Public Health officials in Liverpool have unveiled a plan to deal with an increase in confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Princes Park area of the city.
The ‘enhanced outbreak control action plan’ is designed to rapidly control the spread of the virus, protect vulnerable communities and the elderly in the area, and prevent the need for the city to have to go into any kind of additional local lockdown measures. Almost half of the increase in confirmed cases across Liverpool over the last week have been in the ward.
A pop up walk-in test centre is being installed at Princes Park Health Centre on Bentley Road from Saturday 1 August, which people can drop in to from 9am-4pm if they have symptoms, without the need to book an appointment.
The other measures are:
· All people who have been shielding are being contacted advising them to continue to do so until 14 August
· Cafes, bars and restaurants given additional advice around appropriate public health measures
· Care home visiting suspended except for those who are at the end of life, and closed for non-essential staff visits (the four affected homes have been contacted)
· Community buildings to remain closed
· Upcoming gatherings and events suspended
Community volunteers are being deployed to call door-to-door to raise awareness of testing availability and to promote key public health messages, while work is under way with religious leaders to make sure places of worship are following COVID-19 safe procedures.
The impact will be reviewed in 14 days and extended if necessary.
People are being advised to:
· Follow the advice and guidance around social distancing
· Wear face coverings in confined spaces, supermarkets and on public transport
· Maintain social distancing with members of the same family who are from a different household
· No overnight visitors from a different household – even if members of the same family
Mayor Joe Anderson said: “Communities across the area have been absolutely brilliant in working with us to try and make sure we keep the number of cases low. It is really important we don’t let the sacrifices and progress of the last few months go to waste and it is right that we are being proactive and acting fast to prevent the further spread of cases in this area.
“I would like to pay tribute to community in Princes Park who are working in partnership with us to get the message across of the importance of following social distancing and hygiene advice and getting tested if you have symptoms.
“The work we are doing now will hopefully pay dividends in terms of preventing the need for further restrictions, which would inevitably cause much more hardship.
“Liverpool has already suffered 600 deaths from COVID-19 and behind every case is a family who have been left devastated by this cruel illness. We are determined to do what it takes to minimise the risk to our citizens.”
Matt Ashton, Director of Public Health for Liverpool, said: “We have seen a rise in confirmed cases in the Princes Park area and are concerned that it could spiral unless we act to bring the virus back under control.
“These measures are designed to prevent the need for a more draconian lockdown in the area which would be more difficult for people to endure.
“It is really important that people follow the advice that we are giving around good hygiene, social distancing, wearing face coverings on public transport, in supermarkets and confined spaces and avoiding visiting other households.
“This is about us all working together to protect each other, making sure we are not complacent and getting a grip of the virus and keeping it under control.
“We don’t have a vaccine and there is no guarantee that there will be a jab or an effective treatment anytime soon so in the meantime it is up to us all to be responsible and make sure we don’t take risks that could unwittingly infect not just ourselves, but vulnerable people including close family and friends.”
People with symptoms can also book a test appointment at a drive-through facility through the NHS website, or by calling 119.
More information about symptoms – which include a continuous cough, high temperature and loss of taste and smells is available at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus