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Wychavon Email News Update 15th May 2020

The Prime Minister announced some changes to the lockdown restrictions this week which came into force on Wednesday (13 May).

The Government has produced some FAQs on what you can and cannot do to help you understand the changes.

Although the infection rate is coming down, the virus has not gone away and we all still have a responsibility to keep each other safe.

To help control the virus you must still:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (keep 2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms. You can find out more about symptoms of coronavirus and what to do if you have them on the NHS website.

It is also important you look after your mental health.

Every Mind Matters has advice on looking after your mental wellbeing.

Spending time outdoors

You can now spend more time outdoors and enjoy a wider range of activities for any length of time, but you must still follow social distancing rules.

The rule changes include spending time outdoors with one member of another household, one-on-one, as long as you stay 2 metres apart at all times.

Some activities where social distancing is possible, such as tennis or golf, are now allowed as long as people stay 2 metres apart at all times.

You still cannot gather with more than one person from another household.

You also cannot:

  • Go on holiday
  • Visit and stay overnight at a holiday home or second home
  • Visit the homes of friends or family, unless it’s to help a vulnerable person for medical reasons or to take a child to another household with whom parental responsibilities are shared

You can now drive to a destination for recreation, irrespective of distance, in England. The rules are not the same in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

If you get to a destination and you find it is so crowded that you cannot stay 2 metres apart from people, then please go somewhere else where you can.

Seek help if you are in medical need

The NHS is still open for businesses for anyone who does not have a coronavirus related medical need. The way you access this help may be different, but help is still available.

Read more advice about getting medical help at home. In a genuine life-threatening emergency you should still call 999.

Council services

Contact Centres – these remain closed for face-to-face queries but we are still available on the phone or by email. We are reviewing this in light of the Government’s announcement this week and are making preparations to reopen when the time is right.

Public toilets – these remain closed but we are making preparations to reopen them with social distancing rules in place. We hope to make an announcement next week

Play areas – these remain closed but our parks are open

Household Recycling Centres – these are run by Worcestershire County Council. Some opened this week but with restrictions. Find out more about visiting a Household Recycling Centre during the coronavirus outbreak.

The full list of services affected is available at www.wychavon.gov.uk/coronavirus

Any changes will be published on that page.

Face coverings

The Government has also given some advice that people should use face coverings (not medical masks but a scarf or homemade fabric covering) when on public transport or in some shops or other enclosed public spaces.

Read the advice on how to make a fabric face covering at home.

Read the guidance on when and who should wear a face covering.

Recycling issues

We are starting to see used tissues and disposable gloves, masks etc appear in the recycling we are collecting from households.

Please do not put these items in with your recycling. It creates an infection risk for the workers at the sorting facility. It may also mean we are unable to recycle whole loads of recycling.

You can help by getting your recycling right. Read the list of items you can and cannot put into your household recycling.

If you or someone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus then you should put used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths in rubbish bags. Then put the bag into a second bag and tie it securely. Store it for three days before putting it in your black bin.

If on a sack collection, follow the same process and store bags separately from bags of standard household waste for three days. They can then be put out for collection together on your usual collection day.

You can dispose of other household waste as normal.

Covid-19 Memory Bank Project

The Covid-19 outbreak is undoubtedly a significant moment in human history. We are keen to capture information about what happened locally to inform future generations. That is why we have launched the Covid-19 Memory Bank.

You are encouraged to send in messages of goodwill you have received from neighbours, rainbow pictures you have drawn in support of key workers, messages of thanks you have left for key workers or received, diary entries you may have made during lockdown, video blogs, photographs, video footage, poems, songs or artwork.

The subject can be anything from how you felt during this time to the way the community pulled together, the weekly clap for our carers event, response of key workers on the frontline and the challenges or joys of home schooling.

If you have lost a loved one to this virus, you are also invited to submit a photograph and/or tribute to them.

The information received will be used in a future art project or exhibition and then handed over to the archive at The Hive or locally for preservation.

