St Helens residents urged to take extra care if visiting vulnerable loved ones
Residents in St Helens are being encouraged to take extra care if visiting vulnerable loved ones in the borough as we learn to live with Covid-19.
Article date: 24 May 2022
Although case rates in the borough have been reducing recently there are still high case rates in those residents aged over 70 years.
Anyone planning to visit a relative or friend with an existing health condition is being encouraged to take a Covid test, if possible, before setting off. Anyone who tests positive or is showing any symptoms of COVID-19 should postpone visiting vulnerable loved ones both in a local care home and their own home.
In addition to testing, residents are being encouraged to continue to take extra precautions such as washing their hand regularly and ensuring rooms are well ventilated during visits.
Staff working in local care homes and those who support residents in their own homes should get their vaccines including booster doses to help protect themselves and residents.
Residents in St Helens who are eligible for the Spring booster vaccinations should also get their booster vaccination as soon as possible to help bolster their defence against the virus in the coming months. Those eligible are people aged 75 years old or over and those aged 12 years old or over with a weakened immune system.
Booster doses are important because COVID-19 infections can be more serious in older people and those with a weakened immune system. The booster doses help to keep the immune system alert to the virus.
Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Borough Council Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage said: "Although testing for COVID-19 officially ended in April, the virus is still spreading in the borough and can still cause some people to become seriously unwell, particularly our more vulnerable residents including those who have not been vaccinated and who have existing health issues."
Ruth du Plessis, Director of Public Health at St Helens Council, said: "We are still seeing new infections in the borough each week and although most people are able to fight of the infection, some people are still ending up with Long Covid and it is heart breaking to see some people end up seriously unwell. It is vital that we take steps to protect the most vulnerable.
"If you are planning to visit anyone who is vulnerable or with an existing medical condition in the near future, we would urge you to test yourself if possible before setting off and avoid contact altogether if you have any cold like symptoms.The main symptoms of covid-19 are a new cough or temperature or loss of taste or smell or feeling unwell."
Ruth added: "Also, if you do sneeze of cough, make sure you cover your mouth and nose (catch-it) and dispose of any tissues used (bin it) and wash your hands straightaway (kill it)."
If you are eligible for the spring booster vaccine you can book an appointment through the NHS national booking system at Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk) or ring 119.
You can reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and other respiratory infections by following safe behaviour in your household or other indoor spaces. More details can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1065735/AG232_Safe_at_home_infographic.pdf
More information on COVID-19 is available on the NHS website alongside other diseases https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/