In the last week, many areas across the country have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases and Wirral is no different. More than 100 confirmed cases have been recorded in the last seven days in Wirral and our 7-day case rate has risen to 30.9 per 100,000 people. We are also seeing more cases of the new variant of COVID-19 first identified in India, than any other variants of the virus.
There is now clear community transmission of this variant but there is currently no reason to believe the vaccines are any less effective against it. Vaccine effectiveness against this variant is something that’s being monitored closely but the fact we are seeing more cases in younger people who have not yet had the vaccine could indicate the vaccine is protecting older age groups.
While it was to be expected, with the lifting of restrictions and new variants appearing, our rise in cases has been fast and we want to encourage all residents, schools and businesses to take action together, to keep this figure as low as we can.
Ahead of schools returning next week, I would ask parents to ensure your children take a symptom-free COVID-19 test this weekend and if positive, isolate immediately. I also need students and their households to continue with the twice weekly testing as they progress through the summer term as we know cases are rising in younger age groups who are not yet vaccinated. Twice weekly symptom-free testing is the best way we can all do our bit to identify infection quickly and stop the spread of the virus.
For the latest information on testing, including where to go to collect symptom-free test kits visit: www.wirral.gov.uk/mobiletesting
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? You’re less likely to catch the virus in the open air.
Let’s do all we can to Keep Wirral Well.
Director of Public Health