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.
Police seize over £3m worth of counterfeit goods in Cheetham Hill raids
GMP are stamping down on ‘the illegal distribution of counterfeit items’, and ‘the supply of illicit prescription drugs’
Police have seized over £3m worth of counterfeit goods in a series of Cheetham Hill raids conducted as part of their ‘crackdown’ on counterfeit fraud.
According to a statement issued by Greater Manchester Police last night, Officers from City of London, North West Regional and Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU), Border Force, Immigration and local officers yesterday executed their tenth raid on Lockett Street and Bury New Road.
There, £1million’s worth of goods including clothing, accessories, bags, perfume and jewellery were found and seized. This added to the other £2m worth of goods found across the last week.
Six men, all aged between thirty-six and sixty-one, have all been arrested and released under investigation pending further enquiries, according to the force.
The raids come as part of GMP’s Operation’s ‘Magpie’ and ‘Cranium’, which aims to tackle ‘the illegal distribution of counterfeit items’, and tackle ‘the supply of illicit prescription drugs’.
Inspector William Jennings-Wharton from the Cheetham Neighbourhood team said in a statement: “This is all part of our continued work to tackle organised crime taking place in Cheetham Hill and I want to reassure the local community that we are listening to their concerns and this week’s action is all part of our continued crackdown.
“Counterfeit goods and drug dealing will not be tolerated and all of these raids are a huge step in really driving a wedge in organised crime in the area.
“Counterfeit goods are not a victimless crime – though these desired items may look good and are cheap, they are funding a wider picture that involves money laundering, organised crime and cheap labour.
“The profits from such businesses can be used to fund other serious crime, and often with that comes violence which can have a devastating ripple effect on communities and nearby legitimate businesses.”
A spokesperson for Manchester City Council added: “Counterfeit crime runs far deeper than just the sale of knock-off coats and handbags [as] there are deep links to other criminal enterprises and the sale of fake goods only puts money in the hands of criminals.
“We remain committed to tackling this practice at the source and will continue to work with our partners in the police to secure prosecution against perpetrators… And get fake goods off our streets.”
Anyone with information has been encouraged to report it online or by using the LiveChat facility at www.gmp.police.uk or by calling 101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
This is why some supermarkets are refusing to enforce the new face mask rules
Supermarket bosses have spoken out
A number of supermarkets have addressed the reason they won’t be enforcing the new face mask rules that are now mandatory across the country.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the return of face masks and self-isolation over the weekend in a bid to tackle the new Omicron variant, which is believed to be ‘more transmissible and have more mutations which could weaken the effect of vaccines and natural immunity.’
However, despite the mandate being backed by the government, a number of supermarket bosses announced that they would not be enforcing masks upon their customers.
Iceland was the first supermarket to announce its stance on the matter, with the chain’s managing director Richard Walker saying he wouldn’t be asking staff to enforce the new restrictions as they focus on the ‘long-term recovery of the high street.’
Walker told The Daily Mail: “We fully support the reintroduction of compulsory face masks in shops, however, we won’t be asking our store colleagues to police it.
“Our store teams, alongside all retail workers, have shown heroic efforts in terms of ensuring safety for customers and building back consumer confidence and it’s crucial that we stay focused on the long-term recovery of the high street.”
Supermarket giant Co-op has also said that they would not be enforcing face coverings in their stores – nor would they refuse to serve a customer without one.
The British Retail Consortium has said it’s down to the police to enforce the measure, saying, as per The Sun: “Customers are asked to respect the rules and be considerate to their fellow shoppers and to hard-working shop staff.”
Since then, Tesco, Aldi and Lidl have all echoed this stance, with each saying they have no plans to challenge customers over the wearing of a face covering in store.
Alternatively, Asda and Morrisons have announced that they will be regularly enforcing the use of face masks while also handing out free masks to those who don’t have them, while Sainsbury’s said it will have ‘greeters and security guards at the front of our supermarkets’ to remind people to wear masks.
A statement from the Government on the rule change read: “From 4am Tuesday November 30th, face coverings will be compulsory in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport unless individuals are exempt from doing so.”
All hospitality is exempt from the rule change.
Boris Johnson reveals plan to offer all adults booster jabs by the end of January
NEWS JUST IN
The government plans on offering all adults booster vaccines by the end of January, Boris Johnson has revealed today.
The Prime Minister spoke at a Downing Street conference this afternoon where he announced the planned booster rollout will take place across 1,500 pharmacy sites across England in age order.
Over 400 military personnel will help with the rollout, Johnson added.
Noting that it’s ‘time for another Great British vaccination effort’, Johnson said: “The target we’ve set ourselves is to offer a booster to everyone eligible by the end of January.
“As with the first jabs, we’ll be working through people by age group going down in five year bands, because it’s vital that the older and more clinically vulnerable get that added protection first.”
The Prime Minister stressed that even those who had their second jab over three months ago should wait until the NHS contacts them about a booster appointment.
This announcement comes as face masks are made compulsory once again in all shops and on public transport.
The government made the decision as part of its response to the new Omicron variant, which is said to be ‘more transmissible and have more mutations which could weaken the effect of vaccines and natural immunity.’
The change in rules was announced by the Prime Minister after cases of the new variant were detected at several locations across the UK.
The Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed yesterday that all adults will be offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine as part of a reaching expansion of the jabs programme to deal with the potential impact of the new variant.