One in every hundred Knowsley residents over the age of 60 has tested positive for Covid-19, the local council has revealed.
While the borough’s overall infection rate appears to be stabilising, cases among older residents have continued to accelerate and reached 1,141 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people on Thursday.
This figure is almost double the rate recorded among the over-60s last week, which was already a “grave concern” for Knowsley’s director of public health.
While the initial rise in cases at the start of September was among younger people, the second wave of the virus has now spread to the older population, who are more vulnerable and more likely to be hospitalised or die as a result of contracting Covid-19.
In the wider population, the infection rate appears to have fallen slightly to around 660 cases per 100,000 residents, having reached a high of 720 cases per 100,000 people last week.
The reasons for this fall are not yet clear, nor is it necessarily the case that this represents a genuine fall in infections.
In an update on Friday (October 23), Knowsley Council said fewer people had been tested for Covid-19 in the past week, which could contribute to a fall in overall case numbers, especially as the percentage of swabs testing positive has continued to rise across the North West.
The council also said it had seen success in its support for the national contact tracing service, which began on October 6.
Keep up to date with coronavirus cases in your area by adding your postcode below
Since then, almost 40% of cases have been passed to the council after the national service failed to make contact with them within 24 hours.
In those cases, the council said it was able to leave messages with hundreds of cases and receive calls back from them in response, something the national system is unable to do.
Over the week, the borough continued to see more outbreaks, including one at a medical equipment factory that saw eight workers test positive for Covid-19.
There were also differing reactions to the news that restrictions in the Liverpool City Region would be brought into line with those in Lancashire and Greater Manchester, meaning gyms could open but soft play centres would have to close from Saturday.
Gym owners welcomed the decision, with Dedicated Fitness in Huyton jumping the gun and deciding to reopen on Wednesday when the announcement was first made.
But soft play owners have been left “baffled” by the decision, with the owners of Crafty Mamas in Huyton saying it could have a detrimental impact on children’s development and mental health.