Volunteers credited for containing Liverpool Covid cluster

Residents in an area of Liverpool have been told a coronavirus outbreak has been contained by a locally led “boots on the ground” approach.

The action plan was set up in Princes Park from July 31 after the ward recorded half of the increase in confirmed cases across the city in the previous week.

Community volunteers went door-to-door to raise awareness of testing availability and to promote key public health messages, while a pop-up walk-in test centre was set up.

Other measures put restrictions on house-to-house visits, suspended planned public gatherings and events in the area and saw community buildings remain shut.

A total of 14 cases were confirmed from July 20-27, rising to 18 the following week, but in the week up to August 11 the number of confirmed cases in the ward was five.

Letters have been sent to local households to confirm that overnight socially distanced stays and visits to one other home are to be allowed from Saturday.

Community buildings can reopen and outdoor gatherings take place, provided a risk assessment is done, while outdoor meet-ups with care home residents can resume.

Matt Ashton, director of public health for Liverpool, said: “What we achieved in Princes Park has shown the value of local teams being able to take quick action and making the best use of the local knowledge that they have.

“Everyone can certainly feel proud of what has been achieved and knowing that this approach works gives us confidence but it will not allow us to be complacent.

“We contained an outbreak but the virus has not gone away.

“My team continue to monitor the numbers of confirmed cases but will still need everyone’s help to make sure that those levels remain low.”

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: “We took a decision to move quickly in Princes Park and that decision has proved to be the right one.

“Council teams and volunteers literally put in the hard yards to help contain the outbreak and this has ultimately saved lives – not only in Princes Park but also in the wider city.

“My thanks go to them as well as the other community and faith leaders who have worked so hard to keep people safe, and also the residents who have engaged with the action we have taken and turned the outbreak around.”