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Warrington. Unofficial Lockdown Request.

(141 Posts)
RedToothBrush Tue 15-Sep-20 11:39:37

I'm posting this here, as it seems to have been missed by just about every news outlet out there and although I've touched on this on other threads and been asked a bit about it, I thought it probably merited its own thread now.

There is a growing problem in the area which should be of real concern to everyone due to the degree that its been under the radar.

Last night the council issued a request to be stricter than the official Rule of Six if you live in the borough

Warrington Borough Council @WarringtonBC
Please don't visit other households unless you need to. With case numbers rising rapidly, and steeply, over the last few weeks, we all need to play our part to stop the spread of the virus:
www.warrington.gov.uk/news/warrington-residents-urged-not-visit-other-households?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SocialSignIn&utm_content=COVID-19

In a bid to contain the transmission of coronavirus, and to help drive down the number of cases in the town, Warrington’s Public Health leaders are appealing to residents not to visit other households.

Case numbers in Warrington have risen rapidly, and steeply, over the last couple of weeks and residents are being urged to play their part, now, to avoid the risk of the town going into a local lockdown. Confirmed cases in the most recent verified seven-day period are now over 200.

There is clear evidence to show that households are the most likely setting for the virus to spread, so residents should avoid visiting other people at home, including visiting people in private gardens, unless you have formed a household support bubble. People can meet outdoors in open, public spaces as long as they follow the new ‘rule of six’ – that is, a maximum of six people can meet from multiple households, as long as they continue to socially distance themselves from one another. But Warrington residents are being urged not to visit other people at home if they don’t need to – both inside and outside the borough.

This decision will be kept under constant review, but a formal assessment will be made in three weeks’ time, on 5 October.

A bit of background to this:

It's currently the 6th Worst Place in England for new infections within the last 7 days rolling period. Yesterday the rate was 98.1 per 100,000. On 2nd September it was 9 per 100,000. It was 2.9 the previous week. Cases have been low throughout the Summer despite being so close to Greater Manchester.

This spike seems to have been ignored / missed as a concern. Warrington didn't make last week's PHE areas of concern list. Nor has there been anything in the media about the sharp rise outside the local newspaper.

Whats particularly concerned is the spread of this and how there seems to be multiple outbreaks occuring. The rise in cases has affects all wards of the council. Initially cases seems to have started in the poorer north of the town (where the town centre is). Which is where you would expect to appear at least initially.

It needs to be pointed out here, that the town has recovered to pre-covid levels of footfall too - one of only 14 towns to do so.

The north is traditionally much much more deprieved than the south and the north and south are very socially divided with a 'them and us' mentality that stretches along the division of the Manchester Ship Canal. People don't mix too much socially between the two.

There are now numerous cases being reported in the much more rural and affluent wards of South Warrington. So it looks like its spread to different communities. There is a mentality that it was 'safe' in these wards because its more middle class, less densely populated etc etc.

It really goes against the stereotypes of where covid 'should be'.

The Chief Executive of the local NHS trust has sent out a daily update today to staff which a friend described as 'making for sobering reading' about the infection rate. Hospital admissions for covid are up too.

The focus in the media over the last few days has been about other areas 'which are the 10 worst affected' not being able to get hold of tests. Warrington wasn't one of these 10 worst affected listed despite its ranking in terms of new infections.

As Warrington isn't being seen as a problem, its not getting attention and there seems to be a particular shortage of testing in the northwest. There's a real struggle to get tested - people were being directed to Telford earlier in the week. There isn't a permenant testing site in the borough - only a shared mobile one with Halton which has moved throughout the summer - though the council are trying to sort this. Warrington, without Halton, has a population of 100,000. There are testing sites just outside the council area but its not helping the current situation.

Sky yesterday reported
Director of public health for Cheshire West and Chester, Ian Ashworth, said: "Additional testing capacity is essential to help prevent further spread of the virus in Cheshire and Merseyside but also the North West.

"Currently the North West region has 25% of the COVID-19 national cases and yet has access to only 15% of the national testing capacity."

And it seems that the known hot spots of Greater Manchester are getting most attention (and therefore priority).

No one wants to acknowledge the growing problem in Warrington. Its like its invisible.

I don't know if Warrington is unique or there are other similar areas which are currently under the radar - my suspicion is there are.

Its deeply frustrating that no one seems to be paying attention nor realising what is potentially starting to unfold. Its really reactionary and slow. And whilst this only will directly/indirectly affect the small number of posters who live there/have family or friends there, it should be something others are concerned about because it highlights how fast a picture can change and how unprepared a lot of areas seem for a fast change and how to cope with it.

The chances of the borough getting to the 5th October review without an intervention sooner at the rate cases are going up, seems slim.

I'm hoping that by starting a thread and screaming about it as loudly as possible, SOMEONE will start waking up SOMEWHERE and start asking the necessary relevant questions which are important to everyone no matter where they live.

These questions are about Warrington alone. They are about the wider implications of responsiveness and a lack of awareness of whats going on.