You can find out more about the project and upload any contributions you may have at www.wychavon.gov.uk/memorybank

Opening of schools and colleges

You may have seen media reports of schools being asked to reopen for some pupils from 1 June. Those of you with school age children will no doubt have many questions. The Government has published an FAQs list. Read more about the Government plan for reopening schools.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

If you are self-employed then the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is now open for applications. Everyone eligible will receive a grant by 25 May or within six days of a completed claim. Grants are worth 80% of average monthly trading profits.

Read more information on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Financial support for you

If you are struggling financially then we would advise you to make a claim for Universal Credit, Council Tax Support and other benefits you may be eligible for.

There is more information on the coronavirus employments and benefits page.

Help paying your Council Tax

If you are of working age and already receiving Council Tax Support you will get a one off reduction of up to £150. This will be applied automatically to your bill.

You can apply online for Council Tax Support if you are struggling to pay your bill.

More information is available on our Benefits and Council Tax page.

Even if you are not eligible for Council Tax Support, you still may be able to defer your payments for a short period, or spread them over 12 months instead of ten.

Please contact our team by emailing Revenues@southworcestershirerevenues.gov.uk or call 03004 560560 to discuss your circumstances and they will do their best to help you.

Support for businesses

We have paid out support payments totaling more than £25.7million to more than 2,200 businesses.  If you are a business and have yet to apply, find out if you are eiigible and more information on our Business Rates Reliefs page.

The Government’s furlough scheme is now open meaning businesses can apply for help to pay up to 80% of the wages of staff.

www.businesssupport.gov.uk has details of all the support available to businesses.

Download free audio and e-books

Worcestershire County Council’s libraries still aren’t allowed to open but you can download e-books and audio books for free.

Funding for charities, arts and community groups

There is a range of funding support available to community groups and charities who are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak themselves or who are working to support vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19.  This includes funding support for arts, heritage and sports projects and grants for organisations supporting vulnerable people.

Visit our Support for community groups and charities page for more information. We update this page regularly so please keep checking back if there is nothing available for your charity or group currently.

Help for those in need

If you are in need of support and do not already have help from friends, family, the voluntary sector or adult social care then please fill in the form on the Worcestershire Here 2 Help website.

Beware fake or unlicensed medicines

There are an increasing number of products being advertised to the general public claiming to either help prevent or treat Covid-19. These include ‘divine cleansing oils’ and ‘antiviral misting sprays’.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)  has issued a warning not to buy these products. Read the announcement from the MHRA on fake or unlicensed coronavirus medicines.

Worcestershire County Council announces the re-opening of a number of Household Recycling Centre from 11th May

Please find below an update on the reopening of a number of our Household Recycling Centres (HRC’s) from Monday 11 May.

We will be communicating the following information to the public at 12pm today and I would like to ask that you do not communicate this information until then.

We will be opening 7 of the 11 sites and these are:

*   Bromsgrove (Quantry Lane)

*   Malvern (Newlands)

*   Pershore (Hill & Moor)

*   Redditch (Crossgates)

*   Stourport (Bonemill)

*   Tenbury

*   Worcester (Bilford Road

This recognises the additional resourcing required to operate the sites in line with the new requirements, e.g. social distancing.

It is important to note that journeys to HRCs must only be undertaken if your waste or recycling cannot be stored at home safely or disposed of safely by other means.

I need your help to try and get the message to residents that this means they should only be visiting if the waste cannot be stored at their home without causing risk of injury, health or harm. There is no other reason the journey will be considered a legitimate purpose for travel.  If the waste can be temporarily stored, recycled or disposed of in a way that does not pose a risk to safety or human health, then this should be done.

We are encouraging residents to check the website for full details of the social distancing measures, opening times and other restrictions before they visit the HRC. These measures include a ‘one in, one out’ access policy, no staff assistance to remove items from vehicles so those visiting need to be able to remove their own waste, and additional services such as compost sales and charity reuse points will be closed until further notice.

We expect the sites to be very busy so residents may have to queue for a long time before they are able to access the site as only a limited number of cars will be allowed at any one time . We will have traffic management in place where possible and will monitor this to try and keep disruption to the network to a minimum.

