COVID-19

 

Current UK Alert Level: 3

On 19/06/2020 update from the UK Chief Medical Officers on the UK alert level confirmed that the UK COVID-19 alert level has been lowered from risk level 4 to risk level 3. It does not mean that the pandemic is over. The virus is still in general circulation, and localised outbreaks are likely to occur.

 

Please note the Government’s messaging is ‘stay alert, control the virus, save lives’ (previously ‘stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives’)

 

 

Current UK Situation

  • As of 4pm on 30 June, 312,654 people have tested positive. As of 4pm on 30 June, of those tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, across all settings, 43,730 have died. You can view the latest UK dashboard and cases by local authority here. Confirmed cases* in Suffolk are broken down by Districts & Boroughs as follows:

 

Ipswich 351 255.2 per 100,000 residents
East Suffolk 625 251.8 per 100,000 residents
Mid Suffolk 187 182.5 per 100,000 residents
Babergh 156 170.7 per 100,000 residents
West Suffolk 245 137.0 per 100,000 residents
Suffolk 1,564 206.2 per 100,000 residents

*Please note numbers may go up or down as the reported data are continually checked and cleaned.

 

 

COVID19 related news from GOV.UK

  • Additional £16 million in funding to be made available this financial year to tackle the substance dependence treatment needs of this population.
  • Suspension of EU Free Movement Directive in order to enable local authorities to accommodate and support a specific group of rough sleeping EU nationals for up to 12 weeks

 

Other COVID-19 related news

  • BBC: Concerns’ around Covid-19 rates in Bradford and Doncaster: Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, has warned that Bradford and Doncaster are “clearly of concern” for potential local outbreaks, with high rates of Covid-19. he said: “Those are areas, where not as high as Leicester, but they have some of the highest numbers of cases per 100,000 of the population, which is the relevant measure, so they’re clearly of concern.” (Please note link to article will take you to BBC Global news live reporting page and you will need to scroll down to time 09:28 to get to the article based on BBC Radio 4 interview)
  • BBC: Boris Johnson pledges ‘new deal’ to build post-virus: As part of a “new deal”, Mr Johnson is setting out plans to accelerate £5bn on infrastructure projects.
  • BBC: What effects does Covid-19 have on the brain? Effects include but not limited to stroke, delirium, anxiety, confusion and fatigue. As each week passes, it is becoming increasingly clear that coronavirus can trigger a huge range of neurological problems.
  • BBC: Lockdown boosts Couch to 5K downloads: The coronavirus lockdown has spurred thousands to put on trainers and run. More than 858,000 people downloaded the NHS-backed Couch to 5K app between March and the end of June.
  • BBC: Coronavirus: Snacking and family meals increase in lockdown: Changes in young people’s eating habits, tracked during the lockdown in England, show both increases in snacking and families eating together. Researchers found 60% of young people thought more shared family meal times were positive for health and wellbeing.
  • BBC: The falconer and the lockkeeper, unlikely key workers: Matt Forward is a falconer and his job is to keep the pigeons away from Trafalgar Square. Pest management was covered in the key worker list, so throughout lockdown Matt drove himself and his Harris hawk 45 miles to the iconic square two mornings a week. Alex Goode, site manager at Foxton Locks, in Leicestershire, is another example of an unusual keyworker. Essential travel stopped on the canal system at the beginning of lockdown yet boaters still needed to pass through the locks and therefore Alex is needed as a keyworker.

BBC News: Global picture

  • US buys up world stock of key Covid-19 drug remdesivir. No other country will be able to buy remdesivir, which can help recovery from Covid-19, for next three months at least
  • Australia battling rising cases of COVID-19 in Victoria, which is facing a possible new state-wide lockdown.
  • Lebanon’s international airport reopens after three month closure
  • EU borders are reopening to people from 15 countries but the US remains on excluded list

 

Suffolk

 

Speculation about where local lockdowns are likely: You may have seen a national news story yesterday which listed 36 places where local lockdowns might be necessary, based on ‘spikes’ in cases. Suffolk was included in this list. You should know that this list is based on a comparison of the number of cases last week (20-26 June) compared to the number the week before (13-19 June). In Suffolk, there was an increase of 1 case in this period, from 2 cases to 3 cases, equivalent to an increase of 50%. This is clearly a very low base, however it has not stopped some media outlets from reporting it as if a local lockdown is therefore imminent. Whilst the number and location of cases is monitored on the daily basis so that we can take action to manage COVID-19, this particular story is not something to worry about. We would appreciate it if you could share this with your partners, communities and customers if concerns are raised.  Click here for more information

 

Stick with it Suffolk as more businesses open: As more businesses are allowed to open this weekend, residents are being urged to #StickWithItSuffolk by keeping it local and sticking to the guidance, such as social distancing. Businesses have been working hard to bring in new measures to enable them to trade, keep their customers safe and help reduce the spread of COVID-19. But they need the public to help, by sticking to these measures and acting sensibly. This will help to prevent the virus from spreading again. Otherwise, businesses could once again be threatened with closure. Click here to read more

Suffolk granted more funding for emergency walking and cycling schemes: Suffolk County Council has been awarded more money than expected from the Department for Transport to support its ambitious plans for emergency temporary walking and cycling schemes in Suffolk. Back in May, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a £250m investment in swift emergency interventions to make walking and cycling easier and safer during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to avoid over crowding the transport network. The interventions ensure those people who need and want to make essential journeys and take daily exercise by foot or bike can do safely whilst maintaining social distancing.  For more information click here

 

UOS plan to help the local economy: The University of Suffolk is supporting an ambitious plan to get the economy of Suffolk and Norfolk back on its feet in the wake of Covid-19. The plan contains an unprecedented package of measures to be delivered by partners locally and nationally to get businesses up and trading again, restore business, consumer and community confidence, and support to those who do lose their jobs. Click here for more information.

