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Health update: 5 ways to stay safe this summer

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

Dear residents,

In the last week, we have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases both nationally and locally. The ‘Delta Variant of Concern’ (VOC) (that was first detected in India) is playing a part in this rise and although numbers are still low, we are now averaging 15 cases per day when two weeks ago it was as low as just two.

New variants of the virus are to be expected and this increase in cases is due to a number of factors, including the easing of restrictions and people socialising more.

There are things you can do to help keep yourself and others safe:

Vaccination

Even though the Delta variant is very transmissible the vaccines have been shown to still be effective against it. I would strongly encourage those who are eligible to join the more than 200,000  vaccinated Wirral residents in accepting your jab when it is offered to you. Please make sure you have both doses of the vaccine.

If you’re aged 30 or over, or if you turn 30 before 1 July 2021, you can now book your COVID-19 vaccine. To get your jab at Clatterbridge Vaccination Centre visit click here or call 119. Alternatively, you can wait to be contacted by your GP.

Symptom-free testing

Let me also stress the importance of regular symptom-free testing to ensure the virus is identified quickly and onward spread is stopped in its tracks.

Symptom-free test kits can be collected from local testing centres, local pharmacies, some Council buildings including libraries and leisure centres as well as from our mobile testing vehicles when they are out and about in Wirral. To keep up to date with the latest dates and locations visit: www.wirral.gov.uk/mobiletesting

It is vitally important that we continue to do the right things, remember hands, face, space and fresh air, get vaccinated and take up the offer of regular testing.

Got symptoms? Get Tested.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of sense of taste or smell please self-isolate and get a test at one of our symptoms-only testing centres: www.wirral.gov.uk/test.

Don’t confuse hay fever with COVID-19

With the warmer weather and increased pollen levels, it’s important for people to understand the difference between the symptoms of hay fever and COVID-19.

While the symptoms of coronavirus and hay fever can overlap, people with hay fever don’t experience a high temperature and most won’t feel unwell. But hay fever can play tricks on your sense of smell and give you a sore throat. If you suffer with hay fever, make sure you are regularly tested for COVID-19 to be on the safe side.

Have fun, safely!

As easing restrictions allow a return to normality, they also increase our risk of catching and spreading COVID-19. Limiting your contacts, where at all possible, can help reduce your risk while also protecting those around you. You can still get back to Wirral’s restaurants, bars, shops and more, but do so safely. Please continue to wear your face masks, wash your hands and keep your distance from other groups. And, while the weather is so lovely, why not meet outside.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the sunshine!

Julie.