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Council urges residents to continue following lockdown rules prior to schools opening

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WITH infection rates still high in Warrington, residents are being strongly urged to continue to stay at home to help reduce COVID-19 infection rates even further, prior to schools opening next week.

All schools and colleges will open from 8 March in the first stage of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, however infection rates are still high in Warrington.
Residents are encouraged to continue following the current lockdown rules despite the recent roadmap announcement. Please stay at home as much as possible to reduce the spread of the virus, and remember the basics of washing your hands regularly, wearing a face-covering where necessary and making space. Under current lockdown rules, people should continue to stay at home and only leave the house for essential reasons such as work, education, shopping and medical appointments.
A small number of cases of the E484K variant continue to be identified in the region. Although there is currently no evidence that this mutation alone causes more severe illness or is more transmissible, it is still important to stick to the rules to stop the spread of the virus and any of its strains. The council is working closely with colleagues in Public Health England to monitor this strain.
A combination of the vaccine rollout and local symptom-free and NHS PCR testing are helping to reduce the risk of those most vulnerable to the virus becoming seriously unwell. The vaccine programme is running well across the borough, with good uptake among priority groups. Those who cannot work from home and do not have symptoms can still access regular testing at any of Warrington’s symptom-free testing sites. Details of the town’s testing sites can be found at warrington.gov.uk/asymptomatic-community-testing-sites.
Importantly, if you go to one of our symptom-free testing sites and test positive, you should self-isolate immediately and you must do so by law. If you start to develop coronavirus symptoms after testing positive at a symptom-free testing site, you must restart your 10 day self-isolation period from the point of developing symptoms.
If you generally experience any symptoms of COVID (fever, new continuous cough or loss/change of taste or smell), or you are contact traced by someone who tests positive for COVID, you should self-isolate immediately and book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
Cabinet member for public health, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, said: “Over the next two weeks, it’s really important that residents abide by the current lockdown rules and play their part in reducing infection rates. The roadmap out of lockdown is such positive and welcome news, but we cannot risk people reducing their compliance with the rules, because if the picture should worsen and case numbers start to increase again, the dates on the roadmap could easily shift.
“It is vital that we do everything we can to help our children and young people continue with their education uninterrupted when they go back to school. With lower rates, we can also look forward to the gradual easing of restrictions over the coming months as set out in the national roadmap.”
For those who need support during this difficult time please visit kindtoyourmind.org which has details of 24/7 crisis helplines and resources to help mental wellbeing.
For more information about coronavirus in Warrington, visit warrington.gov.uk/coronavirus

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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