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Stockport’s Director of Public Health, Jennifer Connolly, has reminded residents of ways to limit the transmission of Covid-19 and seasonal illnesses during half term as case rates of Covid-19 remain high across the borough.
Persistently high numbers are continuing to test positive for Covid-19 in Stockport, with case rates currently at 539.5 per 100,000 as of 21st October (approximately 226 new cases per day). With half-term often meaning greater mixing with friends and family, Jennifer Connolly has sought to remind residents of the following measures they can take to reduce the likelihood of spreading coronavirus and other seasonal virus, such as colds and flu:
- getting the vaccine if you’re eligible for your first, second or booster dose
- taking a PCR test and self-isolating if you have COVID-19 symptoms or feel unwell
- wearing a face covering in indoor crowded spaces, schools, hospitals and care homes
- washing and sanitising hands frequently
- meeting outdoors and continuing social distancing where possible
- taking an LFD test regularly, as well as before you visit someone in a hospital or a care home
- being extra cautious and avoid visiting a hospital or care home if someone you live with has COVID-19
- ensuring enclosed areas are well ventilated by regularly opening windows, especially if you have had visitors indoors.
In her weekly statement on the state of the pandemic in Stockport, Jennifer Connolly also updated residents on the vaccine rollout, which has this week allowed 12-15 year olds to secure vaccinations via the NHS online booking service as well as in schools. She said:
Stockport residents are continuing to come forward for vaccines in very large numbers, which is helping to keep down hospitalisations and deaths from the virus. So far, 85.9% of all aged 18+ have now received their first dose of the vaccine, 85.1% of those aged 16+ and 16.6% of 12–15-year-olds. So far, 82.3 of those aged 18+% have received both doses. Of those aged 70+38.8% of the 70+ cohort have had their booster jab.
However, we still need as many people as possible to come forward for their full vaccinations, including booster jabs if at least six months since their second dose for those aged 50 and over, frontline health and social care workers, and people aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts you at high risk from COVID-19.
Walk-in vaccines are also available to all over 16s at Trinity Church, Trinity Gardens, 351 Bramhall Lane, SK3 8TP on Sundays for 2-4pm.
There is a half term pop up clinic at Trinity Church for appointments over half term on Monday, 25 October and Wednesday, 27 October, from 8:30am to 4:30pm, for those children being home-educated, distance learning or who have missed the vaccinations at their own school. No appointment is needed for this clinic.
The National Booking website has also opened to those aged 12-15 if parents would like their children to have the vaccination before the School Nursing Service visits their child’s school.
Please also get into the habit of rapid testing twice a week to increase the chances of detecting coronavirus. This includes secondary age children. Tests are free and available online, to pick up at your local pharmacy or library or from the testing site at Fred Perry House.
If you’re feeling unwell with a new, persistent cough, high temperature or loss of taste or smell, stay at home and take a PCR test, which are available to book online. If you are a contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, take a PCR test rather than a lateral flow test, even if you’ve no symptoms. You may no longer need to self-isolate (if you’re doubly vaccinated plus two weeks, or under 18 and 6 months, or have another exemption).
If you test positive you must self-isolate for 10 days. Information on support during self-isolation can be found here. You can also phone our Coronavirus helpline on 0161 217 6046 or visit our website for information on where to find help if you’re a vulnerable person.
Jennifer Connolly concluded her remarks by reiterating the rules for travellers who may be using the October break to take a holiday abroad:
During half term more people will be travelling abroad for holidays. Since 11 October, England has moved to a simplified system for international travel, now with just two categories: red, or the rest of the world. Fully vaccinated people coming home from more than 50 countries on the ‘rest of the world’ list will no longer need a pre-departure test or to quarantine on their return.
Under the new rules, returning passengers from non-red-list countries will need to complete a passenger locator form in the 48 hours before you arrive in England, and then take a Covid test on day 2 after their return. This can be a lateral flow test for under 18s and people who are fully vaccinated and can demonstrate this with the NHS Covid pass. For those who are not fully vaccinated, you must also take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before you travel to England and take an additional test on day 8. Whether vaccinated or not, these tests need to be booked and paid for before you travel.
You should not travel to a country on the red list. However, if travel to a red list country is unavoidable, you will need to take a pre-departure test, spend 10 days in hotel quarantine and take PCR laboratory tests on Day 2 and Day 8 after you come back. You will need to book this before you travel.