Knowsley Council is recruiting a team of experts to help manage any future coronavirus outbreak.

The local authority is advertising for five Covid-19 prevention, management and support officers to play a “pivotal role” in preventing further outbreaks in the borough.

Reporting to Knowsley’s director of public health, the team will also be responsible for managing any future outbreak by coordinating contact tracing, providing advice and taking enforcement action if necessary.

The establishment of a new team focused specifically on coronavirus appears to be almost unique among UK councils.

A spokesperson for Knowsley Council said: “Post holders will play a pivotal role in engaging with residents and businesses to prevent outbreaks of the virus, ensuring preventative steps are being taken to reduce transmission as well as identifying risks at an early stage.

“The roles will support our proactive response and management of Covid-19 here in Knowsley.”

Last weekend, documents leaked to the Observer showed Knowsley featured on a list of 20 boroughs most at risk of a local lockdown after 2% of people who underwent coronavirus tests in the borough between June 28 and July 4 tested positive.

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Concerns have also been raised about young people in Halewood after local health chiefs warned of a small rise in cases there and extra mobile testing units have been deployed to the borough for the rest of the month.

Total cases in the borough remain relatively low, however, with the latest data from Public Health England suggesting there were only 17 cases of the virus in Knowsley last week.

This week’s figures are due to be released by the end of Thursday.

Paid between £29,000 and £31,000 a year, two of the posts will be for a two-year term, while the other three will be permanent appointments. When not working on coronavirus, they will support the council with infection prevention and management in general.

They will also provide support to the Liverpool City Region if required.

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