Halton Borough Council’s Director of Public Health is appealing directly to all residents to stay at home, to bring rapidly increasing levels of infection under control.
The latest available data for Halton shows that in the last 7 days to 4th January, there have been 1517 confirmed cases of Covid19 in the borough. This means that the current rate per 100k population is 1172/100,000 – or put more simply 1 in every 85 people in Halton currently has the virus.
This sharp rise is believed to be the result of a number of factors including increased mixing over the festive period, and the high likelihood of the new, highly transmissible, variant of the virus – that has seen infection rates soar in London and the South East – now circulating in the borough.
Talking about the current position, Halton’s Director of Public Health, Eileen O’Meara said:
“The current situation is extremely serious. We all need to do what we can now to bring the virus back under control, to stop more people becoming seriously ill, or sadly, dying and to ensure that our local hospitals do not become overwhelmed.
“We are not powerless in this situation and we can, as we have before, bring infection levels down. But it will need all of us, uniting as one community to do this.
“My plea directly to all residents is to do what it takes to keep each other safe. As we know that the virus thrives on social contact, we must:
Stay at home as we have been instructed to do in the latest national lockdown only leaving home where necessary
Remember the basics if we need to go to the shops for essentials –so wear a face covering; keep a distance from others; use the sanitisers and cleaning products provided in shops and wash our hands as soon as we get home.
“If you cannot work from home and particularly if your job involves contact with others, we would also encourage you to take up our offer of a regular fast no-symptoms test at Grangeway or Ditton Community Centre, to help stop the spread of the virus.
“These are simple things that we can all do, that will work. Halton has always been a place where people look out for each other and we need everyone to keep doing that now, more than ever.
“It is important to remember that this won’t be forever. Some of our older residents have already received their first Covid19 vaccination and many more will follow in the coming days and weeks.
“But until the vaccine can be rolled out fully, we do need to stay strong and keep going, to keep each other safe.”
As the period of national lockdown begins, Halton Borough Council is also reminding residents who may live alone or do not have a network of support, that they do not have to struggle through this situation on their own. Information about support that is available can be found on the Council’s website www.halton.gov.uk or by calling 0151 907 8363 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm).
For more information on SMART rapid, no-symptoms testing in Halton, go to www.halton.gov.uk/smart