BLOG: “Simple measures to care for and protect each other”
Although Covid-19 regulations have now been removed, and we are in a much better position than previous points in 2020 and 2021, Director of Public Health, Matt Ashton explains why we should still remain aware and how continuing with simple measures can keep ourselves and those at increased risk of Covid safe.
“We know people want to move on from the last two years of lockdowns and Covid regulations and move forward with their lives – we all do, but unfortunately the pandemic isn’t over yet.
Infection levels remain high in Liverpool and elsewhere in the country, and high numbers of people are still being admitted to hospital with the virus. This includes those at higher risk of serious illness from Covid, such as elderly people, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, people with chronic health conditions and the unvaccinated.
If you have Covid symptoms, please isolate and book a PCR test. Testing continues to be available free of charge until the end of March and we should utilise this offer while it’s still available.
If you have a positive Covid test, the public health advice remains the same – you should stay athome for 10 days and avoid contact with other people while you are infectious to others. You may be infectious even if you have mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all.
You can do a rapid lateral flow test from 5 days after your symptoms started (or the day you took your test). If you get negative test results 2 days in a row, you are unlikely to be infectious and you can stop isolating. You should still avoid meeting people at higher risk from Covid for 10 full days.
While rapid lateral flow tests remain freely available, do a test before meeting up with vulnerable people, or if you are going to a large social gathering to avoid spreading infection. You can still get tested or collect home test kits (while stocks are available) from Liverpool’s static site at the ACC Arena or from one of the RRVs. Visit liverpool.gov.uk/smarttestingfor more details.
If you live in the same household as someone with Covid or have stayed overnight with them you are at higher risk of catching Covid – so you should limit close contact with other people outside your household and avoid social gatherings and crowds.
The risk of catching Covid is highest in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces, so let fresh air in if you are meeting indoors – meeting outdoors is safer.
Wear a face covering in crowded or enclosed spaces, and when you are meeting people more vulnerable to Covid. This is to reduce the risk of both catching the virus or spreading it to others. It is really important to wear a face covering when you visit the GP, dentist or pharmacy as there are likely to be people there at higher risk.
Wash your hands frequently to protect yourself from Covid-19 and other infections – after using public transport, touching surfaces that many people have touched like handrails, doorknobs, before you eat or prepare food, and cover coughs and sneezes.
Get vaccinated! Vaccines are still our best defence. The evidence clearly shows they reduce the severity of infection and prevent serious illness. They are safe, and reduce the risk of developing long-Covid.
So, if you’re not vaccinated already – don’t delay. Vaccination also gives a massive boost to your immune system – providing much better protection than previous infection.
Liverpool has a really good and accessible vaccination offer, including bookable appointments or drop-in sessions throughout the week, including weekends. Full details are available at liverpoolccg.nhs.uk/drop-in-vaccination
Thankfully, we are now much clearer on what steps we can all take to keep ourselves and others safe – let’s continue to take simple measures to care for and protect each other. Thank you for helping to keep people in Liverpool safe and well.“