Halton’s Director of Public Health is urging everyone in the local community to keep their guard up and get vaccinated as soon as they get they get the call, in an effort to stem the increase in cases of the Delta variant in the borough.

Latest data shows that there were 62 confirmed cases of Covid19 detected in the borough in the seven days up to 7 June, meaning the rate per 100,000 population stands at 47.9 – an increase from 8.5 per 100,000 on the previous week (seven days to 31 May). The data shows a particular rise in younger adults and children.

Much of this increase is due to the spread of the Delta variant of the virus originally identified in India, which is now the dominant strain of the virus across the UK.

Other parts of Cheshire and the Liverpool City Region are also seeing cases rise, but numbers are not yet at the levels being experienced in some parts of the North West. So it is important that efforts are made now, to stop the rise in Halton.

Eileen O’Meara is encouraging people to continue practicing hands, face, space, ventilation and fresh air saying: “Keeping up with these basics – even if you’re fully vaccinated – remains the best way to reduce the spread of the Delta variant. We know that it is safer to meet people outdoors, but if you are getting together with friends or family indoors, keeping windows and doors open for ventilation will reduce the risk of infection.

“The good news is that we now know that two doses of the vaccination gives you a strong protection against this variant. So I’m urging everyone who is eligible for the vaccination, but who hasn’t yet had their jab, to book an appointment as soon as they can, and for everyone to get their second dose.

“We know that even those who are fully vaccinated can still spread the virus to others who are not yet protected. So, until the roll out of the vaccine is complete, it’s really important that we all keep up with wearing our face coverings, keeping our distance and washing our hands regularly.”

Everyone aged over the 25 in Halton is now eligible to book their vaccine, with those under the age of 40 being offered the Pfizer vaccine.

Excellent progress is being made with the roll out of the vaccination, so it is anticipated that the booking system will soon open up to further age cohorts.

As well as getting their vaccination, residents are also being asked to do a lateral flow test twice a week as a way of controlling the spread of the virus. Uploading the result of tests to the NHS, even if the result is negative, is an important part of the testing process and helps to direct support to those areas of the borough that need it most. Test results should be uploaded within 24hrs of doing the test to www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result

All the information about testing, including how to order home tests and where you can go if you need support doing the test can be found at www.halton.gov.uk/smart.