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Person in full PPE conducts temperature check on another person

PPE – your responsibility, everyone’s wellbeing

by Gemma Melling

With lockdown measures starting to be relaxed people are being reminded of the ongoing importance of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – particularly in settings where elderly, unwell or vulnerable residents are located.

Throughout the pandemic all those coming into close proximity with ‘high risk’ individuals have adhered strictly to the guidance provided. Despite measures to relax lockdown now coming into force these strict standards need to be maintained in many settings, not least care homes, hospitals, GP practices and more.

The message is clear that PPE continues to be crucially important – not just to protect your own wellbeing but for the wider community around you especially those who are most at risk.

Cllr Sean Donnelly, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Health & Social Care said: “We have heard so much about the importance of PPE throughout this crisis and although we are seeing a drop in cases of COVID-19, the virus is still present in our communities and we simply cannot risk allowing the disease to spread once more.

“So many of our residents are still vulnerable to this virus so we all have a part to play –  especially those of us who are coming into close contact with people in settings where social distancing cannot be maintained or where individuals may be particularly at risk.”

In order to stop the spread of infection, it’s vitally important that health and social care staff, including those working in care homes or carers providing care in residents’ homes, continue to wear PPE.

This includes settings even where residents are not displaying symptoms or have no confirmed cases.

COVID-19 symptoms include a high temperature, new or persistent cough or a loss of taste or smell. If you are displaying symptoms, arrange a test through www.nhs.uk or by calling 119. If you are displaying symptoms or test positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days and other people in your household must also self-isolate for 14 days.

The importance of practising social distancing is also vital at this time. Not only will it help to protect you, but if you have been in close contact with someone (within 2m for more than 15 minutes) and they test positive, then you too will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Dr Sarah McNulty, Director of Public Health in Knowsley, added “It’s easy to think that the pandemic is over as lockdown measures start to be eased. It definitely isn’t over. We all have a role to play in helping to reduce the spread of the virus. People must practise social distancing, regularly wash their hands, wear a face covering on public transport, in shops and hospital settings and limit social interactions where possible.

The guidance of the use of PPE in care settings is available on the Government’s website.