Home Archive Knowsley Outbreak Management Board Update – 3 December 2020
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Knowsley Outbreak Management Board Update – 3 December 2020

by Nicola Appleton

Knowsley’s latest Outbreak Management Board meeting took place on Thursday 3 December 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 was 115.3 per 100,000 population (as at 29 November 2020) – this represented a further reduction on the figure reported to the Board in the previous week which was 167.7 per 100,000 population (as at 22 November 2020).
  • Knowsley’s “underlying” rate – the rate if you exclude the cases coming as a result of additional testing capacity in Liverpool – was 82.2 per 100,000 population as at 29 November 2020.
  • The number of High Dependency Unit/Intensive Therapy Unit beds occupied by COVID-19 patients across Merseyside had decreased again this week and data showed that hospital admissions were also continuing to decline.
  • All welcomed the additional capacity being made available in the health system as a result of the reduction in cases, but noted the need to remain cautious while entering the winter period which will place additional pressure on the system as a whole.
  • The local contact tracing system continues to develop and improve. The team will be starting to carry out home visit follow-ups as part of their work to improve contact rates – this has been shown in other areas to be effective in increasing compliance with self-isolation and reducing virus transmission.
  • Merseyside Police provided an update on enforcement activity and outlined the partnership working which is seeing positive engagement with businesses and residents.
  • Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service reiterated their willingness to assist partner agencies in moving into the next phase of the pandemic. Particularly, they offered flexible resources to the Board to support in the coming months – this was warmly welcomed by all.
  • An update was provided on the extensive work with the Borough’s care homes to support them to reinstate safe visiting. Colleagues updated on the new national guidance and the Government’s intention to introduce Lateral Flow Testing within the care homes themselves.  After considering the guidance, it was confirmed that advice to care homes in Knowsley would be to incorporate this testing as part of a wider suite of safety measures, for example by including additional advice to visitors to consider social distancing, wear personal; protective equipment, and also by restricting numbers of visitors.
  • The Council confirmed that it will also provide additional training to ensure that tests in care homes are administered and processed properly. The Council will also provide additional advice leaflets for visitors to care homes.

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.