Following news of an increase in confirmed cases of young people with coronavirus in south Liverpool, Sefton Council’s Interim Director of Public Health has joined Liverpool health bosses in reminding people in that age group that they are susceptible to infection by COVID-19.
Over the past fortnight, around half of the 30 cases confirmed in the south Liverpool area have been people aged 15-24. This has led health official in the city to issue a reminder that the illness can infect anyone, regardless of age.
This weekend, 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.
Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Interim Director of Public Health said: “Although young people often have no or very mild symptoms, they can unknowingly pass the virus onto their loved ones and friends who might end up with a much nastier bout of the virus and become seriously ill.
“The restriction we have all been facing may have been particularly hard for many young people, and that meeting up with family and friends is really important for everyone’s wellbeing.
“However, it remains vital that we remember and follow the guidelines to keep our loved ones safe and to drive down the virus.”
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.”
As well as the need to follow guidance on hand-washing, maintaining two-metre distancing and using face coverings on public transport and in supermarkets, young people are also being reminded of the importance of responding if contacted through the NHS Test and Trace service.
Margaret Jones added: “It is really important that as well as following the NHS guidance about distancing and hand-washing, people of all ages participate fully in the NHS Test and Trace process to prevent the ongoing spread of this deadly virus.”
“Test and Trace staff don’t care what people have been doing when they contact them. They are there to help the individuals they call, make sure they have the right information and support they need to isolate.”
If people are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service it means they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus they should visit https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk and register. They will be asked to provide some information, confidentially, about your health and will be given advice to keep yourself and others safe.