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Knowsley Outbreak Management Board Update: 25 February

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 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 25 February 2021.  At the meeting, the Board reviewed the latest data available and updates on the current level of cases in the borough.

In summary:-

  • COVID-19 case levels in Knowsley continue to decline. The latest figure reported to the Board was 157.8 per 100,000 population (as at 21 February 2021) compared to 250.6 per 100,000 population reported one week previously (as at 14 February 2021).
  • Knowsley is no longer in the top 20 of places in the United Kingdom with the highest case levels – a position which shows positive progress, especially considering the exceptionally high case levels previously experienced in the borough.
  • It was also particularly noted that case levels within the over 60s population – a particular area of concern – had also started to decline with case levels reducing by 40% in during the last seven-day period.
  • The Board welcomed the positive reductions in case levels whilst also accepting that the current prevalence of the virus in the community is still high and needs to be reduced further.
  • The Board discussed plans for the national easing of lockdown restrictions – the “road map” – and considered the details of each forthcoming stage and potential dates when changes could come into force.
  • It was particularly noted that the Governments’ “road map” was based on “no earlier than” dates, and that therefore it was possible that such timeframes would slip if sufficient progress was not made to bring case levels down. In that context, work was still needed by all parts of the community to continue to bring cases down so that the future dates outlined in the road map could be achieved.
  • The Board was advised that general bed occupancy across local hospitals due to COVID-19 continues to decline, although high dependency unit/intensive therapy unit bed occupancy and general pressures still remain across the local health system.
  • It was noted that local engagement with testing continues to be good and that testing capacity is being increased even further across the borough.
  • The vaccination programme continues well across the borough and additional work is being undertaken to ensure that take-up of the vaccine, across all groups, is as high as possible.
  • The Board was updated on outbreaks across the borough and it was noted that the number of outbreaks continues to decrease across all settings.
  • Merseyside Police updated on enforcement activity across the last seven-day period and confirmed that 110 Fixed Penalty Notices had been issued during that time for COVID-19 regulation breaches, including the non-wearing of face covering, not observing household mixing etc.

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.