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Sefton to hold Minute’s Silence to honour lives lost to COVID-19

Sefton Council will lead in a minute’s silence to remember those who have passed away from COVID-19 in the borough.

Sadly 272 people in the borough have lost their lives through COVID-19 and they will be remembered during a minute’s silence at the start of the next Cabinet Meeting of Sefton Council from 10am on Thursday, June 25.

The silence will be led by Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council and Chief Executive Dwayne Johnson, with residents across the borough encouraged to fall silent at the same time.

Cllr Ian Maher said: “We will never forget those who have fought so bravely against the COVID-19 virus and our thoughts are with everyone who has lost loved ones during this pandemic.

“We understand that this is a very difficult time for anyone who has lost a relation, a friend or a colleague and our deepest sympathies go out to those who are grieving.

“Please if you wish to join us from 10am on Thursday, June 25 in falling silent as a mark of remembrance to those we have lost.”

For more information about support, guidance and advice during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit www.sefton.gov.uk/coronavirus.

NEW COVID-19 REGIONAL TESTING SITE FOR CHESHIRE AND MERSEYSIDE.

A second Regional Testing Centre for Covid-19 has opened in Cheshire and Merseyside.

Based at Liverpool John Lennon Airport the centre began testing residents, with pre-arranged appointments, on Wednesday, June 17.

The drive-through coronavirus testing facility is located in the long stay car park at the airport and is a key part of the Cheshire and Merseyside push to meet the need for further increased testing. It is open seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm.

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.

NHS staff and those key workers within health and social care settings can also access the site without an appointment. To receive a test without an appointment staff will need to bring an employee photo ID badge, if they don’t have an employee photo ID, they can bring another form of photo ID e.g. passport or driving license and a recent payslip

The site sits alongside the existing network of testing sites being set up around the UK and is the second in the Cheshire and Merseyside region, alongside Haydock Park in Newton-le-Willows.

To increase testing for everyone with symptoms, the Cheshire and Merseyside Health Care Partnership has worked with Government to set up the two regional test centres, four satellite and three mobile testing units.

Anyone testing positive for the virus will also be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.

Terry Whalley, Director of Cheshire & Merseyside Coronavirus Testing said:

The opening of this drive-through coronavirus testing facility represents another significant step forward in our Cheshire & Merseyside strategy, and creates the opportunity for more people who need a test to get a test.

“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.”

Chief Executive of Sefton Council, and Chair of the Merseyside TTC Cell, Dwayne Johnson, said: 

“The pace and quality of the roll out Covid-19 testing across Cheshire and Merseyside has been hugely impressive. We have seen so many organisations working together to ensure this happens in a safe and timely way.

“Whether it is local authorities, different parts of the NHS or the Ministry of Defence; private and public sector colleagues have all come together to ensure that we are delivering mobile, satellite and regional testing sites; – like this new facility at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

“We are working together across Cheshire and Merseyside to ensure that testing is easily available to anyone who needs it. Sites like this allow people who develop symptoms to quickly get a test and find out whether they need to take the appropriate action.

The testing centre is operated in partnership with Levy and will offer assisted and self-administered tests. Those tested will receive their results within a few days.

Home food facts on World Food Safety Day (June 7)

In the current circumstances more of us are cooking and eating at home, this World Food Safety Day (June 7) we want to help you make the most of the contents of your cupboards and fridges in a safe way.

The Food Standards Agency have lots of information which will help answer some of the safety questions you may have.

Peter Quigley, Head of Chemical Safety Policy at the Food Standards Agency, said:

“Food safety is everyone’s business. As part of my role, I answer all sorts of questions about food safety, so we’ve pulled together some of the ones we get asked most frequently.

“We hope that our home food facts, help you to avoid throwing away good food unnecessarily.”

Here are five of your top food safety questions answered, to help you make your food go further:

When eggs float are they bad?

Don’t use the egg float test to determine safety. Eggs are safe to eat for a couple of days after the best before date, as long as they are cooked thoroughly.

Is food safe if the can has a dent in it?

If the dent on the can is shallow and there are no other obvious signs that the can is damaged (such as the can expanding or leaking) your food should remain fit to eat.

How long can you safely eat rice for after cooking?

Keep rice in the fridge for no more than one day. When you reheat rice always check the dish is steaming hot all the way through.

Can you eat potatoes when they start to sprout?

Remove any sprouts on potatoes before using them and remember and cut off any green or rotten bits.

Can you eat brown bananas?

