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Knowsley’s latest Outbreak Management Board meeting took place on Tuesday 15 September 2020. This meeting was called specifically to review the latest data available after Public Health England announced on Friday 11 September 2020 that Merseyside is an “Area of Concern”.
- The Board noted a continued significant increase in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Knowsley, Merseyside and the North West as a region.
- Latest figures show Knowsley’s rate of infection as being 98.7 per 100,000 people. This had increased from 41.7 per 100,000 people one week earlier.
- Concern was expressed particularly regarding the pace of increase in these figures, which is evidence of extensive community transmission of the virus.
- In addition to focussing on Knowsley, all parties acknowledged the importance of continuing to support the work of the Merseyside Resilience Forum and the need for a regional approach to this issue. This work is ongoing and a major priority.
- Testing capacity continues to be an issue and the Board supported calls for the Government to improve capacity urgently so that people can access local tests when they need them.
- A number of immediate actions were agreed locally for Knowsley, including stopping visits to care homes in the borough, asking all adults to wear face coverings when entering or visiting schools, and asking parents, carers and schools to work to restrict the number of adults per family attending at drop-off and pick-up times.
- It was noted that these measures would not in themselves reverse the significant recent increase in case numbers but it was hoped that they would help to protect the vulnerable and keep school settings open and safe for pupils and staff.
- The Board particularly acknowledged the continuing effort and hard work by workers in care homes, schools and other similar settings.
- All agreed to reconvene the Outbreak Management Board as required in the coming days.
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.