Coronavirus cases in Stockport have remained relatively low throughout the pandemic, but concerns have been raised as they’re now growing, particularly in young people.
COVID-19 has spiked in Stockport over the weekend with a number of young adults testing positive.
Through late June and early July, the borough recorded five or fewer cases a day on average. Since last Thursday however, this number has shot up to between five and 15.
The council’s Chief Executive, Pam Smith has reportedly attributed this to an outbreak in a care home and a significant rise among young adults (18-25).
According to Andy Burnham’s weekly updates, Stockport’s infection rate has been consistently one of the lowest in Greater Manchester.
Stockport Council says the infection rate continues to be ‘well below’ many other areas but there has been a ‘noticeable rise’ in the number of cases in the age category 18-25.
Jennifer Connolly, Stockport Council’s director of public health, said: “We would like to remind all residents, no matter what age they are, of the importance of not meeting up with anyone if there are any confirmed cases within the household.
“If this is the case households should isolate for 14 days if a household member has been tested positive or has symptoms and is awaiting test results. We encourage everyone in Stockport to comply with NHS test and trace advice, including isolating for 14 days if you are advised to do so following contact with someone who has been confirmed as having Covid-19.”
Stockport council leader, Elise Wilson added: “It’s absolutely right we put targeted stuff out. We know, because we have a robust plan and robust systems in place it means we can react to it and keep people informed. It is a good thing, we have this in place and it’s working.”
Similarly, there has been a spike in coronavirus cases in Trafford which is also proportionately higher in younger people.
The number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 has risen in the borough, with half of the new cases being accounted for by 17-23 year olds.
In the week ending July 17th, the number of new coronavirus cases in Trafford was 26, which rose to 77 in the following week. 39 of these were aged between 15 and 25.
Public Health bosses have confirmed that the number of young people who are getting tested has increased and could therefore be partly responsible for the increase.
Eleanor Roaf, director of Public Health at Trafford Council, said: “We have seen a rise in young people coming forward to be tested and this has led to an increase in positive cases.
“We don’t know exactly why this is but we are thanking younger people for acting responsibly in coming forward for tests when they feel ill.
“We think that the young people have been contacting each other and raising awareness of the importance of testing.
“If this is the case, we would like to thank them for their efforts, as this will help us stop further spread of the disease.
“I would urge everyone to continue to stick to the rules around social distancing and hand-washing when they are meeting up with friends or going out to pubs and restaurants.”
Councillor Jane Slater, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Equalities said: “While any increase in cases are a cause for concern I am reassured that people are coming forward to be tested and I would urge anyone showing symptoms to make sure they are tested and if they test positive to self-isolate.
“No-one should be complacent as the virus has not gone away and still poses a risk especially to the vulnerable in our society.”
Medical Director at NHS Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Dr Mark Jarvis, added: “My colleagues and I have witnessed first-hand the effects of this virus and it is absolutely true to say that this pandemic is not over.
“Together, we have done an excellent job in keeping cases very low in Trafford but we cannot allow complacency to creep in and undo what we’ve achieved.
“Please, if you feel unwell and are showing symptoms such as a change of taste and smell, have a new persistent cough or have a fever, book a test as soon as possible.
“You are not just looking after yourself, you are looking after the people around you, whether it’s your friends, family or local community.”
The news comes after Oldham introduced strict new restrictions due to a ‘dramatic’ spike in cases.
Stockport council has continued to promote the ‘key steps’ people should take to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, including:
- Keep 2m physical distancing
- Self isolate and get tested if you get symptoms of COVID-19
- Wear a face mask in enclosed spaces
- Keep good hand hygiene
- Isolate if you come into contact with someone who has COVID-19
A new mobile testing facility has been set up in University Academy 92 in Old Trafford as a response to the trends found in that borough.
A new social media campaign targeting younger adult has launched this week to help share important public health messages.
Updated list of everywhere you need a face mask from tomorrow under the new rules
Everything you need to know…
The new list of places where face coverings are being made compulsory was released last week, but the rule change comes into effect from tomorrow.
Last week Boris Johnson announced new updates to the coronavirus lockdown rules as the infection rates were rising across the country.
From August 8th, face masks are mandatory in a new list of settings where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is on top of the existing rules where you have to wear face coverings on transport and in shops.
These new rules will be enforceable by law from tomorrow (August 8th), Chronicle Live reports.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed face coverings are mandatory in these places:
- on public transport
- indoor transport hubs including airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals
- shops and supermarkets – places which are open to the public and that wholly or mainly offer goods or services for retail sale or hire
- indoor shopping centres
- banks, building societies and post offices including credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses
And from tomorrow, the expanded list of places you need to wear a face covering is as follows:
- funeral directors
- bingo halls
- concert halls
- museums, galleries, indoor zoos, aquariums and visitor farms, as well as other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites
- nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers, unless it’s necessary to remove them for treatments
- public areas in hotels and hostels
- libraries and public reading rooms
- community centres
- social clubs
- tattoo and piercing parlours
- massage parlours
- indoor entertainment venues like funfairs, amusement arcades, and adventure activities such as laser quest, go-karting, escape rooms and heritage sites
- storage and distribution facilities
- auction houses
- premises which provide professional, legal or financial services
- places of worship
The government is also encouraging everyone to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where you can’t social distance and are likely to come into contact with people you don’t live with or are not in your bubble.
