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Coronavirus testing for people without symptoms, coming to Sefton

Borough Council Leader Cllr Ian Maher has welcomed the news that Sefton is one of the local authorities where mass coronavirus testing for people without symptoms is to be rolled out.

Cllr Maher said: “I am delighted that people across our Borough are going to benefit from the new Lateral flow tests, have a turnaround time of under an hour.

“Although we have been limited with the number of tests and will only be able to test 10% of the population it’s another way of identifying people who have coronavirus before they show symptoms. This will help reduce the number of people they might spread it to and in turn the overall the transmission rate.

“Sefton residents and people who work here who don’t have coronavirus symptoms will be able to go and get a test. They will quickly receive a result, which hopefully confirms they don’t have COVID-19 and are not infectious.

“Those people who don’t have symptoms but who receive a positive test result, meaning they are infectious and could prevent a risk to any of their family, friends and colleagues who may be vulnerable, will then be able to isolate for the required period.

“By taking the tests regularly, people across the Borough will be able to monitor their condition, which will help to reduce infections rates and help pave the way back to some kind of normality in the future.

Lateral flow tests have been available since Friday for people who live or are employed in Liverpool, including Sefton residents who work in the city.

Cllr Maher added: “We have already secured significant walk-through and drive-through testing facilities in Sefton.

“Over the coming days we will learn lessons from Liverpool and decide how we deploy the tests.”

“In the meantime, I would urge anyone who feels any of the symptoms of coronavirus coming on, whether that’s a high temperature, a new cough or they lose their sense of smell or taste, it’s time to get a test straight away.

“The sooner people do this, the quicker they can find out if they are COVID positive and the more quickly they can start taking measures to isolate and protect the people around them.”

To make an appointment for a test people can call 119 or visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

Sefton has four walk-through test centres for people who are showing coronavirus symptoms, at Bootle Town Hall, Crosby Library, Netherton Activity Centre and Southport Town Hall. And now, extra Mobile Coronavirus Testing Units are being deployed across the Borough.

Mobile Units are on site at Southport Esplanade Coach Park and in Litherland Sports Park and Aintree Race Course until Friday 20th November, apart from on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th, and also at Maghull Town hall on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th November.

Find out more about where and when tests are available in Sefton.

Extra coronavirus testing capacity for Sefton

Extra Mobile Coronavirus Testing Units are being deployed in Sefton. These are for people who are showing coronavirus symptoms of a high temperature, a new persistent cough or a loss of taste or smell.

Mobile Test Units will be on site at Esplanade Coach Park in Southport and in Litherland Sports Park every day for the next two weeks. And on Saturdays 7th and 14th and Sundays 8th and 15th November a Unit will also be at Maghull Town Hall.

In addition, the Council has secured a Mobile Unit site in Ainsdale and there will be a Unit at Aintree from Thursday 12th to Friday 20th November, apart from on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th.

Sefton also has four walk-through Local Testing Centres, at Bootle Town Hall, Crosby Library, Netherton Activity Centre and Southport Town Hall. They are open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.

People who develop coronavirus symptoms need to book a test straight away by making an appointment at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

Also, Sefton residents who work or study in Liverpool can now access a coronavirus test even if they don’t have symptoms.  As a result of the support Sefton Council is providing, local residents who qualify under Liverpool’s new mass testing system, because they work or study in the city, can get tests closer to home. Their results will be available in 24 to 48 hours.

Book one of these COVID-19 tests.

Mobile Testing Units, which are supported by Sefton Council, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG, have visited locations across the Borough on most days since July.

Mobile Testing Unit sates already planned for November.

National Lockdown latest and FAQs

From today, Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the Government’s new national lockdown restrictions apply.

This means:

  • People must stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  • You should not gather with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  • Certain businesses and venues must close.

The Government has introduced these new measures to achieve the maximum reduction in growth in the number of cases, preventing the NHS from being overwhelmed, while ensuring that schools, colleges and universities stay open and that as many people as possible continue to work.

They apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December.

Read our national lockdown FAQs.

Sefton Council urges residents to stay safe this October/ November

This Halloween and Bonfire Night authorities across the Liverpool City Region are urging residents not to gather or arrange events.

With the Liverpool City Region under Tier 3 restrictions, the risk of transmitting coronavirus is significantly higher than in other areas so mixing with other households should be avoided.

Major outdoor events scheduled to take place this over the Halloween and Bonfire Night period have been cancelled to help reduce the spread of coronavirus and all requests to hold events such as firework displays, no matter how large or small, will be refused for public safety reasons.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:

“We understand that this is a difficult period as this time of year families would usually be taking part in Halloween and Bonfire Night activities however, this year traditional ‘trick or treating’, parties and firework events are not permitted as this could increase the risk of spreading infection.

“Protecting our residents especially those who are vulnerable is our main priority and I know our communities will work together to help stop the spread of Coronavirus.”

Local authorities will continue to work with the Merseyside Police to help protect residents by ensuring that the restrictions are followed.

