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Coronavirus update and support Message from Dr Sarah McNulty Knowsley’s Director of Public Health

The last year has presented many challenges for everyone, but with case levels reducing and the vaccination programme now well underway in Knowsley, there is hope that we can start to return to some kind of normality soon.

Lockdown measures are gradually being eased with people now being able to meet in groups of six (or two households), golf courses reopening and the ‘stay at home’ rule will end. Further restrictions are due to be eased no earlier than 12 April if it is safe to do so.

This doesn’t mean the end of the virus, or that all restrictions have been completely relaxed, so it’s important that everyone continues to follow the rules that are in place and continue with the behaviours we are all now used to – regular hand washing, wearing a face covering where advised, maintaining social distancing and continuing to work from home if we can. Visit www.knowsleynews.co.uk for the latest information about the restrictions that are in place.

It’s also really important that everyone makes use of regular testing. By getting tested for the virus, even when not experiencing symptoms, we can identify cases and prevent outbreaks by self-isolating. The Government will only continue to ease restrictions if cases continue to fall. Further information about where to get tested can be found on Knowsley News.

The COVID vaccination programme is progressing well in Knowsley with thousands of residents having had their first vaccine, and many having their second dose (it is vitally important that you get your second dose to help build up immunity to the virus). The vaccine offers you the best protection from the virus.

The vaccine has been rigorously tested and gone through the same controls and approval process as other medicines we use in our daily lives.  Like all vaccines and medicines, the COVID-19 vaccine can cause mild and short-term side effects. However, not everyone will have them, and they usually only last a few hours to a day.

I often get asked if the vaccine will affect fertility. There is no evidence to suggest that the COVID-19 vaccine will affect fertility.

The pandemic has affected everyone differently, but I’d encourage anyone to seek help and support if they are struggling with issues such as anxiety or depression. The www.kindtoyourmind.org.uk website has a range of useful tips and advice, as well as contact details for support agencies can be provide tailored support.

Thank you for following the rules and helping to keep our communities safe.

Posted by on March 31st, 2021

Blog

Coronavirus update and support Cllr Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care

The Prime Minister has announced his phased four step plan for easing lockdown restrictions.
 
The first step starts on Monday 8 March, when pupils can start to return to the classroom. I know that this is welcome news for our children and families across the borough, as well as our schools who have worked so hard throughout this pandemic and done and amazing job in supporting children to continue with their learning. Also as part of step one, from 29 March, outdoor sports and leisure (such as golf courses) may be able to open.
 
We will only move on to the next step of lockdown restrictions when it is safe to do so. That’s why it’s so important for us all to continue to follow the rules so behaviours such as regular hand washing, wearing a face covering, maintaining social distancing and continuing to work from home if you can, should still be followed.
 
Before moving into the next step, the Government will review the success of the COVID vaccination programme, the impact it is having on reducing hospitalisations, current infection rates and any new variants of concern.
 
In Knowsley, the vaccination programme is progressing well and if you are in a priority group and not yet had your vaccine, Knowsley CCG can make an appointment for you – call 0151 244 4121.
 
Step 2, which will be no earlier than 12 April, could see retail, hairdressers, gyms, libraries and outdoor hospitality open.
 
Step 3 (no earlier than 17 May), could see indoor hospitality and entertainment venues open (such as cinemas) and attendance at events may be allowed (with limitations).
 
Step 4 (no earlier than 21 June), could see international travel being allowed, all other businesses to open and no limit on social contact.
 
Thank you to everyone who has continued to follow the rules. We need everyone to continue to play their part so that the phased lifting of restrictions can continue and we can get back to some kind of normality.
 
Remember to keep up-to-date with the latest news at www.knowsleynews.co.uk

Posted by on March 16th, 2021

Blog

Coronavirus update and support Cllr Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care

From 22 September, Knowsley, as well as all other areas in Merseyside and Warrington, is subject to local restrictions due to the significant increase in cases of COVID-19 in the area.

COVID-19 is very much still here in our communities and we need to take action to stop the spread of the virus.

Nobody wants to see restrictions in place, but we have widespread community transmission here in Knowsley and unless people follow the advice and our cases start to come down, we face even tougher restrictions being imposed.

