A PUBLIC health leader in a borough neighbouring Warrington said that a rise in new coronavirus cases is ‘worrying but not a cause for alarm’.

Health officials are reminding residents that it is still important to work together to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community from Covid-19, as well as other seasonal illnesses.

Rates of infection in Halton have now exceeded 600 cases among every 100,000 residents – meaning around one in every 162 people in Halton have Covid.

The current rate is the highest it has been in the borough since January, with there being a particular rise in infections among 11 to 16-year-olds, and cases are also high among 5 to 10-year-olds.

However, infection rates are also beginning to rise among the parents of these school age children, with concerns that the borough may soon see more grandparents and older, more vulnerable people becoming ill.

Dr Ifeoma Onyia, Halton’s interim director of public health, said: “While people should not be alarmed by the recent rises, it is a reminder that we are not yet out of the woods when it comes to the pandemic.

“Thankfully, while Covid-19 is typically mild or asymptomatic in most young people, it can be very unpleasant for some, and it means more time away from the classroom.

“It is also a worry that we are now seeing cases rising among adults, and it is important that we act now to stop this reaching our older and vulnerable population, particularly as we near half term, when we know lots of grandparents help out with childcare.

Warrington Guardian:

“Our community across Halton has been incredible at pulling together when it has been needed since the start of the pandemic.

“We now know how to fight this virus, and part of us learning to live with Covid-19 means that at times like these when we are seeing more infections, we need to step back into defence mode and do the things we know work.”

Residents can protect themselves and others by washing our hands often; ensuring there is good ventilation when we meet people indoors; wearing a face covering in crowded areas and doing regular tests and isolating properly if needed.

Dr Onyia continued: “We also know that our very best defence is to get vaccinated, and I encourage all parents or guardians of 12 to 15-year-olds to choose to give their consent for their child to be vaccinated when it is their turn.

“I also encourage everyone over 50 to get their booster jab as soon they are eligible and for all adults to get a flu vaccine this winter.

“And to anyone over 18, who for whatever reason has not yet had their first vaccine or come forward for their second, please remember it is never too late.

“Doing these things will work to bring Covid-19 cases down, help to reduce interruptions to our children’s education and protect our vulnerable residents.

“But it will also guard us against other winter illnesses that start to circulate this time of year.”