OP’s posts: |
HeyMacarona Tue 15-Sep-20 11:45:04

This doesn’t surprise me.

I posted on another thread about a person I know who has most certainly contracted COVID, lives in Warrington and being refused by employers time off as all other symptoms are accompanied by a runny nose. The person could not get a test anywhere.

MJMG2015 Tue 15-Sep-20 11:47:44

Jesus. I wonder how that's being ignored???

How did you receive the request from the council?

Can't they impose an official lockdown? I thought they could.

Is anyone working on where exactly the outbreaks have occurred?

Not loving our 'world beating' TTT 🙇🏻‍♀️

RedToothBrush Tue 15-Sep-20 11:52:04

I didn't 'recieve' a request from the council.

The council have put a statement out their website and on their twitter feed. And the local newspaper have run a story on it.

But other than that its not being publicised ANYWHERE I can find. I've spend the morning trying to double check newsoutlets online. The BBC aren't reporting online. It hasn't been on local tv news that I've seen (though its possible it has been reported).

If you don't read the local newspaper or follow the twitter feed, I'm not sure how anyone is supposed to know.

Its dreadful. At the very worse the council should have been contacting other news outlets about this but that doesn't seem to have happened. I get the impression they want to look like they are doing something but also downplay it at the same time because the town has been recovering well economically.

I just don't get it tbh.

OP’s posts: |
RedToothBrush Tue 15-Sep-20 11:53:19

(This doesn't affect me directly - but I know plenty of people it does as I have close ties).

OP’s posts: |
WarringtonSushi Tue 15-Sep-20 11:58:47

Thanks @RedToothBrush

NC (Slightly) as obviously massively outing! The situation here in Warrington is indeed very odd. The cases appear to be going through the roof, and nobody, except the Warrington Guardian, and now the council seems to be noticing!

Lot's of people that I know seem to have this odd 'cold' that is spreading like wildfire. Nobody can confirm that this 'cold' is anything other than a cold as it's impossible to get a test. I tried to get one, just to see if it was possible, apparently, there are 41 tests available in Litherland (Liverpool way) but when you follow the process through it's 'nothing available, please try again later.' The symptoms of this cold are streaming nose, feeling dreadful, scratchy throat and a slight tickly cough. So not classic COVID symptoms (except for the cough which is very minor) but it is spreading really, really quickly. We're in the 'affluent South' and a local primary school is closed, I overheard yet more parents at DC's school this morning telling the teachers their DC 'have a bit of a cold' and apparently the DC from the local high school are being sent home at a rate of knots, there are no tests to be found!

There was about 3 seconds on North West tonight, last night, that mentioned, casually, that Warrington had come from nowhere (in the 100's) to 6th in the country in a matter of days. Nothing further. The council have said on their FB page that we shouldn't visit other households, but it appears to be very much advisory rather than mandatory. We're not on the watch list, no local lockdown, it's just being ignored!

If we're 6th in the country, this 'cold' is rife and nobody can get a test, I dread to think what the actual rate is. Something is definitely going on!

HeyMacarona Tue 15-Sep-20 12:05:14

WarringtonSushi

It’s the same story in all of the surrounding areas such as St Helens, Widnes etc. I’m from and area in NW and like you I’m astounded nothing is being done. It certainly appears more widespread than is known and the lack of testing is masking a more serious problem. Genuinely hope I’m wrong.

Menomadness Tue 15-Sep-20 12:16:28

Thank you for starting this thread. I am no longer local but as it's my hometown I have many friends and family there.
I cannot believe the rate of increase. I was tracking numbers from early August as we went up to visit family and it was fairly lowing then! Although I was amazed at just how many people were out and about when I visited.
Re the testing- 15% for the north west? Wonder why that is angry
I had heard of a few pubs been affected and one school but I only get the snippets I see on sm.
I can't believe nobody "official" is looking at this and thinking "oh shit!!" Or are they?
Given the proximity of the town to other areas with high rates and the integration through commuting etc I can't see this getting better with a half hearted local lockdown. It needs a big amount of good public information and testing right now sad

RedToothBrush Tue 15-Sep-20 12:16:43

Newton-le-willows is glowing up on the arcgis data as being nearly as bad as the worst parts of Bolton were a few dates ago.

I have no idea whats going on there but obviously a problem.

OP’s posts: |
MummyPop00 Tue 15-Sep-20 12:21:06

I’m in the town, though I’m 99% sure I caught Covid in the first spike anyway.

Good news as far as I’m concerned, get this never ending death by 1,000 cuts over with.

It’s out of the bag, accept it or suffer mentally.

RedToothBrush Tue 15-Sep-20 12:23:06

Official council position for St Helens' appears to be 'take each day as it comes' and there was a mobile testing unit deployed to Newton on Saturday according to the Star Helen's Star.

So there seems to be growing concern there (and actual resources being used) too.

OP’s posts: |
Menomadness Tue 15-Sep-20 12:23:23

Just looked at Newton-le-willows. No idea why? Very different areas Earlstown/ Vulcan village etc is not quite as well off as some parts on Newton- le- willows though but both look badly affected.

