Home Coronavirus: News and Advice Knowsley’s preparations for any future COVID-19 outbreak
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Knowsley’s preparations for any future COVID-19 outbreak

by Gemma Melling

At the Cabinet meeting on 29 July 2020, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Members were updated on the development of the Knowsley Outbreak Management Plan and Board, established to support the easing of lockdown measures.

The plan aims to ensure a co-ordinated approach to the prevention and management of COVID-19 in Knowsley, from outbreak prevention measures, the initial detection of an outbreak, risk assessments required to declare an outbreak has ended and identifying good practice and lessons learned.

The plan focusses on the preventative actions that we can all take to help to stop the spread of the virus. These are:

  • Maintaining social distancing at all times.
  • Wearing a face covering on public transport, in hospital settings and shops.
  • Continue to regularly wash your hands.
  • Carry a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes and dispose of the tissue (preferably in a bin with a lid).
  • Continue to work from home if you can.

In addition to these steps, it’s also vital to get tested if you are displaying any symptoms – high temperature, new or persistent cough or a loss of taste or smell. You can book at test through www.nhs.uk or by calling 119.

The plan also outlines the importance in test and trace in containing the virus. If you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive (within 2m for 15 minutes or more), you too will need to self isolate for 14 days. This is to stop you (unknowingly as you may not have symptoms) spreading the virus.

A full copy of the Knowsley’s Outbreak Management Plan is available on the council’s website.

Delivery of the plan is monitored through the newly established Knowsley Outbreak Management Board, chaired by the Leader of the Council with representatives from Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.

To support containment of the virus in Knowsley, the Government has allocated the council a grant of £1.596m to support its response. The funding will be used to contribute towards the Merseyside and Cheshire hub for Test and Trace, alongside strengthening capacity to prevent outbreaks and effectively respond to an outbreak if  needed including Environmental Health, Infection Control, Public Health, Communications and Training support.

Cllr Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “With lockdown measures starting to ease and people being out and about more, it’s vital that we are prepared for any future outbreak.

“We all have a part to play in helping to stop the spread of the virus. Our residents have been playing their part by staying at home and getting tested if they display any symptoms. Our businesses have too, by following the guidance and putting measures in place for the safety of staff and visitors.

“This pandemic isn’t yet over and we can’t be complacent. The preventative steps we can all take should be embedded into our daily lives.”