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Why not visiting other households is so important

by Nicola Appleton

Knowsley’s Outbreak Management Board is making public recently captured data which shows that visits to other households is a key factor in the spread of the virus in the Borough.

Information gathered through local contact tracing shows that 86% of people who have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 have done so in the home – either due to receiving household visitors or when visiting someone else’s house.

Dr Sarah McNulty, Knowsley’s Director of Public Health said:

“This is significant evidence to show that household mixing is a major contributory factor to the spread of the virus and the increasing numbers of cases which we are seeing.  It is completely understandable that people feel more comfortable, and safe within their own homes and with people who they know well.

But the reality is that we aren’t safe in those situations, and it is household mixing which is allowing the virus to spread.  There is no way of knowing if a person who you meet has COVID-19, because many people don’t have symptoms.  But a person with no symptoms can infect somebody who will then develop very severe – potentially lethal – complications.

In their own homes, people are much less likely to wear face coverings or maintain social distancing and generally everyone will feel a lot more relaxed.  Sadly, we just can’t afford to relax with this virus.

That is why it is so important to follow the new rules and not mix with other households at home or in your garden.

Currently, it is illegal for residents from Knowsley, across Merseyside and much of the North West to mix with other households in private dwellings and gardens. This regulation is part of the enhanced measures which are in force in Knowsley, and across Merseyside and other parts of the North West where we are currently seeing high rates of the illness, and an increase in hospitalisations.

Councillor Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council and Chairperson of Knowsley’s Outbreak Management Board said:

“I understand people’s frustration and annoyance with some of the guidance and advice coming out from the Government.  I think we can all think of examples where the rules don’t seem to make sense.  Sadly – although I wish it were not the case – the rule about households mixing is a really important one.

I understand that this is really hard for people and families to deal with.  As a Grandad myself, it is something which I find particularly difficult but the evidence we have clearly shows that mixing within the home with other households is where the virus is being transmitted.  We can’t ignore that if we want to stop COVID-19 spreading any further.  We have to follow the rules.”