Chief Inspector Peter Clark, who is heading this year’s operation for Merseyside Police said:

“As you know there are a number of rules and restrictions in place in relation to Covid-19 – that means that the planned displays and events we normally attend, will not be happening this year. We know that this is another sacrifice we are having to make, however now is a time to pull together, follow the guidance and help to stop the spread.

“We are keen to get the balance right between protecting people from the spread of the coronavirus and ensuring that they can still enjoy this period. We will maintain a common sense approach during the Halloween and Bonfire night period – and are working to encourage people to respect the restrictions and explain why they are so important. Where people are flouting restrictions, we will however take action.

He continued: “Our message regarding anti-social behaviour during this period remains simple – it will not be tolerated and anyone caught committing this type of offence will be dealt with firmly and robustly. No one should have to suffer being the victim of anti-social behaviour and I would like to reassure everyone that there will be extra high-visibility patrols during this time.”

Local authorities are encouraging members of the public to find alternatives to trick or treating and gathering at bonfire or firework displays this year.

As in previous years, council officers will be working with both the Police and Fire services to reduce anti-social behaviour and protect the vulnerable, as well as removing fly-tipped waste and illegal bonfires.

Joe Cunliffe, Station Manager at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, said: “We know things won’t be the same this year and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service still wants people to enjoy this period, but now is the time to pull together, follow the guidance and help stop the spread – it’s more important than ever that we all work together to protect our communities and the most vulnerable among them.

“Deliberately started fires in the run up to bonfire night put a huge drain on already overstretched Fire Service resources. You can help to reduce the number of incidents this bonfire period by never giving combustible materials to anyone, especially young people, and making sure your wheelie bin is out of sight – only put it out on collection day and bring it back in in as soon as possible.”

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is encouraging members of the public not to have bonfires on public land this year in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Station Manager Cunliffe added: “Community bonfires must not take place on public land, as this will encourage people to gather in breach of current restrictions. Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service will respond to reports of fires and will extinguish them throughout the bonfire period. We would urge people to report any combustible material that could be used for deliberate fires via our website www.merseyfire.gov.uk, by calling 0800 731 5958 or via our social media pages.

“If you decide to have fireworks at home, only buy them from reputable retailers registered with MFRS. Please observe the restrictions and always follow the firework code.”

For further information on how to stay safe this Halloween and Bonfire Night follow the Police and Fire service social media channels who will be sharing tips and information over the next few weeks. In an emergency always call 999 and ask for the service you require.

The Environment Agency is advising people to:

  • Think twice about having a bonfire this year.
  • Only burn small amounts of dry paper, leaves, clean wood and cardboard if you do decide to have a bonfire. Make sure materials are stored securely before being burned and always check the bonfire for wildlife before setting it alight.
  • Avoid burning waste such as treated wood, tyres, plastic, rubber and oil as these can seriously harm health and pollute the environment. It is illegal to burn most types of waste.
  • Make sure you know where the materials for your bonfire have come from. If you suspect illegal activity report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
  • Read Environment Agency advice at https://www.gov.uk/garden-bonfires-rules to make sure you’re disposing of waste on your bonfire safely and legally.

It has never been easier to get a COVID-19 test across Sefton and the Region

With the roll-out of 17 new semi-permanent Local Testing Sites in the last six weeks across Cheshire and Merseyside, the ability to book and get a local test for Covid-19 in has never been better.

Sefton now has four of these walk-through sites, at Bootle Town Hall, Crosby Library Netherton Activity Centre and Southport Town Hall.

Open from 8am to 8pm, walk through centres provide easy access to COVID-19 tests for people with coronavirus symptoms who do not have access to a car and for those who have coronavirus symptoms and should not travel by public transport.

People can book appointments, if they have symptoms, at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

There is also a fleet of nine Mobile Testing Units which are deployed across Cheshire and Merseyside to help in priority areas and where there are specific outbreaks. Sefton has had Mobile Units at various locations on most days since the start of July.

As the Liverpool City Region moved into Tier 3 restrictions; the prevalence of the virus meant that more people are experiencing symptoms need to be tested.  More capacity across the national laboratories has also come on-line meaning it is much easier to book an appointment for a test than ever before.

Testing Director for Cheshire and Merseyside, Terry Whalley said: “We now have more facilities and more lab capacity to enable anyone with symptoms to seek a test.

“We have worked extremely hard with partners, including local councils, laboratories and NHS Trusts to ensure that we have the infrastructure and capacity we need in Cheshire and Merseyside as we see a second surge of Covid-19.

“It is vital that people, who have symptoms, get a test and then ensure they strictly adhere to the self-isolation advice if they prove to be positive. Testing helps identify those who are carrying the disease and helps to stop the spread of the virus to others.

“Our ability to offer more routes to access testing will help us protect lives and protect livelihoods by ensuring we are able to do more testing every day.”

Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of or change in their normal sense of smell or taste, should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus  or by calling 119 to find out if they currently have coronavirus.

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