An increase in confirmed cases of young people with coronavirus in south Liverpool has led public health officials to warn that the illness can infect anyone, regardless of age.
There have been around 30 cases in the area over the last fortnight, with half of them in people aged 15-24. The places affected include Belle Vale, Childwall, Woolton, Knotty Ash, Allerton and Hunts Cross. There have also been a number of cases in Halewood.
Matt Ashton, Liverpool’s Director of Public Health, said: “Everyone is at risk of COVID-19, but we know that there is a perception among younger people that they are less at risk.
“The easing of the lockdown means this is a really dangerous moment for case numbers, and we need people not to let their guard down and throw away all of the sacrifices we have made since March.
“We owe it to each other to take precautions and look after each other, regardless of their age.
“This is not just about your own individual risk, but the chances of you passing it on to your own family and friends, some of which may be in vulnerable groups and could become seriously ill.
“So we need everyone to follow the rules, such as avoiding crowds of people and social gatherings, following social distancing guidelines, and using face coverings on public transport and in supermarkets.
“Regardless of where you live, if you do develop symptoms, please make sure you isolate, book a test through the NHS website, and then if it is positive we can use contact tracing to help find other that may be at risk.
“If everyone follows the guidance we can help control the virus and minimise the impact on ourselves and our loved ones.”
Dr Sarah McNulty, Director of Public Health in Knowsley, added: “I can’t stress enough how important it is to stay at home if you develop symptoms and get tested, particularly with lockdown measures easing and pubs and bars now reopening.
“It is so important that social distancing is part of your everyday life – you don’t know who has it and who could be spreading it, but if you’re within 2 metres of them for more than 15 minutes and they test positive, you will have to self-isolate for 14 days.”
Mobile testing centres will be in the area over the next week or so, carrying out swab tests on people with symptoms who have pre-booked via the NHS website.
Woolton: Saturday 11 July and Sunday 12 July
Wavertree: Monday 13 July to Wednesday 15 July
Halewood: Tuesday 14 July to Friday 17 July, and Friday 24 July to Sunday 26 July
Booking a test can only be done through the NHS website here and full instructions and the location are sent with the confirmation – you cannot just turn up without an appointment.
More information about COVID-19 symptoms and guidance can be found on the NHS website at www.nhs.uk