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Liverpool City Region Covid19 Updates
... and Important Emergency Notices ...

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This page last updated on 1 February 2021

South African Variant COVID19 in Southport area

THIS is an official notice issued by the UK's Department of Health and Social Care for anyone who lives, works or has visited the Southport Area (PR9) and surrounding areas.  "Anyone who lives, works or has visited the the Southport Area (PR9) and surrounding areas:- Please get tested. It is even more important now for you to follow the National Covid19 restrictions."

Sadly, Public Health England has identified 105 cases of the COVID19 variant 1st identified in South Africa, and cases include Southport. As a result, additional surge testing and sequencing is being deployed in a number of locations where the COVID19 variant first identified in South Africa has been found in Southport. Testing will, in combination with following the lockdown rules and remembering:- 'Hands. Face. Space' help to monitor and suppress the spread of the virus, while enabling a better understanding of the new variant.

Extensive surveillance of the virus has identified a small number of cases of the COVID19 variant 1st identified in South Africa in localities across England, including Southport, which cannot be traced back to international travel. All cases are now self isolating and robust contact tracing has taken place to trace their contacts and ask them to self isolate.

Every person over 16 living in these locations is strongly encouraged to take a COVID test this week, whether they are showing symptoms or not. Mobile testing units (MTUs) will be deployed offering PCR testing to people without symptoms who have to leave their home for work or essential reasons, with local authorities encouraging people to get tested in the area by providing additional home test kits.

People with symptoms should book a test in the usual way and people without symptoms should visit their Local Authority website for more information. In our case:- Sefton.Gov.UK - This additional testing will begin in these areas from Monday.

The local areas affected are currently:-

 East of England (EN10)

 London (W7, N17, CR4)

 North West (PR9)

 South East (ME15, GU21)

 West Midlands (WS2)

Positive tests will be sequenced to identify any further spread of the COVID19 variant 1st identified in South Africa, enabling a better understanding of the variant and identifying if there are any more cases of this particular strand of the virus in the area.

In total, Public Health England has identified 105 cases of the COVID19 variant 1st identified in South Africa since 22 December 2021. All cases and their contacts have been contacted and told to self isolate. There is currently no evidence to suggest this variant is more serious than others, or that the regulated vaccine would not protect against it.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:- “It is vital that we do all we can to stop transmission of this variant and I strongly urge everyone in these areas to get tested, whether you have symptoms or not. The best way to stop the spread of the virus; including new variants, is to stay at home and follow the restrictions in place. Until more people are vaccinated this is the only way we will control the spread of the virus. The UK is a global leader in COVID19 genomics, and because of this, we have been able to identify new strains of the virus and take decisive action. We continue to closely monitor new variants, here and around the world, and in addition to our already extensive testing service, we are making surge testing capacity available to affected areas.”

Dr Susan Hopkins, Strategic Response Director to Public Health England and Chief Medical Adviser for NHS Test and Trace, said:- “As part of our proactive sequencing work, we know that the new variant of COVID19, first detected in South Africa, has been identified in a number of areas across England. A small proportion of these cases have no link to international travel suggesting that there are some cases in the community. In response to this, we are ramping up testing in targeted areas, so we can gather more information and effectively monitor any further community transmission.”

Action is being taken to reduce the risk from the new variants of the virus by introducing further measures at the border. Travel bans were already in place for countries where there is a risk of known variants. Further measures will include managed isolation in hotels for those who cannot be refused entry arriving from countries with international travel bans. Those wishing to travel out of the UK will have to declare their reason for travel in a pre-departure form. People should expect this to be checked and anyone who does not have a valid reason will be directed to return home and may face a fine.

All measures are kept under constant review.

Please remember that anyone with symptoms should book a test in the usual way. People without symptoms should visit their local authority website for more information.

People should continue to follow the lockdown rules and remember:- 'Hands. Face. Space.'

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care, said:- "We know that mutations form a part of the virus cycle and we are well prepared to sequence new variants and assess what action may need to be taken. If a person tests positive, has any symptoms, or are contact traced following contact with someone who tests positive, they should self isolate immediately."