Fruit or vegetables that are a bit overripe, such as wrinkly carrots, brown bananas and slightly mushy strawberries can be eaten normally (providing they are not mouldy). Alternatively, they can be used in cooking, baking or smoothies.

For more information, please visit our home food hygiene page.

 

NHS Coronavirus Test and Trace service launched.

Today, the Government has launched the new NHS Test and Trace service across England.

Test and Trace is designed to identify, contain and control Coronavirus, reduce the spread of the virus and save lives. It means that anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.

Those people identified as having been in close contact with someone who has had a positive test result must then stay at home for 14 days. They must do this even if they do not have symptoms, to prevent them spreading the virus without knowing.

People in isolation who develop symptoms can book their own test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. If they test positive, they must continue to stay at home for 7 days or until their symptoms have passed. If they test negative, they must complete the 14-day isolation period.

Members of their household will not have to stay at home unless the person identified becomes symptomatic, at which point they must also self-isolate for 14 days to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.

Over 571 Coronavirus tests were completed at the Mobile Testing site in Southport this week taking our cumulative total at Sefton Borough’s Mobile Sits to 2490.

Another mobile unit is scheduled to be at Litherland Sports Park  on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, (3rd, 4th & 5th June) of this week.

The Government has said that NHS Test and Trace service, which includes 25,000 dedicated contact tracing staff working with Public Health England, will have the capacity to trace the contacts of 10,000 people who test positive for coronavirus per day. They also say Test and Trace can be scaled up if needed.

People who are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service will be given clear information explaining what they must do and how they can access local support if needed. Guidance is also available online at gov.uk/coronavirus.

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced that those having to self-isolate will be eligible for statutory sick pay if they are unable to work from home.

The Government is also starting to provide Antibody tests for NHS workers and patients.

The Government has also today expanded the testing available for children aged under 5. From tomorrow, any symptomatic individual in England will be able to access a test if they need one.

Anyone with a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a change in their sense of smell or taste is asked to immediately report these symptoms and book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus.

Find out more about the support available during Covid-19.

Questions & Answers on Test and Trace and Antibody testing.

Sefton Council urges residents to be ‘Kind to Your Mind’ during Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and focusing on our mental health and wellbeing has never been more important. In these challenging and difficult times, people in Sefton should take time to consider their mental health, reach out if they need help and know that it is ok to not feel ok.

The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness. Not only can acts of kindness improve our own Mental Health but reaching out to others and offering support has benefits for everyone in Sefton.

Helping others creates a sense of belonging and reduces isolation and being kind to ourselves can help boost our self-esteem and improve our mood.

This help can be as simple as picking up the phone and checking in with someone we love or a quick text message to let someone know that you are there.

Many people are experiencing low energy, stress, anxiety and low mood; this is normal and reaching out to others and talking about our Mental Health is positive and healthy.

Residents in Sefton should know there is a wealth of support available if you are struggling with your mental health.

You can visit our health and wellbeing page on our website for advice and support from topics ranging from mental and physical health, to domestic abuse and financial concerns that may be putting pressure on your mental health.

We also have a dedicated page for resources and support for Children and Young People and those who care for them as we know children are finding this time away from friends, school and routine particularly challenging.

The Kind to Your Mind website is designed for people living and working in Cheshire and Merseyside, has lots of advice and useful resources to help you through these challenging times.

This includes ALMA, where you can access a range of free online therapy programmes which include short modules on dealing with stress, getting better sleep, improving resilience and coping with your emotions during the pandemic.

There’s also free approved health and wellbeing apps and some great podcasts to listen to with guest including Andy Cole and Dr Chatterjee, providing tips and advice to help you get through this difficult period.

For people who require urgent mental health support, the Kind to Your Mind website also contains a number of crisis helplines, which have been recently launched and offer 24/7 support for those living in Cheshire and Merseyside.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

‘People in Sefton have shown their kindness throughout the COVID-19 situation, helping others, offering support, reaching out to family and friends and even strangers. These acts of kindness give everyone a boost and the importance of that cannot be overstated. I hope we  will see this during Mental Health Awareness Week too.’

He added, ‘Most people are finding this time difficult and talking about how we feel makes those feelings normal so we can say it is ok to not be ok. It is more important than ever that we look after our mental health and wellbeing and we know where we can go for support. The ‘Kind to Your Mind’ website has lots of great advice and resources, from clinical professionals to get you through these challenging times.’

 

If you are in crisis and need urgent support, call the MerseyCare crisis line on 0151 296 7200

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