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.
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Knowsley’s latest Outbreak Management Board meeting took place on Thursday 22 April 2021. At the meeting, the Board reviewed the latest data available and updates on the current level of COVID-19 cases in the Borough.
- COVID-19 case levels in Knowsley continue to be low – current levels stand at 20.5 per 100,000 population – this is below the national (27.9 per 100,000) and north west (30.1 per 100,000) averages.
- It was noted that, with case numbers being relatively low, any increases in new case numbers can appear to have a significant impact on the appearance of overall levels. It was also noted that, despite case levels being low, regular monitoring is still being undertaken to identify emerging issues.
- There have been no COVID-19 deaths in Merseyside hospitals over the last 14 days.
- COVID-19 related admissions to local hospitals have also decreased significantly. It was noted that pressure within Merseyside hospitals is significant due to latent demand on the NHS as a result of the pandemic, i.e. due to health issues other than COVID-19.
- The Board was updated on local contact tracing arrangements. Specifically, it was noted that all local contact tracing is now being carried out by a Knowsley Council team – and not the national NHS Test and Trace service. This has been the case since 1 April 2021.
- Since the local contact tracing service has taken over responsibility, significant improvements have been made with the local service reporting a 92% success rate in contacting targets. In most cases, reports of positive cases are now being passed to the local service within one hour of a positive test result which means that action to trace contacts is much swifter and more effective.
- It was noted that, in addition to improved success rates, the local contact tracing service is also able to provide support for positive cases, including advice on issues including self-isolation, financial difficulties etc.
- An update was provided on COVID-19 testing in Knowsley – current positivity rates are 1.84% (compared with 3.2% in March 2021).
- It was noted that the Knowsley community had engaged positively in testing throughout the pandemic – both symptomatic and asymptomatic.
- An update was provided from Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Group on the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Knowsley, including information about take-up in specific cohorts and actions taken to maximise take-up across all groups.
- An update was provided by Merseyside Police on COVID-19 enforcement activity. It was noted that overall observance of the new regulations (following the latest relaxations in measures from 12 April 2021) had been good, and that there had only been limited issues arising from the new relaxations.
- The Board noted the importance of reminding residents to remember the rules and proceed with caution – specifically as the weather improves and more people choose to socialise.
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.