Responding to news that testing for the new South African variant of Covid19 will be starting in the Borough, Sefton Council Leader Cllr Ian Maher said:- "I am pleased to see the Government acting promptly to implement this programme to test for the presence and possible spread of this new variant with the aim of bringing it under control quickly. I am also confident that our local communities will, as they have throughout the pandemic, follow the guidance on testing, self isolation and the wider lockdown measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and help protect those who are vulnerable to it."

Sefton's Director of Public Health, Margaret Jones said:- "Although it seems this new variant can still be combated through vaccination, it could be more transmissible, which means it could spread more quickly. That's why it is important we carry out this additional testing to try and identify it and to limit the number of us who might be exposed to it. We will be setting up dedicated test sites for the new variant and once they are in place, I would encourage everyone aged over 16 in the areas targeted to get tested as soon as possible, even though they don't have symptoms. This will help us find any cases of the new variant and help stamp it out. There is no reason for most of us to change our behaviour as a result of this news as long as we are already following the national regulations. This means staying at home except for essential purposes such as shopping for essential supplies, going to work if we can't do so from home and providing care. It also means maintaining at least 2-metres' distancing, wearing a mask or face covering while out and about and washing our hand frequently."

Sefton Council and its partners are still working out exactly how the additional tests are going to take place in the light of today's announcement but comprehensive testing has been in place across the Borough since April. This has been through a combination of pop up mobile test units at various sites and permanent walk through testing sites for people with coronavirus symptoms, and three SMART test centres for people with no symptoms.

Mrs Jones added:- "People across Sefton have taken full advantage of the range of testing available and I am confident those within the area covered by the new variant tests will respond positively to the Minister's request to get tested this week' (or whatever it is for us). However, for anyone concerned we will be working with our partners to provide advice and support online and on the ground so that we can work together and continue to make progress towards a return to a more normal life for all of us."

As well as mobile test units, the four local walk through test centres for people with symptoms are at Bootle Town Hall, Crosby Library Car Park, Netherton Activity Centre and Southport Town Hall. SMART test centres for people with no symptoms who have to go out for work or caring purposes are at Aintree Racecourse, Bootle Leisure Centre and Splash World in Southport.

Details can be found at:- Sefton.Gov.UK/Testing.

Dr Andrew Furber, Regional Director at Public Health England North West, said:- "The UK has 1 of the best genomic systems in the world which has allowed us to detect the variant originating in South Africa here in Sefton. I urge everyone offered a test to take it up to help us to monitor the virus in our communities and to help suppress and control the spread of this variant. The most important thing is that people continue to follow the guidance that is in place; limit your number of contacts, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, keep your distance and cover your face. If you test positive by any method, you must isolate to stop the spread of the virus."

Merseyside leaders unite to form new Region wide group to tackle sexual violence

LEADERS from across the Region are marking Sexual Abuse and Violence Awareness Week by uniting to create a new pan Merseyside group which will work to combat sexual violence, encourage more victims to come forward and further improve the support they receive.

The new Merseyside Sexual Violence Strategic Group will bring together leaders from the Police and Crime Commissioner, Merseyside Police, Local Authorities, the criminal justice system, health, education, support services, 3rd sector, faith and survivor groups to improve the Region wide response to sexual violence, while ensuring all survivors receive the best possible support and safeguarding.

The group will focus its effort on increasing the reporting rates of sexual violence, by giving victims' greater confidence to come forward, while also ensuring more offenders are brought to justice.

As part of its programme of work, the new group will map all the existing support services available to victims and work to ensure there is great awareness among survivors of the help they can access, whether they report to the Police or not.

The new strategic group gathered for the 1st time last month to agree its vision and aims and will meet quarterly from 4 March 2021 to review progress against its action plan. The group's work will feed into the Liverpool City Region Violence against Women and Girls strategy.

