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Health blog: Stopping the spread of COVID-19

A message from Julie Webster, Wirral’s Director of Public Health. 

Dear residents,

As you may have heard, Wirral, along with the other Merseyside authorities, has been added to the government’s COVID-19 watchlist. This means that the rise in the numbers of people infected in the region needs to be tackled as a matter of urgency.

The latest information issued by the government places Merseyside as an ‘area of concern’, which means that councils will work with partners - supported by regional Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace teams - to take additional actions to manage outbreaks and reduce community spread of the virus.

What does this mean for Wirral?

While being added to the watchlist does not at this stage mean there will be any additional local restrictions, it does mean that without significant and immediate efforts to lower the rate of infection, a localised ‘lockdown’ could be required.

It will also require us to undertake additional targeted testing in high-risk areas or groups, increased preventative measures and more detailed work to understand where clusters of the virus are occurring so that appropriate action can be taken.

What do members of the public need to do?

We need you to go back to basics and focus on the actions you can take to slow the spread of the virus – as well as taking note of changes to national restrictions.

This means:

  • Washing hands - frequently
  • Wearing a face covering - in situations where you might come into close contact with others outside of your own household
  • Social distancing - keep more than two metres away from those outside your household
  • Stick to the rule of six (from Monday 14th September) – you must not meet either indoors or outdoors – in groups larger than six. There are exemptions to this including schools, workplaces, COVID-secure weddings and funerals that permit up to 30 people, and organised team sports. Support ‘bubbles’ or households that have more than six people in anyway are also exempt.

Who should get tested?

Anybody with COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home (self-isolate) and get tested

As you will know by now, the main symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

Most people with COVID-19 have at least one of these symptoms.

If you have symptoms and need to book a test: you can do this online at www.wirral.gov.uk/test or by ringing 119. There are several options for testing in Wirral.

Together we can control the spread of this virus.

Thanks again for reading and please, stay safe.

Julie.