Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

The following information is based on information made available by Wirral Council on 20 November, 26 November, 6 January, 19 February. This page will be undated as the Council makes more up-to-date information available.

More people added to the national ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ list

Across the UK, a further 1.7 million people have now been told to shield by the government, as part of an extension to the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) list. The period for shielding has also been extended until 31 March 2021.

The shielding guidance currently affects approximately 15,000 people in Wirral with more to be added over the following weeks.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people who shield can access support services such as priority food delivery slots, or medicine deliveries, to help them stay safe at home. Wirral Council’s teams are working to find out how many residents are affected and assessing the impact, so that they can offer support to them as soon as possible.

Click here to get CEV advice, further guidance or details of how you can access support.

Expanding the shielding list will also mean that those now identified as being at higher risk from COVID-19 will be prioritised for vaccination.

Watch out for vaccination scams

The vaccine is only available on the NHS and is free of charge. The NHS will never ask you for details about your bank account or to pay for the vaccine. If you receive an email, text message or phone call purporting to be from the NHS and you are asked to provide financial details, this is a scam.

Please remember:

  • The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details
  • The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password
  • The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
  • The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips

If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Please share this information with your network.

Coronavirus home testing kits are now easier to order

The Government announced on 18 February that it has introduced a number of new accessibility improvements to the home testing programme to make it easier to get tested.

The improvements include:

  • People who do not have access to the internet can now order home testing kits over the phone by calling 119, without needing an email address or any other digital requirement
  • A new NHS Test and Trace partnership with Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to improve the home testing service for people with visual impairments
  • A new video-call support service with specially trained NHS Test and Trace staff that will assist people with vision impairments to test at home

For more information click here

Latest findings from coronavirus study published

Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI published results on 18 February from the latest significant study into coronavirus infections in England.

Interim findings from the study show infections fell by more than two-thirds from the last REACT report, with 1 in 196 people infected. The report shows a halving time of 15 days and an R number of 0.72, based on the prevalence observed at the end of the last report and today’s interim findings.

Infections still remain high with more people in hospital than at the peak last April and hospital admissions for coronavirus are at around 1,600 a day.

More information on the interim findings and statistics is available to view online.

Help to spot false or misleading information

False information can take on a life of its own and have serious consequences – and there has recently been a lot of it about coronavirus and the vaccines designed to tackle it!

The SHARE checklist can help you spot false or misleading online information:

Source – Rely on official sources for medical and safety information. Check the facts about vaccinations and coronavirus on the NHS website and GOV.UK.

Headlines – Don’t always tell the full story. Always read to the end before you share articles about coronavirus, including those about vaccines.

Analyse – the facts. If something sounds unbelievable, it very well might be. Independent fact-checking services are correcting false information about coronavirus and vaccines every day.

Retouched – Watch out for misleading pictures and videos in stories about coronavirus vaccines. They might be edited or show an unrelated place or event. Check to see who else is using the photo.

Error – Look out for mistakes. Typos and other errors might mean the information is false. Official guidance about coronavirus will always have been carefully checked.

For more information visit the SHARE checklist website.

Over 70s reminded to get in touch to arrange to be vaccinated

People aged 70 and over who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID and who would like to be are being reminded to contact the NHS to arrange a jab.

The NHS has been asking people to wait until they are contacted to help ensure that those who are most vulnerable are protected first – and that remains the case for most people. However, to ensure absolutely everyone is offered the vaccine, people aged 70 and over can now contact the NHS so they can be vaccinated.

The easiest way for people in Wirral to arrange an appointment at their local vaccination centre is by contacting their own GP practice or emailing NHS Wirral CCG at WICCG.InTouch@NHS.net

More information is posted on the NHS Wirral CCG website

Please share this information with anyone you know aged 70 or over who may not have been vaccinated yet..

COVID-19 information in other formats and languages

Information for Polish speakers – Dr Marcin Bula of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital shares his views on the vaccine: View Part 1 and View Part 2.

British Sign Language – SignHealth, the national charity working to improve the health and wellbeing of deaf people, posts regular updates of the latest COVID-19 information from the NHS and Government in British Sign Language. This includes summaries of the latest Government briefings and information about the vaccine. For more information visit the SignHealth website.

Vaccine scams information in five South Asian languages – The BBC Asian Network has created some great content on vaccines scams and made it available on social media; containing videos in UrduSylheti, Punjabi, Tamil and Gujarati for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Doctors of the World – Basic COVID-19 safety guidance, including how to isolate from someone in your household, is available to download in more than 60 language from the Doctors of the World website.

Please share this information with others in your network who may find the information useful..

COVID-19: Stay at Home; Protect the NHS; Save Lives.

Lockdown means the single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. Things will inevitably feel tougher for most of us during this third lockdown. People are tired, anxious and less hopeful than in the previous lockdowns. There is an end in sight but the journey to it requires hard work and commitment from all of us.