Merseyside's Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said:- "Sexual violence devastates lives. Those who survive it deserve to be treated with the utmost sensitivity, care and respect. They deserve the highest standard of support and they deserve justice. While all the agencies involved in a survivor's journey already work hard to provide this and to secure justice, we know there is more that can and should be done. As we mark Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week, leaders from all sectors have come together to renew their commitment to providing improved safeguarding and support through this new Region wide strategic group. By bringing all the partners together we can create an action plan which will describe how the support provided to survivors of sexual violence can be improved and then ensure those improvements are being delivered. Action is already being taken and this new group will drive those improvements forward."

Chair of the new Merseyside Sexual Violence Strategic Group, Merseyside Police's Assistant Chief Constable Ian Critchley said:- "Working with our partners we are committed to providing support to anyone who has experienced sexual violence and abuse. We know that anyone can be a victim of sexual violence regardless of gender identity, age and sexual orientation and we want victims to know that there is always help and support available. It's never too late to access support. Merseyside Police has a specialist Unity team with officers ready to support and listen to you from the moment you report a sexual offence. We also work closely with partners to ensure victims have access to an array of support throughout the investigation and beyond. We know how traumatic incidents such as this can be for victims and their families, but if you can find the courage to come forward and speak to us, we are ready to listen, care, and investigate reports thoroughly professionally and empathetically at all times; our staff really do care about the quality of service we provide when investigating such impassive crimes. As Chair of the Merseyside Sexual Violence Strategic Group I am committed to ensuring that all victims receive the best possible support and safeguarding whilst working hard together to seek to prevent and reduce sexual violence occurring across our Region."

Outrage as University of Liverpool threatens health and life science jobs during Pandemic

THE University and College Union (UCU)on Monday, February 2021 said threats by the University of Liverpool to cut research active staff in its Faculty of Health and Life Sciences would be disastrous during Covid.

University management wrote to UCU last week with a threat to cut up to 47 academics. The University is creating its own criteria to assess academics. This is based on individual research grant income and citation impact scores. The 47 academics deemed to be the worst performing are set to be axed by May 2021, similar to the:- 'rank and yank' management approach Amazon has been criticised for using. They will face compulsory redundancy unless they accept a voluntary severance package they were offered, and had rejected, in summer 2020.

The cuts are impacting a faculty that is part of:- 'Liverpool STOP COVID,' a City wide group whose aim is to decrease the burden of Covid locally, nationally and globally.

UCU said sacking 47 staff from the faculty during a pandemic flew in the face of 'Project SHAPE's 1st objective to respond to the needs of the community; that clearly the plans are not fit for a world where Covid will be an ongoing presence; and sacking 47 staff in a Pandemic during the worst job market for decades; through the use of Amazon style management tactics; was despicable.

UCU has asked the employer to use ACAS to try to resolve the issue but the employer responded saying that the University 'does not consider it appropriate to engage the services of ACAS'. UCU Liverpool branch said it held its biggest meeting ever to discuss the cuts, and that over 300 attendees voted to ballot branch members over taking industrial action.

UCU Liverpool branch president Anthony O'Hanlon said:- "The University of Liverpool is attempting to utilise 'rank and yank' practices to get rid of its perceived low performers. This brutal assault on jobs is more akin to the ruthless managerialism you would expect to see at a big corporate firm. It is not being proposed out of financial necessity. The attempts by the University to claim this attack on jobs is part of its civic responsibility to address health outcomes in the city will not wash with the people of Liverpool. This is the latest in a long line of catastrophic errors of judgement from senior managers at the University and UCU will be fighting against these redundancies and the pernicious criteria they are attempting to justify them with."

UCU regional official Martyn Moss said:- "It is sickening that the University of Liverpool is trying to push through cuts to the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, when we are in the middle of a Pandemic, which members of the faculty are currently trying to fight, through Liverpool STOP Covid. The University needs to immediately halt these cuts so academics in the faculty can continue their crucial work rather than worry about having an almost one in four chance of being sacked. We cannot understand how the University has failed to 'reshape' its objectives in light of Covid and the supposed objective to respond to the community. We hope the University will work with us to stop these cuts, but we are now consulting members over balloting for industrial action as we cannot allow the University to sack its staff during the worst job market in decades."

