Over the last few weeks there has been a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases and the number of hospital admissions as a result of the virus.
To help protect the most vulnerable in our communities, residents can follow some simple measures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and other winter illnesses. These include:
- Avoiding social contact if sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- Wearing a face covering when out and about if unwell
- Regularly washing hands
Cllr Christine Bannon, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Health, said: “Recently, aross the UK hospital admissions and cases of COVID-19 have spiked and so it is really important we take steps to protect our communities.
“While there are no longer any restrictions in place anymore, many of the behaviours we embedded into our daily lives during the pandemic are still a great way to protect ourselves and those around us.”
Symptoms and testing
There is no requirement to test for COVID-19 anymore, but you can still purchase testing kits from local pharmacies if you want to (some residents might be eligible for free testing kits). The main symptoms to look out for are:
- a high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
- shortness of breath
- feeling tired or exhausted
- an aching body
- a headache
- a sore throat
- a blocked or runny nose
- loss of appetite
- feeling sick or being sick
The symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu.
Most people feel better within a few days or weeks of their first COVID-19 symptoms and make a full recovery within 12 weeks. For some people, it can be a more serious illness and their symptoms can last longer.
What to do if you test positive or have symptoms of COVID-19
There are no longer any COVID-19 restrictions in the UK. However, if you feel sick then try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. You can resume normal activities once you feel better.
If you test positive for COVID-19, it is advised:
- try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day the test was taken if you or your child are under 18 years old – children and young people tend to be infectious to other people for less time than adults
- try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days after the day you took your test if you are 18 years old or over
- avoid meeting people who are more likely to get seriously ill from viruses, such as people with a weakened immune system, for 10 days after the day you took your test
Eligible Knowsley residents can book their autumn COVID-19 vaccine online from this week.
Vaccination appointments can be booked via the NHS website, by downloading the NHS App, or by calling 119 for free if they can’t get online.
Those eligible include all those aged 65 and over, pregnant women and those with an underlying health condition. These people will also begin receiving invitations from the NHS to encourage them to get their COVID-19 and flu vaccines from this week.
Knowsley residents who are eligible for a COVID-19 autumn booster will also be able to access their vaccination via the Living Well Service. You can view the timetable here.