Coronavirus outbreak at Royal Mail sorting office in Manchester
A Royal Mail delivery office in Manchester has been hit by an outbreak of coronavirus, with 19 workers testing positive.
A mobile testing unit has been set up at the delivery office, and a programme of contact tracing has begun, according to the BBC.
The centre on Oldham Road remains open and staff are continuing to work as normal.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Following further positive tests for coronavirus at the Manchester Delivery Office, as a precautionary measure, we are working with Public Health England to provide tests for all of our staff from a mobile unit on site. An enhanced clean of the building has already been carried out.”
They continued: “We have put in place a range of preventive measures to protect both our customers and our colleagues. As well as encouraging good hand hygiene, standard ways of working have been revised to ensure that colleagues stay two metres apart at all times.”
The Director of Public Health for Manchester, David Regan, said partners ‘acted quickly’ to ‘contain and limit further potential spread’.
He said: “We have been testing staff – and have arranged for a mobile testing unit to go to the site for the rest of the week – and contact tracing is already underway.
“According to government guidance, the period of self-isolation for any contact is 14 days. We will be working with Royal Mail until that period of time has ended to ensure all the relevant action has been taken.
“At this stage everyone who has tested positive has been given specific advice to monitor their health.”
A spokesman for the CWU said the union was working with health and safety representatives on site, and expect all staff to be tested in three days.
Everything you can now be fined for in Greater Manchester under new stricter lockdown rules
The new laws are now in place.
Local coronavirus restrictions were tightened in the North from last Friday, but the new rules have now been turned into law.
Police can now take action against those who break the new rules, including asking people to disperse or issuing fines.
Fines start at £100 and halve to £50 if paid within the first 14 days. They’ll also double for repeat offences – so £200 if you’re caught a second time, £400 a third time, £800 a fourth, £1,600 a fifth and £3,200 for the sixth time you’re caught.
The restrictions are in place across Greater Manchester, as well as some areas of Lancashire such as Blackburn, and some areas of West Yorkshire such as Bradford.
Under the new restrictions you are advised to not:
- Socialise with people you do not live within indoor public venues such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues and any other visitor attractions
- Visit friends or family in care homes other than in exceptional circumstances
You can now be fined for:
- Meeting people you do not live with inside a private home or garden (excluding support bubbles)
- Visiting someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside the affected areas
- Meeting in groups of more than 30 people at once in an outdoor public space
Although the advice released on Friday regarding meeting friends and family remains the same, it does not appear in the legislation.
This means, according to the clarification released on Friday, you can meet outside a pub or restaurant in groups of no more than six, as long as that is no more than two households.
By law, your household is defined as only the people you live with.
If you have formed a support bubble (which must include a single adult household, i.e people who live alone or single parents with children under the age of 18), these can be treated as if they are members of your household and follow the new rules accordingly.
However, under the new guidance you can meet up in groups of no more than 30 people at a time in outdoor public spaces, including parks and public roads.
People in Greater Manchester, it appears, can still go on holiday, including staying in a hotel, bed and breakfast, caravan site or ‘members club’.
Greater Manchester Police has released a statement regarding the new rules. It states that they will be ‘building’ on the work put in place over the weekend which saw a Major Incident declared in Greater Manchester.
This means they are ‘monitoring the situation and will have additional resourcing in place in order to meet our overall aim of protecting our communities and keeping people safe’.
The police have said they will be continuing with their four E’s approach which sees communication and encouraging people to do the right thing first. However they do point out that if people continue to ignore the latest guidance, Fixed Penalty Notices can be issued.
It also states that every weekend police officers are being taken away from local neighbourhoods to prevent and police large gathers and ‘this is neither acceptable or sustainable.’ This comes after they had a 1,614% increase in calls related to either covid or house parties, street parties and gatherings.
The statement continues: “The message from Greater Manchester Police today is clear. People need to start taking these new restrictions more seriously; because if they don’t there is every possibility that we will see further restrictions. We want people to get behind us so that we can get through this, follow the guidance and protect the public – this will prevent us from having to take action.”
The announcement, which you can read here, finishes with a statement from Deputy Chief Constable Ian Pilling where he thanks those who are following the guidance and ‘doing their very best’.
He added: “We recognise that this hasn’t been easy, but we know that one day we’ll look back at this period of time with a huge sense of pride.”
The new legislation is set to be reviewed at least every fortnight, which means by August 19th.
You can read the full legislation here.