06 Apr 2022
Residents in St Helens are being urged to stay vigilant for symptoms of Covid-19 after cases in the borough have risen again sharply again in recent weeks.
In the week ending Friday 1 April, 1274 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed, whilst the infection rate in the borough was 705 cases per 100,000 people.
Infections were highest amongst adults 30 and 59 which accounted for over half of confirmed cases in the same period. Nationally, according to ONS figures, 1 in 13 people are thought to have the virus currently.
With cases high, residents are being encouraged to look out for any symptoms of Covid-19 in themselves and their families and to isolate immediately if they think they may the virus. Those with symptoms who have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities are advised to:
- try to stay at home, avoid contact with other people and try not to attend work
- avoid close contact with anyone who they know is at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell if infected with COVID-19 and other respiratory infections
- resume normal activities once they feel well enough to do so and no longer have a high temperature if they had one.
If you have access to testing kits you should also test yourself if you have any of the following symptoms:
- A high temperature or shivering (chills)
- A sore throat or a new continuous cough
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling tired or exhausted
- An aching body
- Loss of appetite or diarrhoea
- Feeling sick or being sick.
Residents planning to visit elderly or vulnerable family members or friends are also being encouraged to do a lateral flow test before setting off if possible and to ensure rooms are ventilated while they are there. Visitors should also comply with safe visiting practices at the care home, which should be communicated to them to help them plan for their visit.
These practices including testing, ventilation, face coverings, good hand hygiene and any other arrangements in agreement with the care home will help to ensure that the correct infection control measures are in place to keep loved ones safe.
Ruth du Plessis, Director of Public Health at St Helens Borough Council, said: “Although widespread free testing in the borough has now ended unfortunately the levels of infection in the borough have continued to rise and there is a danger that many residents may have the virus, or be passing the virus onto others, without realising it.
“Stay home if you have symptoms as this is the best way to keep both yourself and others safe. We would also encourage residents to continue with Covid-safe behaviour where possible such as washing your hands regularly, wearing a face mask in crowded areas and keeping rooms well ventilated, particularly if you are visiting vulnerable family members or friends. They are small steps but can still make a big difference in helping to keep yourself and others safe.”
You can check if you are eligible for free test kits using this link: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests
You may be eligible for free testing if you have a health condition which means you are eligible for new Covid-19 treatments, you are going into hospital for surgery or a procedure or you work in the NHS or in social care with elderly and vulnerable residents.
You can reduce the risk of spreading most respiratory infections by following safe behaviour in your household or other indoor spaces. More details on these 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/