Statement from the Director of Public Health

This week we took a a significant step in the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

This week we took a a significant step in the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

With the opening of hospitality such as restaurants and pubs for outdoor service, non-essential shops, close contacts services such as barbers, hairdressers and beauty salons, as well as leisure facilities such as gyms and pool, it feels like we are on the way to regaining some sense of normality. Full information on the roadmap can be found here here.

As we begin to mix more, the likelihood of rates increasing again rises. The virus will take every opportunity it gets to pass from person to person, so we need to continue to adhere to the government guidance in order to break the chains of transmission. Business owners have worked hard to get their premises ready for opening and need us to stick to the rules so that they stay open after the sacrifices they have made economically in order to keep our communities safe and well. Please maintain social distancing of two metres, wear a mask in enclosed spaces (unless exempt) and wash or sanitise your hands regularly. If you are meeting friends or family, please stick to the rule of six or two households in outdoor spaces or private gardens guidance and avoid mixing with other groups when you are at a venue.

Rates are continuing to fall in Stockport, with rates currently at *34.1 per 100,000, or around 14 new cases each day, the lowest since September last year. This decrease can be seen in all age groups and areas across the borough. The latest published data can be found here. We need to continue to act responsibly and follow the latest advice to keep our community safe as more mixing is allowed.

Another tool in stopping the spread of Covid by diagnosing non-symptomatic cases and then self-isolating is regular lateral flow testing. All adults can now get regular home rapid Covid tests – even if you don’t have any symptoms. The tests work in just 30 minutes and will help to keep you and your community safe. They are available from Fred Perry House, the car park on Chadwick Street in Marple and a number of libraries. Find your nearest test centre or collection point here.

Please note that if you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus: a new, continuous cough; a high temperature or loss of taste and smell, you still need to get a PCR test and self-isolate until you get the result. You can book this test here.

The vaccination programme continues to progress at pace, with 59.2% of the adult population in Stockport having now received their first dose and 17.8% of the adult population have received both doses of the vaccine. If you are due to have the second dose of the Covid vaccination in the coming weeks, please do take up the offer. It’s really important to get both doses of the vaccine. While you get the bulk of the protection from the first dose, you get a top up and longer-term protection from the second.

Over 45s can now book their jab appointments via the NHS website. If you are over 45, an eligible frontline health and social care worker, clinically vulnerable or a primary carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus, you can arrange an appointments by calling 119 or book online.

Please also be assured that the vaccines are safe and that side effects are very rare, even compared to other common medications such as aspirin or the contraceptive pill. The continued research and slight changes on advice around the AstraZeneca vaccine should give us confidence in the systems that exist to detect and understand these slight risks. The risk of blood clots occurring in people infected with Covid occur far more frequently, so the vaccination really is vital to keep all of us protected. If you’d like to know more, the link to the full MHRA and JCVI statements are available here.

The most important thing to remember no that restrictions have eased is that you must self-isolate if you receive a positive test or have symptoms of coronavirus. While it might be tempting to stick to plans after so long isolated, you need to stay at home if you have a persistent cough, a high temperature or loss of smell or taste. Book your Covid-19 test if you have symptoms by calling 119 or online here.

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 16.4.21.