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Article date - 19 August 2020
Diagnosed rates of Covid-19 in the area from the newest data available which is for the week to 10th August has seen an equivalent seven day rate of 92 cases per 100,000 residents* putting the area in the top five per cent in small areas across the North West. This is compared to a St Helens Borough figure of 14.4 per 100,000 during the same time period.
Although the number of cases are still small St Helens Council is calling on residents to take extra care and get tested, even if they do not have any symptoms of Covid-19, particularly if they have come into contact with others from outside their household to help isolate any further cases in the community.
A targeted letter drop will take place in the area where the cases have been confirmed and additional advice is being given to people who are part of the shielding list.
Sue Forster, Director of Public Health at St Helens Borough Council, said: “We are taking this action early to make sure that the chances of community transmission are low by making people in the Eccleston Park area aware there has been a number of confirmed cases in close proximity to them. We want to encourage people from that area to get tested, even if you do not have any symptoms, because we want to find and isolate any positive cases quickly and we are seeing that some people have mild or no symptoms at all.
“It’s easy to book a test and easy to get tested, it takes just a few minutes and will be supporting the management of Covid-19 in the area. A mobile testing unit is in place in nearby Rainhill from Wednesday 19 to Friday 21 so is close to those living in the Eccleston Park area.
“We have written to those in the area most affected and have talked about the symptoms to look out for, no matter how mild, how they can book a test and also reminded them of the steps they can take to reduce their risk of transmission. This is particularly important for people aged between 20-34 as this is the group where cases have been identified. We would urge them to reduce their contacts and make sure they keep their distance, wash hands regularly and wear a face mask in enclosed spaces.”
Councillor David Baines, Leader of St Helens Borough Council, added: “While Covid-19 might not affect some people’s health if we let it continue to spread, particularly for those carrying on as normal without knowing they have it, the long term picture means more people will catch this. Then it risks not just the health of those more vulnerable to this virus but also we could also see restrictions which have wider impacts on everyone’s life through reducing the businesses that can operate and could have a huge economic impact too. If we work together we can help bring the rates of infection down quickly and not face the restrictions we have seen put in place on some of our neighbouring towns.”
The main symptoms to look out for are a fever, a new, continuous cough or loss of taste or smell. No matter how mild you must isolate for 10 days and get a test. Even if your results come back negative you should continue to isolate as the test is only a picture of your health at that time.
For more advice, particularly if you need support with food and medicine or if you need to isolate, visit: www.sthelens.gov.uk/coronavirus or call St Helens Contact Cares on 01744 676767.
The a mobile testing unit open at the former Eccleston Park Golf Course on Wednesday 19th to Friday 21st August which is available to book online at www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested.
Alternatively call NHS 119 to book an appointment. You can also book a test at Haydock Park Racecourse seven days a week.
* Source: Public Health England. Please note numbers may change due to data validation and late reporting of cases