 

Worcestershire County Council COVID-19 Update for CALC

Worcestershire County Council COVID-19 Update for CALC
3 April 2020

Organisational position
Worcestershire County Council is delivering a One Worcestershire approach. We are working alongside our colleagues in District Councils, the NHS, our MPs and with our other partners including Worcestershire’s voluntary sector organisations.

Key Messages
• Stay at home

• Observe social distancing

• Wash your hands regularly

• If you are vulnerable and have received a letter from the NHS, register for support via:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable

• Or call 0800 0288327, the Government’s dedicated helpline.

Key operational activities/focus/priorities
• We are working with our district council colleagues and with the voluntary sector to build a picture of community action in order to establish if any of the Shielded Cohort are slipping through the net of the wider Government campaign as well as to support those others who are or who may become vulnerable

• We have managed to block purchase up to 300 hotel rooms to assist with the placing of patients who need additional support after hospital discharge

• We are working with the District Councils to provide accommodation for all those rough sleepers who will accept it
Key operational activities/focus/priorities • Through local sourcing we are providing every care setting in Worcestershire with additional supplies of hand sanitiser

• All adult care services remain covered but Nursing Homes are coming under pressure. Overall, there is still enough capacity in Domiciliary Care and we continue to block purchase domiciliary care from the private sector.

• In a single day this week 150 new enquiries were received through the here2help website with a further 140 calls taken through our Adult Social Care Access Centre.
Key operational activities/focus/priorities

• Schools across Worcestershire are preparing to open during Easter holidays for children of critical workers and for vulnerable children

• Vouchers being issued to pupils entitled to free school meals, with most supermarkets accepting them.

• All major infrastructure projects are now shutting down in a controlled manner.

• All household waste & recycling centres are closed. District Councils are working to continue to provide refuse collections. Support is being provided when it is required.

Where can I get further information, help and advice?

Here2Help.

There will be many vulnerable people in our community who will have to self-isolate. This site will provide a central location for the vulnerable that are unable to seek help from family, friends and neighbours. You can request help, volunteer to help and find useful resources.
Want to help/volunteer or need assistance http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help

Where can I get further information, help and advice?

County Council website for Coronavirus information http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/coronavirus

NHS Website for information on Coronavirus https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL CALC Briefing 3.4.20

MHDC Update on Coronavirus 27th March 2020

Please click directly below for Coronavirus Resources for Social Prescribing and Mind Checklist-Coronavirus

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD Coronavirus resources for social prescribing

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD Mind check list CORONAVIRUS

ALSO…….

Affected services
Our waste and recycling collections continue to operate as normal thanks to the dedication of staff at FCC.
To support this, we have stopped taking bulky waste collections until further notice.
We are offering businesses the opportunity to suspend their commercial and recycling collections to support them.
We are asking people on social media not to carry out house, garage or shed clearances unless they can store the waste for a period of time. The Household Recycling Centres are currently closed as it is classed as non-essential travel and we cannot accept side waste, as it would overwhelm our standard service.
The full list of affected services is available at http://www.wychavon.gov.uk/coronavirus

Social distancing rules
Police are now enforcing social distancing rules. In the first instance they will attempt to do this by consent but have the power to fine people if they refuse to comply.
We have already received reports of people gathering in our play areas and have worked with police to disperse them.
To report breaches of social distancing rules the police have asked people to use the online 101 reporting service.