RedToothBrush Tue 15-Sep-20 12:24:21

MummyPop00

I’m in the town, though I’m 99% sure I caught Covid in the first spike anyway.

Good news as far as I’m concerned, get this never ending death by 1,000 cuts over with.

It’s out of the bag, accept it or suffer mentally.

There is a LOT of people I know in Warrington who seem to think they got Covid early on.

I'm not sure that helps though. It almost adds to the sense of invulnerability that exists in places.

OP’s posts: |
annabel85 Tue 15-Sep-20 12:24:50

Lot's of people that I know seem to have this odd 'cold' that is spreading like wildfire.

It's September. Always happens when the schools go back. Added to the fact a lot of people will have lowered immune responses after months of relative isolation.

Kassandra1 Tue 15-Sep-20 12:25:10

@MummyPop00 good that you're safe. Not so easy to accept it if you or your DC are in the clinically vulnerable group but let's not think of those people ay?

CoffeeandCroissant Tue 15-Sep-20 12:25:14

Gets a mention on Cheshire Live
www.cheshire-live.co.uk/news/alarm-over-warrington-covid-rates-18933290

annabel85 Tue 15-Sep-20 12:27:38

Menomadness

Just looked at Newton-le-willows. No idea why? Very different areas Earlstown/ Vulcan village etc is not quite as well off as some parts on Newton- le- willows though but both look badly affected.

Just about everywhere in the north west is being battered by Covid. Most of the 10 most affected places are in the north west with many more on the watchlist.

MummyPop00 Tue 15-Sep-20 12:28:11

@Kassandra1

If you are in a shielding category, nobody is stopping you from shielding are they?

RedToothBrush Tue 15-Sep-20 12:29:24

Conservative Mr Carter says he is concerned to see the level of increase in cases in the town over the past seven days.

He added: “I’m speaking to ministers at the Department for Health and Warrington Borough Council to look to bring additional testing capacity into Warrington.

Well at least he's acknowledging there is a piss poor level of testing provision in the borough. But he doesn't exactly seem to have a level of urgency in what he's saying.

OP’s posts: |
Thisisneverending Tue 15-Sep-20 12:36:58

Im from Warrington, part of the problem is the bars (that are actually nightclubs) that have been opening in the town centre.
After midnight they crank the music up - zero social distancing going on/dancefloors Full they are basically acting like nothing has happened.
Any licensing visits tend to be done at 10pm latest - after that the owners know that they have had their ‘visit’ and ramp it up.
Nothing is being done to check on these venues that are operating totally outside of guidance with packed venues.

LindaEllen Tue 15-Sep-20 12:38:52

HeyMacarona

WarringtonSushi

It’s the same story in all of the surrounding areas such as St Helens, Widnes etc. I’m from and area in NW and like you I’m astounded nothing is being done. It certainly appears more widespread than is known and the lack of testing is masking a more serious problem. Genuinely hope I’m wrong.

I'm on the edge of St Helens/Warrington and as much as I am dreading another lockdown I am prepared that it will most likely be happening.

But I would rather action was taken to enforce the lighter rules we have, as this might prevent a lockdown from being needed!

I struggle with mental health (I know that's not unique or special whatsoever) and the thought of not being able to go and see my mum and my friends, even from a safe distance, honestly scares me. My partner is a key worker, I am not currently working (due to covid) meaning I sit at home alone for 8 hours a day, and it's not good for me.

RedToothBrush Tue 15-Sep-20 12:40:18

Just about everywhere in the north west is being battered by Covid. Most of the 10 most affected places are in the north west with many more on the watchlist.

Many weren't just a couple of weeks ago.

Halton - Last four weeks - 52.5, 21.6, 4.6, 3.9 per 100,000
St Helens - Last four weeks - 79.7, 25.5, 7.2, 11.1 per 100,00
Warrington - Last four weeks - 98.1, 29.0, 9, 2.6 per 100,000

St Helens ironically WAS on PHE's watchlist on Friday.

How did PHE miss Warrington though?

OP’s posts: |
RedToothBrush Tue 15-Sep-20 12:42:15

Would PHE missing Warrington be anything to do with the obvious lack of testing capacity per head of population by any chance?

The rise in footfall should have been a warning that it was a potentially high risk area for a big spike.

OP’s posts: |
Kassandra1 Tue 15-Sep-20 12:42:23

@mummypop00 well, not sure if you've noticed but food deliveries have been stopped, people are being told to go back into the office, kids are back in school.

It's impossible to shield right now. So increases in cases like this are very scary for some of society and your attitude of "accept it or suffer" is not very helpful.

I hope you and yours dont get ill or end up in a vulnerable category in the future

HeyMacarona Tue 15-Sep-20 12:46:02

LindaEllen

They need to intervene in all of these areas now and not just a half arsed ‘don’t mix with other households’. Tests should be made available as a matter of urgency and businesses forced to comply with guidelines.

Why do things always have to get bad before someone steps in?

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