WIRRAL COUNCIL: Public health director’s coronavirus update
At the peak of Wirral’s third wave of Covid-19, more than 500 cases were registered in a single day, putting the NHS and social care under serious pressure.
Last night Julie Webster, Wirral Council’s director of public health, told a meeting of the authority’s adult social care and health committee just how high case levels at the peak of the borough’s third wave.
While Wirral had around 30 cases per day at the start of December, as the second national lockdown was ending, 537 cases were recorded on just one day, January 4.
Reflecting on the enormous number, Ms Webster said it was clear to see how Covid-19 had once again got a grip of the borough.
The public health director said this surge has created “significant” pressure on Wirral’s NHS and social care services.
However, there was some positive news.
Cases in Wirral are starting to reduce, although the infection rate remained just over 800 per 100,00 in the week up to January 14.
Ms Webster reported that the borough’s positivity rate, that is the percentage of coronavirus tests which come back as positive, is still around 20%, a very high number.
Most recorded cases in the borough involved those between the ages of 20 and 59, with 20-29 the most common age range for positive cases followed by those aged 50-59 on the most recent figures, which cover the week up to January 8.
Councillors at the meeting praised the authority’s public health team for their communication during the crisis.
Cllr Mike Collins, who represents Pensby and Thingwall for the Conservatives, said one of the biggest comments he usually hears about the council is its lack of communication, but on Covid-19 he mentioned groups included the faith sector and black and ethnic minority (BAME) communities as those the council has done a good job of reaching out to.
Labour councillor Sam Frost thanked Ms Webster for the work which went into the update, while Conservative councillor Mary Jordan praised the council’s “stupendous” efforts to support the borough during the pandemic.
Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter
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