COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported in seven care homes in Liverpool with the virus “spreading rapidly” amongst all ages of the population.
Public Health Director Matt Ashton urged people to be cautious and get vaccinated as there was a “lot of the virus about in the city”, the Liverpool Echo reported.
The city’s infection rate is now above 500 cases per 100,000 with the majority of these in younger people although Mr Ashton said the virus was also spreading to older groups.
Mr Ashton said: “Although the rate is very high, it isn’t as high as the peak in January, but it is very high.
“The Delta variant has done this, it makes up for 99.6% of the cases we have sequenced.
“We are starting to see outbreaks in care homes, I think we have seven outbreaks in care homes at the moment, which shows that it doesn’t just stick in younger age groups.”
A spokesperson for Liverpool City Council confirmed: “The city is starting to see more outbreaks in care homes. Currently, there are seven outbreaks in care homes, with a further five single cases.
“Most of the cases are staff and most of those affected are still well. However, it should be noted that the virus is spreading rapidly through all ages in the population highlighting how important it is for everyone to get vaccinated.”
The latest official data shows that care home COVID deaths are at the lowest since the onset of the pandemic with eight recorded in England in the week ending 25 June.
Concerns over care homes vulnerability to outbreaks have heightened with the onset of the new highly infectious Delta strain, however, combined with the PM’s announcement on Monday that remaining lockdown restrictions will be lifted on 19 July.
The government subsequently confirmed that infection control measures will remain in place for care homes after 19 July.