COVID-19: Liverpool plan for ‘difficult winter’ as three areas record rises in infections

Liverpool has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in the 13-17 year old population, says Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health

Public Health officials in Liverpool have said we could be in for a difficult winter as COVID-19 cases surge in three areas of the Liverpool City Region.

The latest data from the Government shows Sefton recorded a coronavirus pecentage increase of 26% in the seven days leading up to September 26, while Halton was up 3.0% and Wirral recorded an increase of 7.2%.

Sefton had 1194 cases in total, up by 228; Halton rose by 13 cases to 452; while Wirral had 65 further cases, with a total of 964.

Liverpool (-1.9%), Knowsley (-8.7%) and St Helens (-1.4%) all recorded a decrease.

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Councillor Frazer Lake, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health said that Liverpool’s overall infection rate of 302 per 100,000 people was about the national average, but there were challenges that needed to be resolved as winter draws in.

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“We are seeing an [COVID-19 infection] increase in the 13 to 17-year-old population,” Councillor Lake said.

“That combined with winter coming in, the issues that we have got is that everyone was locked down last winter and the normal types of illnesses that we see going round we didn’t get. So we are more at risk to those this time.”

With those seasonal illnesses such as flu and norovirus on their way – the next few months will be difficult not only for the public, but for those working on the frontline in the NHS and in social care.

With schools open and many more people returning to their place of work, the Government has now confirmed their five-pillar plan for dealing with COVID-19 and autumn and winter illnesses.

Although future lockdowns haven’t been ruled out, they are a last resort.

The focus is on maximising the uptake of vaccines for everyone who is eligible, so first and second doses will continue for everyone aged 16 and over, alongside single doses for young people aged 12-15-years-old being offered.

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A booster vaccine for the over 50s, those with underlying health conditions and those working on the frontline of health and social care services is now being offered with the NHS contacting eligible people.

In addition, the roll-out of the seasonal flu jab has started.