NO COVID DEATHS: City gears up for events pilot
The Liverpool City Region has recorded its first week without a Covid-related death since August.
Now two Liverpool public health experts have said there is "no better time" to hold large scale events pilots in the city as they move to reassure people about their safety. It comes as preparation continues for a series of events without restrictions.
Figures published by the Office for National Statistics confirm that in the seven days up to April 19 there were no deaths from Covid-19 anywhere in the city region.
The last time the city region went seven days without a Covid death was the week ending August 24, just before the start of the second wave last autumn.
The news is further evidence that the virus is in retreat across the region thanks to previous restrictions and the rollout of the vaccine, which has now reached more than 50% of the population.
Meanwhile, infection rates continue to fall across the city region with only 239 new cases being detected in the same week compared to 277 in the previous week.
Public health officials will hope cases of Covid-19 continue to fall in the coming weeks despite the easing of lockdown restrictions.
However, even if cases do rise the fact that almost all of the most vulnerable people in the city region have received a vaccine should prevent the sort of spikes in Covid deaths seen in previous waves.
The latest figures show almost 800,000 people in the city region have been vaccinated, equivalent to 51% of the total population and 62% of adults.
This includes 96% of the over-65s, who are much more vulnerable to the virus.
Only two areas of Liverpool have recorded more than five coronavirus cases in the last week.
Liverpool Council's latest Covid-19 report shows that only Picton and Princes Park have enough cases to show up on its heat map of infection across the city.
Office for National Statistics figures showed that coronavirus is no longer the most common cause of death in the UK.
Data for March shows the virus was the third leading cause of death in England and Wales.
Two Liverpool public health experts have said there is "no better time" to hold large scale events pilots in the city as they move to reassure people about their safety.
The council's public health director Matt Ashton and the dean of Liverpool University's Institute of Population Health, Professor Iain Buchan, made the comments in a recently published open letter.
It comes as preparation continues for a series of events which will see restrictions that have become common during the pandemic ditched.
With no social-distancing in place and no requirement for masks during the pilot events, which include two club nights and a concert in Sefton Park, attendees will have to take a lateral flow COVID-19 test at a local testing centre prior to being granted entry, as well as another test afterwards.
During events, they will not be asked to wear masks or practice social distancing.
In their letter, Mr Ashton and Professor Buchan said that low infection rates mean now is a perfect time to conduct the trials and have vowed they will be held in a safe way.
It is hoped the pilots will provide experts with the tools to figure out the best way for the return of large events on a broader scale while keeping people safe.
The events have proved popular with potential attendees, with tickets for some having already sold out.
However, they have faced opposition, with one city centre venue pulling out after receiving online abuse.
Some members of the public have also been left wondering how the events will be conducted in a way that is safe.
Mr Ashton and Professor Buchan said factors such as air quality and ventilation will be monitored closely to ensure people are safe and to find positives and negatives that will form a pathway for more events to return in future.
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