The falling rates of infection (as outlined in the ICL / Ipsos MORI report above) are a testament to the efforts and sacrifices people are making to control the spread of the virus.

However, infection rates are still very high with approximately 60 case per day in Wirral, so please continue to follow the rules and do your bit to help get us back to a more normal way of life as quickly as possible.

Symptom Free testing 

Symptom-free testing is a risk reduction measure and should be used alongside other COVID-19 prevention measures such as wearing a face covering, regularly washing hands and keeping a safe distance from others.

Symptom-free testing is available at four testing centres across the Borough:

The Floral Pavilion, New Brighton open 7 days a week 10:30am to 6:30pm

Greasby Library open 7 days a week 10:30am to 6:30pm

Eastham Library open 7 days a week 10:30am to 6:30pm

No booking is required.

We are encouraging those who cannot work from home to get tested if you do not have symptoms at one of our symptom-free testing sites. You will need a mobile number or email address to register when you arrive. If you do not have a mobile number or email address you will be asked to call 119 to get your results.

If you visit a symptom-free testing centre and test positive, you MUST self-isolate. Guidance and support to do so is available here.

If you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive you must self-isolate. Please do not attend a symptom-free test site. You only need to be tested if you develop symptoms.

More information about symptom-free testing in Wirral is available here.

Got symptoms? Then get tested!

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested. These symptoms are:

  • a new continuous cough
  • high temperature
  • loss of sense of taste or smell

Wirral has four local testing sites (LTS) for people with symptoms. These are: Birkenhead; Bebington; Liscard; and Heswall. Each has the capacity to carry out approximately 288 tests per day for people with symptoms.

Testing is also available at Bidston Satellite Testing site with priority given to key workers and NHS staff.

The Heswall Library site is Wirral’s first indoor testing facility and has an accessible bay for people with a disability or for family groups to get tested together.

You don’t need to make an appointment, but Wirral Council advises pre-booking via www.wirral.gov.uk/test to guarantee a time slot and avoid a wait, which is especially important in the winter months. Testing is available seven days a week, with weekends often having better availability.

Mobile testing units are also regularly deployed at locations such as Europa Leisure Centre and West Kirby Concourse, however, you must make a booking to attend these sites so please check the website (above) for details.

Please remember:

  • If you test positive for COVID-19 you must self-isolate for 14 days
  • If you are identified as a contact of a positive case you must isolate for the full 14 days (even if you get a negative test during that period).

Get in touch!

If you or your community group is struggling to get the help you need, the Community Champion team can help put you in touch with other service providers to get you the support you need.  This could include accessing help from a foodbank, finding mental health support or making sure your business is COVID-secure.

The team would also welcome your feedback and ideas to help ensure our communities are being supported and no one is struggling alone.

We would also like to know about any services or resources you or your organisation are providing during lockdown which may not be featured on Wirral’s Infobank website, but you would like to be shared with the Champions network.

Please get in touch and let us know by emailing the Champions Team at communitychampions@wirral.gov.uk

New film shows importance of ventilation to reduce spread of COVID-19

Click here to see a new short film released by the government shows how coronavirus lingers in enclosed spaces, and how you should keep your home ventilated to reduce the risk. 

Grants for Wirral businesses

Local businesses that had to close due to COVID-19 restrictions can apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant, which does not need to be paid back. Find out more and apply on the Council website – click here.

Support for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable

A wide range of support is available to vulnerable residents, including:

  • Wirral Infobank: A great online resource for local support and services, including help with shopping, social supermarkets (offering cut price food) and hot food deliveries – click here.
  • Priority supermarket delivery slots: From Iceland or Tesco, delivery slots are available for people who are vulnerable or self-isolating. Residents can apply by calling Wirral’s Coronavirus helpline on 0151 666 5050. The helpline can also advise on assistance that may be available from Age UK Wirral for anyone digitally excluded.
  • Help with shopping: Several local charities provide a shopping service for vulnerable people and for those self-isolating. To be referred please call Wirral Coronavirus Helpline on 0151 666 5050 or complete a form online here.

More information about shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable is available online here.

Check-out Age UK’s Big Community Check-in!

Many older people have felt very isolated throughout the pandemic, so Age UK has launched ‘The Big Community Check-In’ to encourage people to check-in with those who live alone to make sure they’re okay and to brighten their day.

This campaign will provide tools, tips and good news stories to encourage and inspire people to fit this simple act of kindness into a busy day.

For more information and to get involved follow Age UK Wirral on twitter (@AgeUKWirral), Facebook (AgeUKWirral) and visit their website here

Supporting Your Community

Tranmere Rovers Football Club is asking local individuals and businesses to support its annual Super White Christmas appeal, which aims to deliver food hampers to 250 families and 100 elderly people.

Food drop off points hare available at the Riverhill Hotel and at Prenton Park’s Recreation Centre.

Cash donations can also be made via their Crowdfunder page here.
Anyone wishing to get involved and volunteer should email: community@tranmererovers.co.uk