PUBLIC Health leaders in Warrington are appealing to residents not to visit other households in a bid to contain the transmission of COVID-19 and to help drive down the number of cases in the town.
Case numbers in Warrington have risen rapidly and steeply over the last couple of weeks and residents are being urged to play their part, now, to avoid the risk of the town going into a local lockdown. Confirmed cases in the most recent verified seven-day period are now over 200.
There is clear evidence to show that households are the most likely setting for the virus to spread, so residents should avoid visiting other people at home, including visiting people in private gardens, unless you have formed a household support bubble. People can meet outdoors in open, public spaces as long as they follow the new ‘rule of six’ – that is, a maximum of six people can meet from multiple households, as long as they continue to socially distance themselves from one another. But Warrington residents are being urged not to visit other people at home if they don’t need to – both inside and outside the borough.
This decision will be kept under constant review, but a formal assessment will be made in three weeks’ time, on 5 October.
Warrington Borough Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, said: “Our call to ask residents not to visit each other’s households is a strong response, but a necessary one, to help prevent further transmission of the virus. We have seen a very large increase of cases in the town over recent weeks and now is the time to take necessary action.
“As we have seen in other areas that have been under formal local lockdown, such as Greater Manchester, which we border, stopping people from visiting other households indoors is one of the first measures we need to take to help contain the spread of coronavirus.
“We know this is a big ask – but the reality is we have little choice. If we stop visiting other people in their homes and gardens – and continue to maintain excellent hand hygiene, keep our distance, wear face coverings where necessary, and get tested if we develop symptoms – we stand a fighting chance of Warrington not entering a formal local lockdown.”
Households the most likely setting for virus transmission
The council’s Director of Public Health, Thara Raj, said: “Evidence clearly shows that households are the most likely setting for the virus to be passed on to other people, so I would ask residents to observe our new guidance and not visit other people at home.
“You should still be able to meet other people from different households outdoors, as long as you aren’t meeting in private gardens. Please remember to keep your distance from others and not meet in a group any larger than six people.
“It is also clear that if you are in settings where there are people from multiple different households, like restaurants and bars, you are more likely to get the virus. So, whilst you can still go to meet other people in settings like restaurants, please do all you can to keep your distance from people not in your household and follow each venue’s COVID-secure guidance. This is the model currently being enforced in areas where formal local lockdowns are in place such as Greater Manchester, which has seen success in locations like Stockport, for example, which has recently had lockdown restrictions lifted.
“With case numbers on the rise, we cannot afford to be complacent, so please stick to the basics but also do not visit other households if you can help it.”
Get tested – but only if symptomatic
If you have a new, persistent cough, a high temperature or a loss of normal taste or smell, you must self-isolate and book a coronavirus test immediately at warrington.gov.uk/testandtrace
There has been an increase in people booking coronavirus tests in recent weeks with demand outstripping capacity. A number of bookings have made by people who aren’t displaying symptoms which is contributing to these pressures. If you are trying to book a test but don’t have symptoms, you could be taking away a test from somebody who is symptomatic.
·Single adults living alone, or single parents whose children are under 18, can form a support bubble with one other household.
·From today, Monday, it’s illegal for groups of more than six to meet inside or outside, even if they’re from just two different households. The only exception will be if they are part of the same support bubble.
·The most recent confirmed seven-day figures are up to and including 9 September
·Public Health England (PHE) advise that case numbers in the most recent four-day period may be subject to change, depending on how quickly lab results can be verified and returned. Case numbers for the most recent seven-day period up to and including 14 September, for example, are therefore unconfirmed and may not currently be accurate.
Meanwhile, the latest data for Warrington shows there have now been a total of 1,712 cases (815.12) per 100,000 population, with 216 new cases for the Week Sept 3 to September 10.
This included two consecutive days of more than 40 cases from September 7-8th.
There have been 154 confirmed deaths involving Warrington residents since the figures were revised.
Across the UK the daily number of COVID-19 associated UK deaths was 9, taking the total number of deaths to 41,637.
The daily number of lab-confirmed UK cases was 2,621, taking the total number to 371,125.
Across the country there are 884 patients currently in hospital and 79 patients in ventilator beds.
To find out more about COVID-19 testing, and to book a test if you have symptoms, visit warrington.gov.uk/get-tested-coronavirus