Home Coronavirus: News and Advice Knowsley Outbreak Management Board update: 12 November 2020
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Knowsley Outbreak Management Board update: 12 November 2020

by Gemma Melling

 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 supercede 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 12 November 2020.  At the meeting, the Board reviewed the latest data available and updates on the current level of cases in the borough.

In summary:

  • The rate of people in Knowsley testing positive for COVID-19 is 342.7 per 100,000 population (as at 8 November 2020). This compares to 367.2 per 100,000 population reported at the previous week’s Board meeting.
  • Whilst this shows a further decline in Knowsley’s rates, it was noted that rates throughout the week had dropped lower but now appeared to be increasing. As a result, some additional work has been undertaken to understand the potential implication of the mass testing pilot in Liverpool on these figures.
  • This work has shown that 54 new Knowsley COVID-19 cases were identified by the mass testing pilot. This equates to approximately one quarter of Knowsley’s total new cases – as predicted at the Board’s meeting in the previous week, the Liverpool pilot scheme is pushing Knowsley’s case numbers back up.
  • If these additional positive cases (identified through the Liverpool mass testing) were completely removed from Knowsley’s data, the “underlying” rate of infection would be 306.2 per 100,000 population. This would be in line with the steady decline which had been seen in recent weeks, i.e. before mass testing was made available locally.
  • The Board noted this analysis and were reassured that the recent increases in rates were as expected and attributable to more testing being undertaken rather than being evidence of more people being infected.
  • The Board also noted the positive impact of identifying these asymptomatic individuals who are now aware they have the virus and are therefore able to self-isolate and not spread it any further within the community.
  • The number of High Dependency Unit/Intensive Therapy Unit beds occupied by COVID-19 patients in the region had decreased this week and there was some positive indication that hospital admissions were potentially starting to level off.
  • However, it was noted that the pressure on local hospitals is still a major concern and that capacity at this time of year is a key challenge.
  • The Board was updated on support for the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable with a letter having gone out from the council to all those impacted in Knowsley.
  • The Board was also updated on the Council’s efforts to support care homes in the borough to work through the new Government guidance on visiting. All Board members agreed that this was a crucially important piece of work and appreciated the focus that the council is giving to efforts to reinstate safe visiting for these people who have been so negatively impacted by the pandemic.
  • Merseyside Police provided an update on enforcement activity and outlined the partnership working which is seeing positive engagement with businesses and residents.
  • All were encouraged by news that the flu vaccination programme in the borough is well under way and that planning is already taking place to prepare for the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Knowsley Outbreak Management Board is responsible for overseeing Knowsley’s Outbreak Management Plan – you can read it on Knowsley Council’s website.

The Board is chaired by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Graham Morgan, and membership includes Knowsley 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.