A Message from Julie Webster, Wirral’s Director of Public Health
As you will know, this week the UK Prime Minister announced the further relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions in England from Monday 19 July. I understand that many will be looking forward to getting ‘back to normal’ and making the most of these changes.
It is my role to level with you about the Wirral picture and our situation in this pandemic.
The current level of infection in Wirral places us in the top 20 areas nationally, with the highest weekly increase in cases and the highest in Cheshire and Merseyside. The rate of 515 per 100,000 people means on average 235 people in Wirral are testing positive for COVID-19 every day.
While early evidence suggests that the vaccination programme has weakened the link between rising infections and hospitalisation or loss of life, community spread of COVID-19 could impact our unvaccinated children and teenagers, those who have not been vaccinated, either due to personal choice or another medical reason.
It could also impact our daily lives in other ways, if local services, shops or venues are unable to remain open due to increased staff illness and/or isolation.
In order to protect our communities across Wirral, I am urging those who live and work in our borough to:
- Get both of your COVID-19 vaccinations– it’s shown to be safe and effective against the virus, including the Delta variant and is the best way to keep yourself from getting seriously ill. It also reduces the risk of passing the virus on to someone else. If you’ve been vaccinated, encourage your loved ones to get theirs too! Visit Wirral CCG’s website for the latest news of walk-in vaccination clinics: www.wirralccg.nhs.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine/covid-19-vaccination-walk-in-clinics/
- Keep getting tested – you can book free Coronavirus tests whether you have symptoms or not via www.wirral.gov.uk/test.
- Self-isolate if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 or if you have any of the main symptoms (new and persistent cough, fever, loss or change to your sense of taste or smell). Information on how/when to self-isolate is available at gov.uk/coronavirus.
This information may feel jarring for some, or second nature to others. Whichever camp you fall into, as we move into this next stage, please remember to:
- Be Patient – everybody will move out of restrictions at their own pace.
- Be Kind – consider wearing a mask around others who are more vulnerable than you, this could make them feel much safer and more comfortable.
- Be Safe - you may make your own personal choice to continue with Hands, Face, Space and meeting up with family and friends outside where possible – especially as cases in our local area are so high at the moment.
Thanks for reading and please, look after each other.