Congratulations to Scottie Press on its 50th Anniversary!

WE would like to say to the independent local community paper, Scottie Press, who have become Britain's Longest Running Community Newspaper. The Voice of Vauxhall, or Scottie Press was formed by residents from Scottie Road, when they banded together to create a paper that would give their local community a voice. The first edition in February 1971 and today they turn 50 and are still independent. An amazing achievement!

Total UK cases Covid19 cases in and around Liverpool City Region

THE total number of UK Coronavirus (Covid19) infections that have been laboratory confirmed, within the UK, has risen by:- 18,607 cases and the total number now stand at:- 3,835,783 that includes tests carried out by commercial partners which are not included in the 4 National totals.

The total number of Covid19 associated UK fatalities added to the total, was sadly reported to be:-406 within 28 days of positive test, according to the Department of Health. The total number of deaths of people who have had a positive test result confirmed by a Public Health or NHS laboratory is:- 106,564, within 28 days of positive test. Deaths with Covid19 on the death certificate:- 103,602.

The number of Covid19 patients currently in UK Hospitals:- 34,783. The current number of Covid19 patients currently in mechanical ventilation beds in UK Hospitals:- 3,832 Daily number of Covid19 patients admitted to UK Hospitals:- 2,981

In England, there are a total of:- 3,358,064 confirmed cases. North West - total of:- 527,077 confirmed cases.

The number of laboratory confirmed cases within the Liverpool City Region are as follows:-


Area and number of confirmed cases:- Risen by:-

Liverpool City Region
Nation Lockdown

National UK Restrictions

Liverpool, 43,675 confirmed cases.


Halton, 10,683 confirmed cases.


Knowsley, 15,648 confirmed cases. 73
Sefton, 21,268 confirmed cases.


St. Helens, 14,635 confirmed cases.


Wirral, 22,012 confirmed cases.


Colour Key:- 0  1 to 10 11 to 20 21 to 30  31 to 40 41 to 50 51 to 100 100 to 199 200 & over  

The number of laboratory confirmed cases within Local Authorities around the Liverpool City Region, since start of the Pandemic, are as follows:-


 Blackburn with Darwen, 15,903 confirmed cases.

 Blackpool, 8,101 confirmed cases.

 Bolton, 21,707 confirmed cases.

 Bury, 14,860 confirmed cases.

 Cheshire East, 17,925 confirmed cases.

 Cheshire West and Chester, 18,807 confirmed cases.

 Lancashire, 84,898 confirmed cases.

 Manchester, 45,922 confirmed cases.

 Oldham, 20,053 confirmed cases.

 Preston, 11,528 confirmed cases.

 Rochdale, 18,238 confirmed cases.

 Salford, 19,780 confirmed cases.

 Stockport, 17,501 confirmed cases.

 Tameside, 15,375 confirmed cases.

 Trafford, 14,413 confirmed cases.

 Warrington, 15,687 confirmed cases

 Wigan, 25,068 confirmed cases.


Total UK people who have received vaccination

1st Dose 2nd Dose
9,296,367 494,209
Jab Stats correct as of 31 January 2021
The vaccination programme began on 8 December 2020 with people receiving the vaccine developed by Pfizer / BioNTech, and people began receiving the Oxford University / AstraZeneca vaccine from 4 January 2021. Both vaccines are given as 2 doses, at least 21 days apart, for a full vaccination course.

Daily reported Covid19 deaths are now measured across the UK as deaths that occurred within 28 days of the 1st laboratory confirmed positive Covid19 test.   Daily and cumulative numbers of Covid19 patients admitted to Hospital. Data are not updated every day by all 4 nations and the figures are not comparable as Wales include suspected Covid19 patients while the other nations include only confirmed cases.


The latest R number is estimated at:- 0.7 to 1.1, with a daily infection growth rate range of:- -5% to 0%, as of 29 January 2021.

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