Directors of Public Health across the region are urging people to ensure they use face coverings in shops, takeaways and public transport, avoid crowds and keep to social distancing of 2 metres. The plea from Directors of Public Health, who are now leading the local response to COVID outbreaks, comes as COVID cases are increasing in communities.

There have been several outbreaks across the region and working with the NHS and Public Health England, Directors have deployed additional mobile testing units to pick up positive cases. Contacts of positive cases can then be traced to prevent a further spread of the virus. Local authorities have been working hard with partners dealing with settings involved in outbreaks and helping them operate safely.

Sue Forster, Chair of the Cheshire & Merseyside Directors of Public Health Board said, “Unless they are exempt, it is so important people protect themselves and others by wearing a face covering, keeping a distance of 2 metres and regularly washing their hands. We have seen people incorrectly wearing face coverings so they must cover your nose and mouth and you should only handle your mask with clean hands. We want to prevent local lockdowns and protect frontline services who will need to deal with illness as a result of COVID. We really need people to support us by doing everything they can to help keep our families, friends and communities safe.”

If you do develop symptoms of COVID (fever, new continuous cough or loss/change of taste or smell) you can obtain a test by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119. If your test is positive you must follow the guidance including self-isolating for 10 days and members of your household self-isolating for 14 days.