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Knowsley’s latest Outbreak Management Board meeting took place on Thursday 11 November 2021. At the meeting, the Board reviewed the latest data available and updates on the current level of COVID-19 cases in the borough.
- Cases currently stood at 354 per 100,000 population in Knowsley. The recent trend was a slow reduction in case numbers.
- Knowsley’s case levels stood slightly below the national average, which was 372.7 per 100,000 population – the Borough was ranked 74th in the country.
- Case levels were highest amongst the 10-14 year old age group and among residents aged 35-45. Case levels among people aged 60 and over had reduced.
- A new variant – “Delta AY” – was under investigation and accounted for 4% of recent cases. There is no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease.
- Local hospitals had recently seen an increase in COVID-19 admissions.
- Vaccine uptake over the last seven days had mainly been first doses for children and “Booster” doses for older adults. Booster uptake was currently mainly for people in the 65-74 age group.
- 93% of the Knowsley population were fully vaccinated (including having a “Booster” jab), but 27% of the eligible Knowsley population had still not received any vaccination.
- There is a link between areas of the borough with low vaccine uptake and higher levels of deprivation with a younger aged population.
- The Board recognised the need to reiterate the consequences of catching COVID-19. Many people have lost their lives to the virus and COVID-19 has certainly not “gone away” – the virus is still prevalent in Knowsley communities. Whilst many people experience flu-like symptoms, others do not and are suffering with “long COVID”. It was agreed to share further communications to raise awareness of the consequences of contracting COVID-19.
- The Board discussed when “Booster” vaccines can be given – it was clarified that residents become eligible for a “Booster” six months after their second vaccination. It was agreed to share a consistent message with GPs and residents to clarify the situation, along with information on where people can get vaccinated.
- The majority of care homes in Knowsley had been visited for vaccinations for staff and residents.
- It was noted that the school immunisation programme has finished on 9 November 2021, but parents/carers had been advised that COVID-19 appointments for 12-15 year olds can be made through the National Booking Portal or by ringing 119.
- The Board noted that reminders are being shared around the importance of good ventilation, particularly in the run up to the Christmas festivities (when people may be attending indoor social gatherings). It was agreed to continue to remind residents to test regularly (twice weekly), particularly if they are meeting in groups or crowded areas
The Board is chaired by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Graham Morgan, and membership includes the Council’s Adult Social Care Cabinet Member (Councillor Louise Harbour), Resources Cabinet Member (Councillor Jayne Aston), Health Cabinet Member (Councillor Christine Bannon), and Chief Executive (Mike Harden) alongside Knowsley’s Director of Public Health (Dr Sarah McNulty) and representatives from Merseyside Police (when required).