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Lockdown easing "Marathon, not a sprint": DPH blogs

An update from Julie Webster, Director of Public Health for Wirral.

Dear residents,

I wanted my message to you this week to focus on Wirral residents standing together as Coronavirus restrictions begin to ease for many of us.

As you know, this month Prime Minister Boris Johnson proposed a series of steps to ease Britain out of the coronavirus lockdown, beginning with a phased return to work for some areas of industry, schools and a welcome relaxation of the rules on exercise.

While further changes to the current guidance will be ‘phased in’, it’s important to remember the old adage: this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Coronavirus isn’t going away overnight, nor will it be gone in a few days or weeks and in order to protect our most vulnerable, we must stand together and continue to exercise caution wherever we can.

Over the bank holiday weekend we saw pictures of beaches and open spaces across the country in the media, full of people. The busier public spaces are, the harder it is to avoid contact with others who may be carrying the virus. And if you’re infectious without knowing it, it’s much easier to accidentally pass it on to other people – including those who are more vulnerable than yourself.

And while being outside may reduce the risk of catching it, it doesn't remove it altogether.

To help protect ourselves and others from the spread of coronavirus, we must all continue to do these three things:

  • Staying at least 2m distance from others outside of our household group – or ‘social distancing’.
  • Wash our hands more often than usual – with soap and water (or hand sanitiser).
  • Stay home as much as possible – and isolate if you have symptoms of the virus (fever and/or a new and continuous cough and/or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste).

My message to Wirral residents during these uncertain times is that if we can stick to the core principles above, we’ll still be doing a great deal to reduce our chances of spreading COVID-19 and other viruses.

And if you’re looking for a proactive way to better protect yourself and others, the COVID-19 Symptom Study app has been developed to allow members of the public to regularly report on their health and help the NHS by contributing to advance vital research on COVID-19.

With around 3.7million people and counting using the app, developers from King’s College London and partners are working to predict who has the virus, track COVID infections and spot trends and potential new symptoms.

More than 4,500 Wirral residents are currently contributing to the app. Be part of this innovative study and support those around you by visiting https://covid.joinzoe.com/ to learn more or downloading from the app store.

You can also stay up to date with the latest guidance at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

Until next time, take care and thanks for reading.

Julie.