Residents urged to keep Covid safe as national and local infection rates rise sharply
Residents in St Helens are being encouraged to continue to keep Covid-19 safe after infections in the borough recently rose sharply.
The latest official NHS figures for the area up to September 17th showed that Covid-19 cases in St Helens increased by over 40 per cent in seven days, with 89 new cases confirmed. Cheshire and Merseyside region had 1,449 new Covid-19 cases confirmed during the same 7-day period with six deaths linked to Covid-19.
Nationally, rates also rose by 13 per cent in the week up to the 17th of September.
In recent months, more residents choosing to get vaccinated and making efforts to prevent spread of the virus has helped to save lives.
Residents are therefore now being asked to take extra precautions, if they can, to reduce the risk of both picking up the virus themselves or passing it on to others.
Please wash or sanitise your hands more frequently, particularly before and after eating, blowing your nose or coming into close contact with others. This is more important if you are visiting any friends or relatives who are vulnerable or elderly, where cases have been notably high recently.
If you have any active Covid-19 symptoms, you should use your judgement and stay at home, if possible, use good hygiene and avoid contact with others. Do also test if you are able to. Symptoms can include:
- Continuous cough
- Sore throat
- High temperature, fever or chills
- Loss of, of change in, your normal sense of taste or smell
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained tiredness, lack of energy
- Muscle aches or pains that are not due to exercise
- Not wanting to eat or not feeling hungry
- Headache that is unusual or longer lasting than usual
- Sore throat, stuffy or runny nose
- Diarrhoea, feeling sick or being sick
Some vulnerable residents may still be eligible for free testing. You can find out further details on this here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/get-tested-for-coronavirus/
Residents are also being encouraged to get their Covid-19 vaccinations and booster doses when they are eligible or are contacted to do so.
Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Borough Council Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage said: "Although infection rates for Covid-19 have thankfully been a lot lower in recent months, the recent sharp rise in infections in the borough is concerning, particularly as we are now about to enter the colder winter months.
"Therefore we would ask residents to be extra vigilant during the next few weeks and take sensible precautions to help minimise the risk of the virus being passed from person to person. By doing this hopefully we can all play our part in reducing the further spread of the virus in the borough."
Ruth du Plessis, Director of Public Health at St Helens Borough Council, said:
"The rapid increase in infections we have seen in the last couple of weeks comes at a worrying time when the colder winter temperatures will soon be upon us
"Residents have been doing a terrific job in helping to keep infection rates low in the borough during the last few months and we would ask for their help again now in combatting the recent rise in infections that we have had.
"It is possible that more residents may be either contracting the virus themselves or passing it to others without realising so it is vital that we keep alert and protect ourselves and others.
"If you feel unwell and experience any active Covid-19 symptoms try and avoid coming into contact with others, particularly those who may be vulnerable or at increased risk of serious illness form the virus."
Ruth adds: "We would also encourage residents to get their catch up Covid vaccinations or boosters when they are eligible. Having the vaccine does help to reduce the spread of Covid-19, reduce the risk of developing Long Covid and is very effective at reducing the risk of becoming seriously unwell or dying from Covid-19."
Further details on booking a Covid Vaccination or booster are here: Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk)