IT’S been another tough week, in an already immensely difficult year.

St Helens finds itself in the highest tier of the government’s new coronavirus alert system.

Along with the rest of the areas bracketed as being in the Liverpool City Region we are now living under the tightest restrictions in England.

There are mounting concerns about the spiralling infection rate (more than 760 cases in the past week) and the pressures on our hospitals, where wards are filling up with coronavirus patients and the picture is beginning to look stark.

Understandably there are fears of the damage for the local economy, livelihoods and people’s mental wellbeing. 

We find ourselves in a tough spot, just like back in March. We’re going to need those traits of grit and determination that are ingrained in the identity of the St Helens community. 

We’re going to need that sense of togetherness and united spirit we showed earlier in the year. And we’ll need to show that sense of collective responsibility that helped us through those early months of this pandemic.

First and foremost we need to get this infection rate down as swiftly as possible. Only then can the pressures our hospitals are facing be relieved and the restrictions we face be eased.

St Helens Star:

Whiston Hospital is again under huge pressure because or coronavirus

We need to trust in the advice of our local public health leaders; remembering the rules of social distancing, regular hand washing and the rules of not mixing socially in indoor settings.
We need to support each other – our families, friends, colleagues and help manage the mental challenges many are struggling with too.

But we need not be shy of asking for help too, particularly for our local economy.
Northern leaders have been right to take on the Government this week about needing more support for business.

There are packages in place – but they just don’t offer the same protection as earlier in the pandemic. Unemployment has already risen sharply and the long-term damage to some parts of the hospitality and fitness trade could be brutal 

Together we can do our bit to get this rate down; but we need and deserve more help from the Government too.

  • This editorial was published in Thursday's St Helens Star ahead of today's announcement that Liverpool City Region leaders have negotiated a funding support package with the Government.