Community Response Update
Many thanks for letting us know all the fantastic things you’ve been doing within your communities.
Changes are being made to the Worcestershire Here 2 Help campaign we mentioned to you in the last update and it will be more widely promoted from next week.
The Here2Help website provides a central location for those members of the community that do not need urgent help and are unable to seek help from family, friends and neighbours.
There are two forms people can fill in on the main websitehttp://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help
I need help – this is to support those who have nowhere else to turn for help with things such as collecting shopping or medicines, walking their dog etc. It is not intended as a service for those who already receive Adult Social Care help or who can ask family, friends or neighbours for help or are already linked with a community group in their area.
Tell us how you can help – for those who can offer assistance through volunteering, delivering essentials etc Anyone unable to complete the form online, can phone 01905 768053 where someone will be able to help you fill in the online form. This number can be used Monday to Sunday between 8am and 8pm.
Once people register for help, they will receive an email notification confirming their request has been received.
Requests for help will be responded to within 24 hours and someone will discuss with them in more detail their needs and what support can be offered.
Anyone who offers help may have their details passed on to a local volunteer or community group to help mobilise support needed.
Residents who have received a letter from the NHS asking them to self-isolate for 12 weeks and are deemed extremely vulnerable, can also use this number to request help with care, medicine and support with daily living.
Worcestershire County Council is responding to requests and has received more than 70 appeals for help since it went live on Monday evening, all with varying needs but most centre upon food supplies or medication collections. They will track the type of concerns which are coming through so they can ramp up that response and identify gaps in support.
If you know of any volunteers, groups or organisations who are offering help please ask them to fill in the offer of help form. https://capublic.worcestershire.gov.uk/CommunityPublic/OfferOfHelp.aspx?_ga=2.261372612.819327287.1584958627-808813890.1582819890

NHS Volunteering
The NHS call for a volunteer army has had over 500,000 responses. We are waiting to hear about how this army links with the here2help scheme. The current advice from County Council is to promote and register for both:
https://www.england.nhs.uk/2020/03/your-nhs-needs-you-nhs-call-for-volunteer-army/

Health & Wellbeing / Welfare Checks
Attached is a Mind Wellness checklist and social prescribing coronavirus resources which you may find useful to share with relevant people.
In addition to this Malvern Hills District Council is putting on weekly challenges linking to physical activity and wellbeing on our YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL-C-fgcehHzMYyxqgp414g

As you will appreciate the current situation is moving swiftly. We will continue to update you as and when we have more information.

Ian Dipple
Joint Marketing and Communications Manager Malvern Hills District Council and Wychavon District Council Civic Centre, Queen Elizabeth Drive Pershore, WR10 1PT

Wychavon District Council – Social Distancing Whilst Outside- Guidance and Advice

Click below to download.

Wychavon District Council, Social Distancing whilst outside- Advice and Guidance

Advice on purchasing products for diagnosis of COVID-19 infection in community settings, such as pharmacies

Some manufacturers are selling products for the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection in community settings, such as pharmacies.

The current view by PHE is that use of these products is not advised:

some of these products look for virus while others look for the body’s immune response to the virus. Such tests are very rapid and can work on a range of specimens including serum, plasma or finger-prick whole blood

there is little information on the accuracy of the tests, or on how a patient’s antibody response develops or changes during COVID-19 infection. It is not known whether either a positive or negative result is reliable

currently there is no published evidence about the suitability of these tests for diagnosing COVID-19 infection in a community setting

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-rapid-tests-for-use-in-community-pharmacies-or-at-home/covid-19-rapid-tests-for-use-in-community-pharmacies-or-at-home

 

COVID-19: Five steps to look after yourself and others

Please see below Banner and Poster for COVID-19: Five steps to look after yourself and others.

COVID-19: Five steps to look after yourself and others BANNER

COVID-19: Five steps to look after yourself and others BANNER

Coronavirus- Sources of Advice

SOURCES OF ADVICE

The coronavirus situation is fast-moving and there is an increasing amount of misinformation online. We should be using government advice to inform decisions and be checking that advice regularly.

Public Health England has FAQs that will be updated regularly

• This guidance, developed with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, aims to assist employers and businesses in providing advice to their staff

• You may find the advice from ACAS useful in considering any employment-related matters that may impact your local council

• For further reading, the Local Government Association has published a very useful list of different government advice sources

Useful links
Latest Government advice

Regularly updated information for the public on the outbreak, including the current situation in the UK and advice about the virus and its symptoms, as well as statements from the Chief Medical Officer on confirmed cases in the UK.

The Government has published its Coronavirus action plan, which outlines what the health and social care system across the UK has done to tackle the outbreak, and what it plans to do next.

Public Health England has produced a dashboard with information on confirmed cases of coronavirus.