|22 October 2020|
|Coronavirus Update: Call to action & protecting our most vulnerable Since the coronavirus pandemic started earlier this year, Knowsley has come a long way. Partners across the borough are continuing to work collaboratively as part of a Knowsley Better Together approach to protect and support our communities, our businesses and the most vulnerable. As we work together to try and reduce the impact of Covid-19, we are aware that restrictions have been challenging for businesses, employees, charity and voluntary organisations, community groups and residents. However, they are essential to stop the spread of the virus.
Knowsley and the wider Liverpool City Region have seen significant increases in cases over the previous weeks, and we are now beginning to see the impact on our local hospitals with a rise in hospital admissions.
At the time of writing Knowsley has 663 cases per 100,000 population, and as a result the Liverpool City Region, including Knowsley, has been placed in Tier 3 restrictions (Very High). This is the highest rating in the Government’s new three tier system. From Wednesday 14 October, Knowsley was required to follow Tier 3 restrictions until further notice, the detail which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-level-very-high. The restrictions will be reviewed in four weeks, alongside our confirmed cases.
The restrictions impact on businesses, transport, and limit social contact with people from different households (are all detailed in the above link).
A CALL TO ACTION- WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW TO SUPPORT KNOWSLEY
Using local intelligence and feedback, we want to highlight areas we feel that, with your help could support the reduction in community transmission and reduce the impact on our vulnerable residents as well as our local economy. We believe that with some additional voluntary measures we can reduce the numbers of cases in the area, and therefore reduce the number of restrictions necessary to contain the virus in the future.
Working from home
Tier 3 restrictions state that where possible all staff should now be working from home for the winter months. Doing so will reduce the overall contacts and ensure any outbreaks in your workplace are less disruptive. This is particularly important for employees, or members of their families who were previously shielding, to protect them from the harmful effects of the virus. We would strongly recommend these individuals should now either be working from home, or re-deployed into non-public-facing roles wherever possible.
Promote symptoms and self-isolation practice
Our experiences have highlighted how well our local businesses and organisations understand the symptoms and requirements for workers to self-isolate, however evidence still suggests many local and UK residents do not. We all have a part to play in promoting the key messages of symptoms and self-isolate. Please continue to promote:
Symptoms: high temperature of 37.8° or more. new or continuous cough. loss of smell or taste. Self-isolation: If you develop symptoms self-isolate and order a test. If test is positive self-isolate for 10 days from symptom onset. Isolate for 14 days if: You live with somebody with symptoms or has tested positive Someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tests positive You have been identified as a close contact of anybody with symptoms or has tested positive What you can do: Maintain social distancing at all times – that’s keeping a 2m distance between you and others. Wear a face covering where advised. Regularly wash your hands with soap and water. Limit interactions with others as much as possible. Only travel if it’s essential – for work / school / medication or shopping. Carry a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes. Self-isolation payment for low paid workers / staff on zero-hour contracts and agency staff
For residents, staff, staff on zero hours contracts, agency workers, etc who may express difficulties financially in self-isolating they could be eligible for a payment of up to £500. Visit here for more information:
Transport / Car sharing
Through managing cases and outbreaks in the workplace it has become evident that a large number of employees or workplace contacts have been required to self-isolate or have subsequently contracted the virus through sharing transport to and from the workplace.
The local restrictions make clear the importance of adhering to transport guidance. The guidance states that all non-essential travel should be minimised “where getting to and from work would be identified as essential”. We would therefore recommend you encourage staff to: Cycle or walk to work; Do not car share. If car sharing is needed to get to and from the workplace both people must consent to sharing and be free from any Covid-19 symptoms.
The following guiding principles must also apply: Remember good hand hygiene before entering the car. Ensure the driver and passenger are both wearing surgical face masks (not face coverings). If you cannot source surgical face masks, face coverings are acceptable. Do not touch your face covering during the journey, and do not remove it to talk, eat or drink. Ideally, a separate face covering should be used for each journey and stored safely between uses/washed each evening if this face covering is re-usable. Share transport with the same people each time the journey to and from the workplace occurs. Open windows for ventilation. Face away from each other. Consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle. Where possible there should be one person in the front of the vehicle and one person in the back of the vehicle sat diagonally. Clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and any other areas people may touch. Remember good hand hygiene after leaving the car. For more information on care sharing and safe travel please visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#private-cars-and-other-vehicles