My message is simple – Stop. Think. Do the right thing and follow the advice.
In Merseyside, Warrington, Halton and Lancashire (excluding Blackpool and Greater Manchester):-

•  Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens.

•  Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only.

•  Late night operating hours will be restricted, with leisure and entertainment venues including restaurants, pubs and cinemas required to close between 10pm and 5am.

Residents are also advised to adhere to the following:-

•  Only to use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work.

•  Avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.

Further national restrictions have also been introduced too which includes wearing a face covering in taxis and private hire vehicles, retail staff and staff and customers in indoor hospitality to wear face coverings (except if seated at a table to eat or drink) and Covid-secure guidelines are mandatory in retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors.

People are also advised to work from home where possible and weddings or civil ceremonies are limited to 15 guests and no more than 30 people at funerals.
Fines for breaching these measures have also increased – from £100 to £200.

Our data shows that household transmission is a key factor in the cases we are seeing so hopefully the restriction on visiting other people’s homes will address this and help to slow the rate of infection here in Knowsley.

 

Posted by on October 1st, 2020

Blog

Coronavirus update and support Cllr Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care

With so much information in the news about coronavirus it can be difficult to keep track of where you’re allowed to go, who you’re allowed to see and what you’re permitted to do.

What remains unchanged is the fact that coronavirus remains a threat to everyone in our communities, particularly the most vulnerable, and we shouldn’t become complacent about the risks.

The simplest ways to avoid the spread of COVID-19 are still the most effective: adhering to social distancing (maintaining a 2m distance between you and others), staying at home wherever possible, regular hand washing with soap and water wearing a face covering in public settings.

Of course we all missed seeing friends and loved ones during lockdown so it is important to remember the guidelines currently in
place.

▪  You can meet in any outdoor space in a group of up to 6 people from different households ensuring you maintain social distancing

▪  Single adult households can form an exclusive ‘support bubble’ with one other household

▪  You can also meet in a group of two households, providing you maintain social distancing, in any location

▪  Avoid arranging or attending celebrations (such as parties) where it is difficult to maintain social distancing.

You can find more details at: 
knowsleynews.co.uk/coronavirus-dos-and-donts/

We all have a part to play in stopping the spread of the virus as we build a stronger, healthier Knowsley. By continuing to follow simple steps and respect the safety measures in place we can help return to normality quicker.

The pandemic has been a strain on us all. As well as taking steps to help stop the spread of the virus it is important everyone continues to look after their mental health and wellbeing during this time.

Whether it’s a boost to your mental health or getting a better night’s sleep, the www.kindtoyourmind.org website has lots of useful resources to help improve your lifestyle and maintain a healthy mind. 

Or if you want to get active, lose weight and make healthier food choices, start your journey to better health by visiting www.nhs.uk/better-health

 

Posted by Cllr Sean Donnelly on September 8th, 2020

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Coronavirus update - Cllr Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care

We are now almost three months into ‘the new normal’ due to Coronavirus. I’m sure you will agree, it’s had a huge impact (and restrictions) on our lives - what we do and how we do it. 

Being in lockdown has given many people the opportunity to reflect on their health and wellbeing, as well as proactively taking steps to boost their mental health and wellbeing through the range of support available – online and over the phone. The Kind to your Mind website – www.kindtoyourmind.org.uk – offers a range of advice and activities that can support you with stress, anxiety or lack of sleep.

In addition, many people have used lockdown as an opportunity to get or keep active. From outdoors daily exercise that is permitted whilst adhering to social distancing guidance through to home-based activities such as joining in with ‘PE with Joe’ with the kids for his daily workout! You can keep active at home through chair based activities, doing the garden or dancing in your living room. More ideas to keep moving are available at https://weareundefeatable.co.uk/ways-to-move

I understand these can be worrying times, particularly if you are in the ‘shielded group’ and advised to not leave the house. However, if you do feel unwell, please still contact your GP. They are available via phone or online to do consultations, so you don’t need to leave your house. GPs are reporting a reduction in referrals to specialist services, such a cancer teams, so if you do notice any changes to your body or you have concerns, please get them checked out (as you normally would).

This ‘new normal’ will be here for some time yet so please remember to stay safe and stay at home wherever possible.

