LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND. Paul Wilson, an ice cream man from the Princes Park area, helps hand out leaflets in various languages to advise people how to keep themselves and their family safe from Covid-19. 5 August 2020. Picture: Jennifer Bruce/Liverpool City Council.
LIVERPOOL city leaders are thanking the community for containing the Covid-19 outbreak in Princes Park ward – but are warning that the city must stay vigilant and keep social distancing.
Hyper-local measures put in place 14 days ago have helped confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the ward return to the green “low” band of Public Health England’s traffic-light system. But, in a letter being delivered to all Liverpool households, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson and Director of Public Health Matt Ashton tell residents: “We can get through this, but we are not there yet.”
On 12 August, daily data for the last seven days up to 11 August showed that the number of confirmed cases in the ward is now five. All of the city’s other 29 wards are now at five or fewer than five cases with 49 in the city in total. Data is published at www.liverpool.gov.uk/covidcases
Just over two weeks ago, the city’s Public Health team noted an increase in confirmed cases in the Princes Park ward – 14 cases were confirmed from 20-27 July, rising to 18 the following week, 28 July-3 August.
The decision was taken to put local enhanced measures into place from 31 July to contain the spread of the virus. These included: closing care homes to visits, having two walk-in testing centres in the area, and closing community buildings for 14 days.
Part of the approach included the council’s commitment to putting “boots on the ground” in the area, where teams of council staff and volunteers visited homes and businesses to raise awareness and give advice.
Today [Friday, 14 August], the 14-day enhanced measures for Princes Park have been reviewed and the following apply from Saturday 15 August:
- Overnight stays and visits to one other household are allowed but must be socially distanced
- Clinically extremely vulnerable people at risk of severe illness should continue to take additional measures to protect themselves as set out in the national guidance
- Community buildings can reopen and outdoor gatherings resume provided they have done a risk assessment and are Covid-secure
- Care home visits can resume, but these will be outside
- Businesses should still take measures to protect staff and customers following national guidelines
- The last day of operation for the testing centre at Princes Park health centre is Friday 14 August
- The testing centre at PAL Multicultural centre will operate until 20 August.
Mayor Anderson and Mr Ashton’s letter thanks the city for the efforts that have been made to keep people safe – but also reminds residents of the need to keep up good habits to contain the virus across the city.
Letters will be delivered to all Liverpool households and it has also been translated into Arabic, Farsi, French, Albanian, Amharic, Kurdish Sorani, Somali, Urdu, Tigrinya, Mandarin, Spanish and Russian.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “We took a decision to move quickly in Princes Park, and that decision has proved to be the right one.
“Council teams and volunteers literally put in the hard yards to help contain the outbreak and this has ultimately saved lives – not only in Princes Park but also in the wider city. My thanks go to them as well as the other community and faith leaders who have worked so hard to keep people safe and also the residents who have engaged with the action we have taken and turned the outbreak around.
“There’s no doubt we have made positive steps in the city, but for us to keep moving in the right direction we all have to remain cautious so that we can keep people safe, keep jobs safe and avoid a wider lockdown.”
Matt Ashton, Liverpool Director of Public Health: “What we achieved in Princes Park has shown the value of local teams being able to take quick action and making the best use of the local knowledge that they have.
“Everyone can certainly feel proud of what has been achieved and knowing that this approach works gives us confidence, but it will not allow us to be complacent.
“We contained an outbreak but the virus has not gone away. My team continue to monitor the numbers of confirmed cases – but will still need everyone’s help to make sure that those levels remain low.
“The most important thing we can do to stop the spread of the virus is to keep social distancing. Also, keep washing your hands, using hand sanitiser, and wear a face covering. These are small steps, but all added together they can make a huge difference.”