In her latest statement on the coronavirus pandemic, Stockport’s Director of Public Health, Jennifer Connolly, has called for residents to ‘be mindful’ that the virus remains in circulation in the borough as some restrictions on outdoor activities are eased.
From 29th March organised sports can restart for children and adults and outdoor sport and leisure facilities will be open again. Businesses eligible to host childcare and supervised activities for children will be able to host outdoor children’s activities and parent-and child groups for up to 15 people (excluding under 5s).
People will be able to meet up in groups of six or two households outdoors, including private gardens. For those planning to meet with family members or friends outdoors, perhaps to celebrate Easter or Passover in coming days, Stockport’s public health team shared the following advice:
- Don’t enter the house unless briefly necessary to enter the garden or use the bathroom – once finished wipe down and sterilise surfaces you have come into contact with
- Maintain social distancing (two metres)
- Passing things from one person to another can transmit the virus, so maintain hygiene standards, including washing or sanitising hands regularly
- Ask guests to bring their own glasses, cutlery, serving implements, plates and condiments, if possible
- Have a one-way system around any food being served
- Only one person should handle cooking implements
- Serve food on plates/platters from a distance
- Set seats two metres apart in advance – but not face to face
- Afterwards, consider limiting social contacts with other households if you have already met for a social gathering elsewhere.
Jennifer Connolly said in her statement, published on 26th March:
While it will be tempting to start mixing again, be mindful that Coronavirus is still very much circulating in Stockport and we may see a rise in cases, especially as the Kent variant, which now makes up 98% of cases in Stockport, is 50-70% more transmissible. Keep up our behaviour changes to curb the transmission, keep rates down and protect others, so please continue to socially distance (two metres) wear face coverings (unless exempt) in enclosed spaces, wash or sanitise hands regularly and keep areas well ventilated – this means having windows open at least 15/20 minute every hour. Further information on reducing the risk of transmission can be found here.
While we have made great efforts to keep rates down, the virus is still in circulation in Stockport with rates at *78.4 per 100,000 which means we are seeing around *33 new cases each day. It is testimony to the efforts that we have all adopted, that we are seeing our rates decline, and we must keep up these efforts to break the chains of transmission. The latest published data can be found here.
Our vaccination programme continues to make excellent progress and we’ve now given more than 135,000 people their first dose, already more than half (55%) the adult population in Stockport. Second doses are currently also being administered. Please do get the vaccination when called to do so by the NHS. If over 50, clinically extremely vulnerable, an eligible frontline health or social care worker, have a condition that puts you at higher risk (clinically vulnerable) or are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus , please call your GP to arrange an invitation or book though the national booking system by calling 119 or online here. We know that people have questions about the vaccines that are currently available and this FAQ has been prepared to help to answer these here.
The vaccines are completely safe and has been rigorously and scientifically reviewed by the UK regulator, the MHRA. This has been confirmed by the Government’s independent advisory group, the Commission on Human Medicines, whose expert scientists and clinicians have also reviewed the available data. If you want to read more about it, please see the latest MHRA statement here.
Key to breaking the chains of transmission is self-isolating. If you have a new continuous cough, high temperature, or a change or loss of smell/taste – however mild, stay at home and book a test via GOV.UK or by phoning 119. You and your household members must self-isolate while you await your results. If found positive, stay home for 10 days. Household members must stay at home for 10 days. Minimise transmission within your home by staggering use of the bathroom, giving each person their own towel, and keeping kitchens and bathrooms clean.
If told to self-isolate through the NHS Covid 19 app you must follow the instruction. We know this can be hard on one’s mental health and wellbeing and it’s difficult not to feel anxious or despondent, so please remember that if you’re finding things difficult right now, we have lots of offers of help and support, so please do reach out. We’ve listed them all here. For further information on how you might look after yourself, please visit our Health and Wellbeing pages or Healthy Stockport.
If you need support, the council’s Coronavirus helpline can be accessed on 0161 217 6046 from Monday – Thursday from 9.00am – 5pm and Friday from 9.00am – 4:30pm. If you’re deaf or have difficulty hearing, you can use our textphone on 07860 022 876. You can also find out more by visiting our helpline page.
*This is the latest figure for Stockport validated on 26.3.21.