Posted by on June 9th, 2020

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Coronavirus update - Cllr Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care

Coronavirus continues to dominate (and change) our lives. As you know, we are still in ‘lockdown’ and this, along with social distancing, will help to stop the spread of the disease.

I would urge everyone to follow the Government’s advice and stay at home, save lives and protect the NHS.  

You should only be leaving the house for essential journeys – for work if you are unable to work from home; to pick up essential shopping and medication and for an hour’s exercise a day which includes a walk, run or cycle. 

This does not include meeting up with friends or playing football or golf. I can’t stress enough how important it is to stay at home – if you don’t, you are putting your own lives, and that of your family and wider community in danger.

Throughout this experience, I’ve been overwhelmed (but I’m not surprised) by the offers of support from residents and businesses here in Knowsley. We set up the Knowsley Support and Volunteer Line – Freephone 0800 073 0043 – for people to call if they needed help and support as well as for people to volunteer their time or services to help our response to this pandemic. 

In just four weeks, we’ve had more than 400 people and businesses offering their time or services to help others. This includes picking up and delivering shopping, dog walking for residents who are self-isolating or just having someone to chat to if you don’t have family or friends around to support you. 

My message is, you are not alone and we are here to help you.

These are extremely challenging times, but I know we will get through this by all working together and supporting one another. Juggling home / work life, childcare, financial pressures can present many challenges, but help and support is available if you’re struggling with issues such as anxiety or a lack of sleep. 

Visit www.everymindmatters.co.uk in the first instance, but if you need emergency mental health support, call the dedicated helpline (available 24/7) on 01925 275 309.

Remember, stay safe and stay at home.

Posted by on May 6th, 2020

Blog

12 Novels Considered the “Greatest Book Ever Written”

As more and more people are self isolating and we have more time on our hands, why not curl up at home with a great book to beat the coronavirus boredom.

Literary critics, historians, avid readers, and even casual readers will all have different opinions on which novel is truly the “greatest book ever written.” Is it a novel with beautiful, captivating figurative language? Or one with gritty realism? A novel that has had an immense social impact? Or one that has more subtly affected the world?

Here is a list of 12 novels from the Encyclopaedia Britannica that, for various reasons, have been considered some of the greatest works of literature ever written.


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Posted by on March 19th, 2020

Blog

HEALTHY KNOWSLEY with Councillor Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care

If your 2020 resolution is to make some time for yourself, then check out Knowsley Council’s ’10 Ways to Wellbeing’ creative courses. 

The free courses will run over four weeks and as well learning new skills and meeting new people, it an opportunity to make time for yourself. The ’10 Ways’ are simple actions and activities which if done regularly can make a real difference to how you feel and cope with life’s ups and downs. Activities include:-
 
Storytelling/Creative Writing
Wednesdays 6pm to 8pm at Stockbridge Leisure Centre on 12 and 19 February.
Thursdays 6pm to 8pm at New Hutte Neighbourhood Centre, Halewood on 13 and 20 February.
 
Drawing for Health: Four Pictures Make Your Story
Saturday mornings 10.30am to 12.30pm at the Kirkby Resource Centre, James Holt Avenue on 8, 15 and 22 February.
 
Visual Arts
Friday mornings 11am to 1pm at St George’s Church, Primrose Drive, Huyton on 7, 14, 21 and 28 February.
 
Photography taster course
Saturday mornings 10.30am to 12.30pm at Huyton Library Culture Hub on 7, 14, 21 and 28 March and at Prescot Library, Prescot Shopping Centre on 4 ,11, 18 and 25 April.
 
Drama techniques
Fridays 6.30pm to 8.30pm at Bryer Road Community Centre, Bryer Road, Prescot L35 5DW on 6,13, 20 and 27 March.

Register your interest by calling the Knowsley Culture Development and Events Service on 0151 443 5353 or emailing katy.mcloughlin@knowsley.gov.uk

Posted by Councillor Sean Donnelly on January 30th, 2020

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Coronavirus update and support Message from Dr Sarah McNulty Knowsley’s Director of Public Health

The last year has presented many challenges for everyone, but with case levels reducing and the vaccination programme now well underway in Knowsley, there is hope that we can start to return to some kind of normality soon.

Lockdown measures... Read more »


Posted by

on March 31st, 2021



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