Home Coronavirus: News and Advice Knowsley’s Outbreak Management board respond to small rise in cases

Knowsley’s Outbreak Management board respond to small rise in cases

by Gemma Melling

Knowsley’s Outbreak Management Board meeting took place on Thursday 6 August 2020. The Board reviewed the latest data available for the borough.

The Board considered figures and information presented by Knowsley’s Director of Public Health showing the current number of cases in Knowsley, tests undertaken, comparisons with other regions, and general trends.

In particular, the Board was alerted to a rise in a number of new Covid-19 cases in the Huyton area (L36 postcode) over the last 14 days.

The following points were noted and action agreed:

  • Through regular analysis of data, a small increase in the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 has been seen in the L36 postcode area.
  • Initial investigation has identified links between some of the households impacted but work is ongoing to understand more about the cases including work to identify any links (shared contacts or settings).
  • Initial information indicates no specific trends in terms of age range.
  • Council officers will be monitoring the local area and individual settings / businesses to ensure social distancing guidance is being observed and face coverings worn.
  • Given the information available at this point in time there will NOT be any local restrictions implemented in this area.
  • Knowsley Council and Public Health are closely monitoring the situation
  • Residents will be reminded to follow strict handwashing advice and follow guidance on social distancing and the wearing of face coverings.
  • The importance of getting tested will be reiterated and dates publicised widely regarding local mobile testing units.

Sarah McNulty, Director of Public Health for Knowsley, said: “We are constantly monitoring the data and local intelligence to identify and respond to any potential issues or clusters of cases as quickly as possible. It is important to remember in this instance that we are still only dealing with a relatively small number of cases in total and we have already identified household / family links within the group of people who have tested positive.

“However, given our ongoing vigilance we are following up on these new cases as a priority and reminding everyone in the area to remain cautious and follow the guidance.

“We are already taking steps to find out as much as possible about the cases, the potential contacts and to ensure social distancing and face covering rules are being observed in local settings like shops.

“At present, given the information we know at this point we are not implementing any local restrictions but we are working closely with Public Health England to monitor the situation in the coming days.”

In general the Board concluded that:

  • The numbers of people being tested in Knowsley remains high with good engagement from local communities.
  • Positive test rates for Knowsley remain around 1% – in line with national average.
  • The actual number of Knowsley residents with confirmed Covid-19 remains low across the borough.
  • It is crucial to continue to share general health and prevention messages, remind people of the importance of Test & Trace and update people on advice re face coverings.

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.