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Covid-19 antibody tests no proof of long-term immunity to the virus.

With extensive Covid-19 antibody testing now taking place for NHS staff and some patients and Health & Social Care workers across Cheshire and Merseyside, Sefton residents are being reminded there is no evidence that a positive test result provides any proof of long-term immunity to the virus.

Antibody testing is being carried out because at this stage, it can improve understanding about the spread of the virus and help scientists learn about how the virus has spread. It is not being used to indicate to those who have had the virus that they will develop long-lasting immunity that would prevent them from getting the virus again.

This reminder comes after reports that private companies offering antibody tests for as much as £30 per person have been targeting schools and other organisations.

Margaret Jones, Interim Director of Public Health for Sefton, said: “The message for residents, business and other organisations is that there is currently no clinical or medical benefit to having an antibody test and that we would not encourage anyone to seek out, or agree to, a private test.

“The only validated way to have an antibody test is to go through an NHS service, which is currently prioritising some patients, NHS and key workers in health & social care. However, this still only shows whether people have had the virus, not if they are immune and they should certainly not be seen as providing any kind of ‘immunity passport’.

“In fact, the Government has made clear that anyone testing positive will still be required to comply with social distancing measures and other guidelines such as wearing face coverings on public transport.

“The best advice is to only have an antibody test if you are asked to do so by your employer, GP or when in an NHS setting like a hospital. If you are asked to be tested, please ensure that is through official NHS Test and Trace channels.”

Questions & Answers on Test and Trace and Antibody testing.

Sefton says ‘I Do’ to weddings in borough once again

Sefton is once again saying ‘I do!’ to weddings in the borough thanks to the hard work of local authority registrars.

While social distancing rules remain in place for everyone’s safety, the council are once more able to offer weddings for those couples who had their ceremony put on hold at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This morning (Monday, July 6) Waterloo Town Hall welcomed its first bride and groom to tie the knot when Thornton couple Stephen and Nicola Pendleton said, ‘I do’ in front of witnesses.

“It was a bit of a whirlwind and we cannot thank the registrars team enough for what they did,” said Stephen following the ceremony.

“To be the first couple in Sefton to be married following everything that has gone on is fantastic.”

Bride Nicola added: “The registrars team really wanted to make it as special as they possibly could for us and were so lovely about the situation.”

While weddings can now start to take place once more, government guidelines mean that:

  •  Numbers will be restricted
  • 2-metre social distancing must apply unless additional measures are in place.
  • Bride unable to be escorted down aisle unless escort (usually dad) is from same household.
  • Hand sanitiser to be used on entrance and exit.
  • Ceremony will be kept to legal requirements only.
  • Photographer allowed but must remain in one place and must be included as one of the restricted  number.

Couples who were due to to be married and had their ceremony suspended will be contacted by Sefton Council’s Registrars as soon as possible.

Sefton Council remembers during Srebrenica Memorial Week

The UK’s Srebrenica Memorial Week for 2020 will be taking place from 5th to 12th July.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, in which over 8,000 Muslim men and boys were murdered in the worst atrocity on European soil since the Second World War, simply because of their religious identity.

As an organisation we believe that we must ensure that we never forget about the genocide and reaffirm our commitment to standing up against all forms of hatred and prejudice that targets groups based on their religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or any type of difference.

Southport Town Hall will fly the flag from 3rd July to the 12th July to mark this anniversary and to encourage our community to remember this atrocity.

The theme for 2020 is ‘Every Action Matters’. The theme will seek to encourage every person to reflect upon their own behaviour and choices that they take, and demonstrate that however insignificant it may seem, every action matters, whether positive or negative.

‘Every Action Matters’ calls upon everyone to look back at the lessons from Srebrenica and think forward about our individual moral obligations to do something, no matter how small, to make a difference. It aims to motivate people to show people that their actions can, and do matter, and that we must always challenge hatred, prejudice and genocide denial.

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said : ‘It is now more important than ever for us to come together to celebrate diversity and to stand together in solidarity against hatred and discrimination. We mark this sad anniversary to make sure we do not forget the horrors of the past and to ensure we all learn from them.’

You can find out more and take part in the ‘Every Action Matters Personal Challenge: 11 actions to mark 11th July’ here

Our libraries will be highlighting important books on Srebrenica throughout the week on their social media channels, follow them here.

At 7pm on the 11th, the Remembering Srebrenica organisation will be broadcasting the UK National Srebrenica Memorial Day Commemoration online on their Facebook, Twitter and Youtube accounts, more details in the following link:

http://www.srebrenica.org.uk/informatihttp://www.srebrenica360.com/on/uk-national-srebrenica-memorial-day-commemoration/

Coronavirus Mobile Test Site back in Maghull from Tuesday 7 July. 

A Coronavirus Mobile Test Site returns to Maghull’s Meadows Leisure Centre for three days from Tuesday 7 July.

Supported by Sefton Council, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG, Mobile Test Sites are providing clinical diagnosis tests to tell people if they currently have the Covid-19 virus. Tests are available for anyone but they need to have made an appointment first at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus  or by calling 119.  Essential workers still need to book through www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-essential-workers .

After Maghull, the next scheduled Coronavirus Mobile Test Site visit will be to  Litherland Sports Park from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 July.

Key NHS and care workers can now attend regional testing sites, which now include the new site at Liverpool John Lennon Airport as well as Haydock and Manchester Airport without the need for an appointment.

Testing is vital to the ongoing work to overcome COVID-19 and enables key workers who test negative to return to that work. Approaching 6,000 people have already been tested so far at Sefton’s Mobile Test Sites, which have been supported by Sefton Council, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG.

Through the Government’s NHS Test and Trace service, anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted and will need to share information about their recent interactions. It is really important you follow the NHS guidance to stop the spread of coronavirus in Sefton.

Find out more about the NHS Test and Trace service.

Sefton buildings light up blue tonight for NHS Birthday

Sefton Council will light up a number of buildings blue this weekend to mark the 72nd anniversary of the formation of the National Health Service (NHS).

Both Bootle Town Hall and Crosby Library will be bathed in blue lights this evening of Sunday July 5 to celebrate the NHS and health workers both past and present. 

Sefton Council, while working hard with partners to ensure vulnerable residents are  protected from the spread of COVID-19, have also taken time to praise the vital work of the NHS and key workers, many of whom work for the Local Authority. 

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Now more than ever is the time to show how indebted we all are to the National Health Service and say thank you the thousands of residents across our borough who work tirelessly as doctors, nurses, administrators, support workers and cleaners to keep our incredible health service running.

“We’re delighted that we are able to light up Crosby Library and Bootle Town Hall as just a small token of our massive appreciation for the NHS and we are continuing to do all we can to support our communities and make them as resilient as possible to keep pressure off health workers at this time.”

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