With just over week to go until the Government’s next planned easing of lockdown measures, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health Margaret Jones is urging people across the Borough not to jeopardize it by ignoring the rules.
She said: “Recent reports of a 30 per cent-plus rise in new coronavirus infections in Sefton, and the recent closure of Formby pool after cases were linked to the facility, are a stark reminder that the coronavirus is still in the Borough.
“It is vital that if we are going to continue local and national progress back to the kinds of normal life we all want to see, we continue to take the precautions that keep us and others safe.
“If you have the coronavirus symptoms of a new continuous cough, a fever or a loss of smell or taste, you are infectious and must self-isolate and book a test by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
“If you don’t you are putting friends and family at risk and helping the spread of COVID.
“And we all need to continue social distancing, mask-wearing and frequent and thorough handwashing, which are all key elements of staying safe.”
Mrs Jones went on to remind people about the need to take rapid COVID-19 tests, also known as a Lateral Flow Tests (LFT), twice a week.
She continued: “Around third of people with the COVID-19 virus are not showing any symptoms, so it’s important that all of us who are out at work or just out and about take a rapid test twice a week.
“Anyone who gets a positive result from a rapid test needs to self isolate and book a PCR test that can confirm the result straight away.
“Also, I would ask people to use the NHS Covid-19 app on their phones to record their rapid test results, both negative and positive, as this helps give us a clearer picture of local infection rates and helps us anticipate and prevent outbreaks.”
Rapid tests for people without coronavirus symptoms usually provide a result in around 30 minutes. Rapid testing involves taking a throat & nasal swab, dropping the sample into the container supplied and then checking the result after 20 to 30 minutes.
Rapid test kits can be collected from Bootle Town Hall and Splash World in Southport from 8am-8pm seven days a week. No appointments are needed.
Kits can also be collected between 2.30pm and 8pm, seven days a week, from walk-through Local Test Centres opposite Bootle Town Hall and at Crosby Library Car Park, Netherton Activity Centre and Southport Town Hall. No appointments are needed.
They are available from all Sefton’s pharmacies and they can be ordered online at www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests
People can also choose to have assisted testing at one of Sefton’s SMART test sites, which are also open 8am to 8pm seven days a week and located at Bootle Leisure Centre and at Splash World in Southport.
Anyone who gets a positive result from a rapid test must self-isolate for 10 days and immediately book a PCR test by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus .F