Trace for 14 days actually did so and did not leave their homes. Whilst this was a national survey, it highlighted generally poor levels of awareness around COVID-19 and it was therefore easy to see how community transmission is becoming increasingly prevalent. The data was collated by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Unit.
- New regulations come into force across the Liverpool City Region from 3 October 2020 – notably, a ban on household mixing in any indoor settings (with exemptions for bubbles and exclusive informal childcare). In addition, it is recommended that people should not attend outdoor sporting events/fixtures as spectators, mass gatherings should not be organised or attended, and travel should be for essential purposes only, i.e. for getting to and from work or school.
- Merseyside Police are continuing with their “engage, encourage, enforce” approach. It was noted that this approach had worked well, particularly with licensed premises visits undertaken to ensure that they closed at 10.00pm and that staff were wearing face coverings.
- The Board agreed that the Government messages are confusing and need to be simplified and shared widely across Knowsley communities, particularly to reiterate and explain the symptoms of COVIDd-19, when to get tested, and the importance of self-isolation. In addition, it was agreed that messages needed to be shared around not visiting other households given that this does seem to be a significant contributory factor to Knowsley’s case levels.
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.