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Knowsley’s Outbreak Management Board Update: 8 July 2021

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 8 July 2021.  At the meeting, the Board reviewed the latest data available and updates on the current level of COVID-19 cases in the Borough.

In summary:-

  • COVID-19 case levels in Knowsley are continuing to rise – current levels stand at 447.4 per 100,000 population. These figures are expected to increase further, although the overall rate of the increase appears to have slowed over the last week.
  • Cases continue to be concentrated in the younger population – which is not unexpected as the majority of younger people are not yet fully vaccinated.
  • Increases in case levels within the over 60s population are starting to level off, which is welcome news.
  • Hospital admissions due to COVID-19 are increasing, although overall these remain at a much lower level than seen in previous waves of infection. While local hospitals are reporting that they are under pressure, these pressures are generally arising for reasons aside from COVID-19.
  • Following a major push on testing (including pop-up facilities, outreach work, and increased communications), the numbers of people accessing testing in Knowsley have increased in recent weeks.
  • The Board noted that local schools and businesses are experiencing significant disruption due to absences arising from COVID-19 and self-isolation.
  • The Board was updated on the Government’s national plans to remove COVID-19 restrictions from 19 July 2021, and was also updated on the changes planned for the education sector and assured that Knowsley schools are continuing to respond well to the challenges which they are facing.
  • A specific update was provided on the progress made to improve access to the vaccine in Knowsley. This issue had been previously identified by the Board a key priority for the borough.
  • The Board noted that local drop-in vaccination clinics had been arranged for the next two weekends (10-11 and 17-18 July 2021) in Huyton and Kirkby One Stop Shops (open on each day from 10am to 5pm).
  • No appointment is needed for the drop-in vaccination clinics and anyone over 18 years of age can attend to receive their first dose of the vaccine (Pfizer). Anyone who has had their first jab more than 8 weeks ago can also attend to receive their second dose of the vaccination.
  • Residents who have transport issues and are unable to get to these clinics will be offered a taxi service to ensure that they can access the vaccinations. People in those circumstances should call 0151 449 3954 (lines are open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 5pm at weekends).
  • In addition to the taxi service, plans are progressing well to provide travel vouchers for people to use public transport to get to the local clinics.
  • Alongside the drop-in vaccination clinics, it was confirmed that the vaccine bus will be returning to Knowsley at the end of July and into August (on dates to be confirmed) in order to target particular areas of the borough where vaccine uptake is lower. This will include Halewood, Northwood, Page Moss, and Stockbridge Village.
  • To support all of these additional options, an extensive communications campaign is under way to ensure that as many Knowsley residents as possible are aware of the increased provision and get vaccinated.
  • The Board noted the excellent progress made and expressed its appreciation of the efforts of council officers and other partner agencies in progressing this work so swiftly.

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 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 and the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.