Statement from the Director of Public Health

We know many people were disappointed that the Government announced the delay of Step 3 on the roadmap out of lockdown and easing restrictions, now extended from 21 June to 19 July

While we know many people were disappointed on Monday that the Government announced the delay of Step 3 on the roadmap out of lockdown and easing restrictions, now extended from 21 June to 19 July, these decisions will be based on the latest scientific advice from scientists at SAGE and be driven by data on rising case rates in many parts of the country.

In Greater Manchester, including Stockport, we have seen how quickly the Delta variant has taken hold, accounting for 98% of cases and leading to exponential rises in case rates and increased hospitalisation.

Rates remain very high and are currently at 203.1* cases per 100,000 and 85 new cases each day. Stockport currently has the seventh highest number of cases in the country. The latest published data can be found here.

Rates have risen most in unvaccinated age groups, especially in the aged 10-30 cohort.

We know younger people have done amazingly since the start of the pandemic so thank you for doing your bit in helping keep your friends, family and our community in Stockport safe.
However, with the much Delta variant emerging, which could be up to 60% more transmissible, we need to remain more vigilant than ever.

Measures schools, colleges and workplaces have put in place to prevent COVID-19 spreading are excellent and robust. At school, students have done so well in managing behaviour changes in school and college, such as social distancing where able (two metres), staying within their bubbles and wearing face coverings and though they no longer have to wear these in school, they may choose to continue.

Pupils and their household members have been carrying out lateral flow testing twice a week and would ask that you please continue to do this, record results, follow Test and Trace advice and let schools know so home learning can be arranged where needed. If anyone in the household tests positive, then everyone who lives in the house is a contact and the pupil must not go to school. Additionally, remember if anyone has symptoms, they need to isolate and take a PCR test – children with symptoms should not go to school unless they’ve had a negative PCR result. If picking young people up and dropping off, parents should please wear face coverings, socially distance and limit time spent near the school site.

In addition to schools, the general public can pick up free home testing kits can be picked up from pharmacies, libraries, Fred Perry House Test Centre, and the car park on Chadwick Street in Marple. Find your nearest test centre or collection point here.

With the hot weather we have been having, we know it’s tempting to now have closer contact with your mates and visit them more at their houses and Ieisure venues. But do remember you can only meet in groups of six or two households indoors and up to 30 outdoors - social distancing still recommended. So, weigh up the risks and continue with your behaviour changes. The more people we meet, especially in enclosed spaces, and the more we are in close contact, the more opportunity the virus has to spread. A hug, a handshake, a high five - that's all it takes to give each other coronavirus. Continue social distancing (2m), wearing face coverings (unless exempt), washing/sanitising hands regularly, meeting outdoors where possible and keeping enclosed areas well ventilated by having windows open (15 minutes each hour). Further information on reducing the risk of transmission can be found here.

While the Coronavirus may not have as serious an immediate effect on the health of people of a younger age group, many of your older friends, parents, grandparents and wider family may still be at risk. Anyone can get it, anyone can spread it and if you pick up the virus you can still pass it on.
And if cases are then discovered among your peer group at school, college, work or in the community, this will still have consequences and stop you doing some of the things you want to do, as you will have to self-isolate for 10 days.

By doing your bit to reduce transmission you will:

  • Reduce the likelihood of bubbles needing to be asked to self-isolate at home and prevent further disruption to education or employment;
  • Enable you to maximise the amount of face-to-face teaching that can be offered this school year;
  • Increase the likelihood there will be no further delays on the roadmap out of lockdown happening;
  • Ensure we can return to normal as quickly as possible, such as opening travel to more destinations.
  • Minimise the risk of your employer closing and you staff losing pay if you must isolate
  • Increase likelihood of more people suffering detrimental long-term ill effects of Long Covid on their health. Further information on this can be found here.

If you test positive, or been informed by NHS Test and Trace you have been a contact of someone who has, self-isolate for 10 days, as this is
law and helps break the chain of transmission. Information on support available during self-isolation can be found here. You will need to take a confirmatory PCR test, which can be booked by calling 119 or via here. If you need to self-isolate and are finding this difficult, please phone our Coronavirus helpline on 0161 217 6046 or for further information visit here.

The vaccination programme continues, with 78.6% of Stockport’s adult population having received their first dose and 58.1% both doses. If you haven’t had yours and are eligible, take up the offer by attending a pop up clinic (check our social media for details of dates, times and venues) or call the national booking line on 119 or book online here. Eligibility is being extended rapidly and is now open to everyone aged 18+, so do keep checking. If you don’t get a suitable appointment online straight away, keep trying - new slots are being added all the time. Also, get a second vaccination as this will ensure maximum protection. If you need any help with answering vaccination questions, we’ve prepared a useful FAQ with NHS Stockport Clinical Commissioning Group which will give the information you need here.

Also remember to take care of your mental health and wellbeing. If you’re finding things difficult, reach out as we have lots of offers of help and support listed here. For further information on how you might look after yourself, visit our Health and Wellbeing page or Healthy Stockport.

*This is the latest figure for Stockport validated on 18.6.21.