Liverpool health boss worried about restrictions as covid rates rise

By Liam Thorp

Liverpool Council's cabinet member for health says he is concerned that rising covid rates in the city and struggling hospitals could lead to restrictions.

This weekend the local authority put out an urgent warning for people in two parts of the city to get tested immediately, following a 'sharp and worrying' increase in infections.

Childwall and Belle Vale both have infection rates of over 600 cases per 100,000 people - with Liverpool's overall rate rising to 417 cases per 100,000.

Read more: People in two parts of Liverpool told to get tested as infection rates rise

Cllr Frazer Lake, who leads on health for the city council, said he is worried about what may come next if rates keep rising and the city's hospitals become overwhelmed as they battle against the virus and the usual winter pressures.

He said: "Rates in Liverpool are now as high as they were at the end of January, when we were in national lockdown – so my concern is that rapidly rising infections and overwhelmed hospitals could result in further restrictions being imposed."

He said that hospitalisations from Covid-19 remain high for unvaccinated people, adding: "So we all need to do what we can to reduce the pressure on the NHS."

"We can all help slow the spread by getting both doses of the vaccine and by getting tested regularly – something that takes less than five minutes.”

The city's public health director, Matt Ashton, said he was particularly concerned about rising infection rates in the city's over 60s population - an age group that is highly vulnerable to the worst ravages of the virus.

He added: ""Being double vaccinated remains the best way to prevent yourself from getting seriously ill or spreading it to others – whether or not you’ve had the Covid-19 infection before – so I also urge people to get vaccinated as soon as possible and to keep wearing a face covering in crowded areas or in places where they can’t easily socially distance.”

If you do test positive for covid, you can find out what support is available by visiting the Liverpool City Council website or by calling the freephone Covid Advice Support Line on 0800 169 3032 – lines are open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

For those experiencing financial problems due to a sudden drop in income as a result of self-isolating, advice on what financial support is available can also be found online.

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