Home Coronavirus: News and Advice Knowsley Outbreak Management Board Update

Knowsley Outbreak Management Board Update

by Nicola Appleton

Knowsley’s latest Outbreak Management Board meeting took place on Tuesday 25 August 2020.  As always, the Board reviewed the most up to date COVID-19 data available for the Borough.

In particular, the Board considered figures and information showing the current number of cases in Knowsley, tests undertaken, and general trends.

In summary:-

  • Knowsley continues to see good engagement and testing rates.
  • Over the last 14 days, the number of positive cases has continued to fall. It was acknowledged that this was a positive trend but should not lead to complacency – close monitoring of local data will continue.
  • Of those residents who have been tested in the last 14 days, 0.8% have had a positive test. This is a decrease from the previous week and the rate in Knowsley is below the national and regional averages.
  • There are no clear trends identified with regard to the geographical spread of cases in Knowsley.
  • Current cases are also spread across age ranges, although it was noted that approximately one third of current cases in Knowsley are people aged 15-25.
  • Work is being undertaken to understand more about the spread of cases in the young adult population.
  • It was noted that since the pandemic first began, only 13 school aged children (0-15 years old) have tested positive for Covid-19, equating to 1.2% of the total number of positive tests in the Borough. In the 16-25 year old group, 94 people have tested positive, that’s 9.7% of the total.
  • The Board were comfortable that the data matched the previous intelligence and national research which shows that outbreaks in the younger population are rare. This is clearly mirrored in Knowsley and all noted that this information should be reassuring for parents/carers before the school term commences.
  • The Board acknowledged that parents/carers would understandably be concerned about the return to school but that the case data proves that the actual health risks for children from COVID-19 are low.
  • Messaging around social distancing, handwashing, wearing face coverings and other guidance would continue to be pushed out to residents and businesses.

Councillor Graham Morgan, Leader of the Council and Chairperson of the Outbreak Management Board, commented:

“Only last week, I wrote to parents and carers to outline the planning undertaken and the measures put in place within our schools to allow them to open safely to students for the new term.

As a parent myself, I understand why families might be concerned.  The current position in Knowsley is that our schools are well prepared and the latest data which we have seen today provides me with further reassurance that welcoming children back into education is a safe and sensible next step in our journey to a new normal for Knowsley.”

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 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.