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 20 January 2022. 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 have reduced significantly – by 60% in the last week – with cases currently at 970 cases per 100,000 population. Despite the welcome reduction, this is still a very high rate. Cases are higher in school-aged children, but are also still very high in people aged over 60.
- Knowsley is currently ranked 69th in the country in terms of COVID-19 cases.
- With regard to the vaccination programme, 45.09% of the Knowsley population are fully vaccinated (two doses and a booster). This leaves over half of the population without adequate vaccination protection against the virus. This figure is also low compared to Cheshire and Merseyside as a whole.
- There has been a reduction in demand for vaccinations post-Christmas. However, a number of people have come forward for first doses, which is encouraging.
- Mobile vaccination clinics are being planned to ensure easy access to the vaccine for all – and especially health and social care staff.
- Knowsley has been successful in securing funding to deliver a Community Vaccine Champions Programme which aims to increase vaccine uptake rates through targeted engagement in communities.
- In local hospitals, around 22% of beds are occupied by people who have COVID-19 (some may have been admitted with other health issues not necessarily COVID-19).
- The Board was updated on a number of policy changes announced by the Government. These include:-
- The required self-isolation period reducing to five full days (providing that a person has had two negative lateral flow test results on days five and six).
- There is no longer a requirement to “work from home if you can”.
- 16- and 17-year-olds can book their Boosters online via nhs.uk/coronavirus-vaccine.
- From 27 January 2022, face coverings will no longer be required in shops and public transport (although it is recommended to continue to wear one in crowded places), and COVID-19 passes will not be required to access venues or events.
- Restrictions on visits to care homes will be eased (although the Government has yet to issue details in this respect).
- Secondary school pupils no longer need to wear face coverings in lessons from Thursday 20 January 2022 and wearing face coverings in communal areas in schools will cease from 27 January 2022.
- The Board was updated on outbreaks in care homes in the Borough. These are being managed by the Infection Prevention and Control Team and care home residents are generally reporting milder illness or being asymptomatic.
- The main recommendations from Knowsley’s Director of Public Health (and endorsed by the Board) were:-
- Residents should ensure that they are fully vaccinated.
- Residents should continue with regular testing, especially before socialising or contact with more vulnerable people.
- Residents should continue with the preventative behaviours which include regular hand washing, wearing face coverings in crowded spaces, and ensuring that there is adequate ventilation when indoors.
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).