Please note that the data contained within this article is correct at the time of publication – as this is a changing picture, further updates will be provided to supersede this information as and when available.
Anybody relying on this information should check that it reflects the latest published position.
Knowsley’s latest Outbreak Management Board meeting took place on Thursday 2 September 2021. At the meeting, the Board reviewed the latest data available and updates on the current level of COVID-19 cases in the Borough.
- Current COVID 19 case levels are 410 per 100,000 population which is higher than the national average of 313 per 100,000 population.
- Our case levels do put Knowsley within the top 20 places in the UK with the highest incidences of the virus. This is obviously a concern to the Board and something that will be closely monitored – particularly as schools are returning to in person lessons next week.
- The case levels within the over 60s population remain high but there has also been increases within the 30-39 year age group within the last week. There is nothing at present to indicate why this is the case, but this will be monitored closely.
- In the main, household and family transmission is being seen with cases identified within homes but also as a result of household mixing, shared childcare with extended family etc.
- Some cases are being identified through testing of people returning from holiday also.
- The number of COVID 19 patients occupying hospital beds in the region is seeing a gradual increase (10% of all hospital beds in Liverpool hospitals and 5% of all hospital beds in St Helens & Knowsley hospital trust are occupied by COVID patients). We need to continue to monitor closely the impact on hospitals.
- An update was provided by Public Health and Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Group on the roll out of the vaccination programme.
- It was confirmed that 100,780 eligible residents have now received their first dose of the vaccine. 87,400 of those have now received both doses.
- In the last two weeks more than 2700 Knowsley residents have received a vaccine (a mixture of first and second doses)
- It was noted that uptake of the vaccination (particularly in younger age groups) in Knowsley is still lower than in other neighbouring areas. This remains a key concern of the Board as considerable effort has gone in to improving access to the vaccine over the last month with widespread communications and marketing to support this.
- The Board were keen to understand what other areas may be doing differently, or in addition, to encourage this take up. This will be followed up and shared with the Board.
- It was confirmed that staff drop-in clinics have been arranged at Matalan on Knowsley Business Park (15 and 16 September) and that arrangements are being finalised to provide drop-in vaccination sessions at Knowsley Community College. Information will be shared once dates and times are confirmed.
- Knowsley CCG confirmed the details of an offer that will allow anyone eligible for the vaccine, but not having had it yet, to ring their GP and make an appointment at a local practice. This will be publicised widely to promote take up.
- Knowsley CCG confirmed that they were still awaiting full guidance from the JCVI on the specific detail of the imminent booster programme. This information is crucial in allowing GPs to plan the roll out alongside other commitments including Flu jabs etc and this is being pushed for by all parties.
- The Board were provided with an update on schools returning for the new term over the coming days / week ahead.
- It was confirmed that all secondary schools have testing plans in place and are underway with this. They are being supported closely by Public Health and the Council and this will be monitored closely in the coming weeks.
- It was agreed that a reminder to all age groups should be issued on the need to remain cautious, get vaccinated, tested and follow strict hygiene measures etc.
The Board is chaired by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Graham Morgan, and membership includes the Council’s Adult Social Care Cabinet Member (Councillor Louise Harbour), Resources Cabinet Member (Councillor Jayne Aston), Health Cabinet Member (Councillor Christine Bannon), and Chief Executive (Mike Harden) alongside Knowsley’s Director of Public Health (Dr Sarah McNulty) and representatives from Merseyside Police (when required).