Statement from the Director of Public Health Jennifer Connolly

We’re coming up to the anticipated further easement of restrictions on the government’s roadmap out of lockdown on 17 May.

We’re coming up to the anticipated further easement of restrictions on the government’s roadmap out of lockdown on 17 May. Whilst we’re all looking forward to some potential further relaxations of restrictions, we must remain that Coronavirus is still very much circulating in Stockport. Full information on the government’s roadmap out of lockdown can be found here.

As we come out of further restrictions, we may see a rise in cases, we know that new variants are emerging and spreading, so keep up our behaviour changes to curb the chains of transmission, keep rates down and protect others. Please continue to socially distance (two metres) wear face coverings (unless exempt) in enclosed spaces, wash or sanitise hands regularly and keep areas well ventilated - this means having windows open at least 15/20 minute every hour. Please take up the vaccination offer. Further information on reducing the risk of transmission can be found here.

I would also like to wish our Muslim residents and workers in Stockport Eid Mubarak ahead of Eid al-Fitr (Eid) next Wednesday and Thursday. I would like to thank all of you for playing your part and adhering to the Coronavirus guidance of only meeting in groups of up to six or two households out during the month Ramadan and your Iftar breaking of the fast each evening. Though Eid would normally be a time when you would meet up with many friends and family members to celebrate, I’d also ask that you please adhere to the same guidance in order to keep all our communities safe from Coronavirus. If you are meeting at the mosque or outdoors for prayers, please do not mingle with other households, if in an enclosed space wear a face covering (unless exempt), wash or sanitise your hands regularly and keep well spaced out by ensuring social distancing requirements (two metres) are respected.

The British Islamic Medical Association has also issued guidance with other tips that include:

  • Do not hug, instead use some other form of greeting
  • Avoid large Eid parties and keep to smaller parties of up to six people or two households outdoors
  • Make sure you give your Zakat al Fitr gifts online and well before Eid.

Coronavirus rates are currently at 27.9 per 100,000*, just below the national average, or around 12 new cases each day, so the virus is still circulating in the borough. The latest published data can be found here.

Remember that if you do have symptoms: a new, continuous cough; a high temperature or loss of taste and smell, please self-isolate your entire household and get a test. You can book this test here or by calling 119. Please note that if you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus or have received a positive lateral flow test you need to get a PCR test and self-isolate until you get the result.

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.

Please also take up the offer of universal lateral flow testing to diagnose non-symptomatic cases and then self-isolating is also key to stopping the spread of the virus. All adults can now get regular home rapid Covid tests – even if you don’t have any symptoms. 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.

The vaccination programme continues to progress with 64.1% of the adult population in Stockport having now received their first dose. The emphasises now on getting people who have already received their first dose to have their second one, so 35.3% of the adult population have already received both doses of the vaccine. Do please have the second dose of the Covid vaccination in the coming weeks, as it’s important to get both doses of the vaccine. While you get the majority of protection from the first dose, you get a top up and longer-term protection from the second.

Anyone aged 40 by 1 July can now book their jab appointments via the NHS website. If you are fall into this age group or are an eligible frontline health and social care worker, clinically vulnerable or a primary carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus, you can arrange a vaccination by calling 119 or book online.

Locally in Stockport, some community pharmacies from next week will also be part of the vaccination programme which will make it easier for many people to get to a vaccination centre.

The vaccines are safe and serious side effects are very rare. 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. The JCVI has updated guidance to recommend that people under 40 with no underlying health conditions are offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccination. This is due to three key things:

  • That rates of Covid are much lower now
  • That there are alternatives available
  • That this doesn’t slow down progress of the vaccination programme.

Those who have already had an Astra Zeneca vaccine, even those who are under 40, should have AstraZeneca for their second dose as there are no safety concerns about this. Please do read the full updated JCVI statement here.

For further information on how you might look after your health and wellbeing, please visit our Health and Wellbeing pages or for ways to remain healthy, please visit Healthy Stockport.

**This is the latest figure for Stockport validated on 7.5.21.