Child immunisation: Local clinical commissioning groups are urging parents to not put off getting their child immunised. By delaying it could be reduce children’s level of immunity. GPS are available and happy to talk if parents have concerns. Click here to view a simple video about the importance of getting immunisations even during the covid-19 pandemic.

Questions on Covid-19: Healthwatch Suffolk are asking for public questions on the impact of Coronavirus on health and wellbeing in Suffolk and what this means going forward. Questions will be put to the Health and Wellbeing Board on 16th July. Questions need to be submitted by 8th July. Read more here

You can now get tested in Framlingham: A Government mobile testing unit will be available this Thursday and Saturday. Additional dates are due to be announced by Government shortly. If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you must immediately start isolating for 7 days and get tested. Symptoms are a high temperature, or a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. To book a test, visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119. You can request a home test kit or visit a local testing centre. These can regularly be found in: Beccles, Bury St Edmunds, Eye, Framlingham, Halesworth, Haverhill, Ipswich, Leiston, Lowestoft, Sudbury. For more information visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/testing and see “Where can I get tested in Suffolk?”

 

 

Key National Guidance updates

The existing guidance is being updated extremely regularly so please check any guidance relevant to your area to ensure that you are accessing the most up to date version. We are not including in this table all the published material but some of the key guidance that would be relevant to Suffolk County Council and our partners.

 

  Title Who For Comments
NEW COVID-19: Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities

 

Local Authorities and managers of community facilities From 4 July community centres and other multi-use community facilities will be allowed to open. Managers of community facilities will have discretion over when they consider it safe to open for any activity permitted by legislation and may decide to remain closed if they are not able to safely follow the advice in the relevant guidance, to make the space COVID-19 secure.
NEW COVID-19: Guidance for the safe use of council buildings

 

Local Authorities The new guideline advises that a COVID-19 risk assessment should be completed by each operator of a council building, civic building, town hall or organiser of a civic event. This should be in addition to any risk assessment which is already in place.
UPDATED Coronavirus (COVID-19): General Aviation

 

Travel and Avian agencies From 4 July, the safe return of dual flights and training flights, and the reopening of GA businesses, will be permitted in England. Public Health England recommends attempting to maintain a 2 metre distance where possible. Where this is not possible the advice for airlines is to carry out a coronavirus risk assessment and take appropriate actions to reduce the risk of transmission.  This is likely to be the case for most dual and training flights
UPDATED Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on the phased return of sport and recreation

 

Sport and Gym facilities From 4 July outdoor gyms and playgrounds can open, as can clubhouse bars and restaurants (see below for more details). Indoor facilities associated with the outdoor areas should be kept closed, apart from toilets and throughways.

 

UPDATED What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

 

Schools and Local Authorities Providers of community activities, summer clubs, tuition and other out-of-school activities will be able to open over the summer, when schools close. Appropriate social distancing and safety measures will need to be in place.

Update for uniforms advises that uniforms will not need to be cleaned any more often or differently than usual.

 

UPDATED Providing free school meals during the coronavirus, COVID-19 Summer Food Fund

 

Schools and Local Authorities Additional funding has been made available for a COVID-19 Summer Food Fund which will enable children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals to claim vouchers for the 6 week holiday period.

The national voucher scheme will be available to cover the period up until the end of a school’s summer term. Schools must place their final voucher orders at least one week before their school term ends. For example, schools closing on 17 July must place orders for all vouchers by 10 July.

 

UPDATED Providing free school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

 

Schools and Local Authorities During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, there will be temporary extending of free school meal eligibility to include some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds

These groups are:

  • children of Zambrano carers
  • children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • children of families receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 who are also subject to a no recourse to public funds restriction.

 

 

 

Useful Websites

 

  Title Who For Comments
1 NHS – COVID-19 go-to page General Public
2 GOV.UK – COVID-19 homepage Main cover webpage for all government guidance for public & professionals alike
3 Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance
Main collection of guidance for anyone in any setting Guidance includes:
– Guidance for the public (incl. social distancing and shielding)
– Guidance for non-clinical settings (incl. cleaning, educational settings, employees, employers, businesses, residential care, supported living and home care)
– Guidance for health professionals
– Infection prevention and control (incl. PPE)
– Sampling and diagnostics
4 Heatwave Plan for England Professionals
5 Mental health support and advice from:

General public, staff and carers
6 Chronic disease self- care during COVID-19:

General public
7 European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) COVID-19 homepage Professionals
8 Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker Professionals The tracker compares worldwide government responses to the coronavirus rigorously and consistently. The Oxford team collects information on common policy responses, scores the stringency of such measures, and aggregates these into a Stringency Index.

 

As of 18 June, UK’s stringency level is 73.15 (many restrictions). For comparison, New Zealand’s stringency level is 19.44 (few restrictions) and Cuba’s is 100 (many restrictions, including total stay at home confinement and all but essential workplace closing).

 

 

Local Resources:

Below are any local resources that would be relevant to Suffolk County Council and our partners.

 

  Title Who For Comments
Support from the Suffolk Growth Programme Board (SGPB) Everyone SGPB is a partnership of all Suffolk local authorities, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, University of Suffolk and New Anglia LEP. In Suffolk our Economy & business recovery work for COVID-19 is being led by SGPB and the website includes links to funding / surveys / economic impact work. Please do pass this information on to your contacts.
Suffolk Domestic Abuse 24/7 Helpline – Freephone 0800 977 5690 Everyone The freephone number is live from 9am on Friday 22nd May 2020 for anyone with concerns including professionals who may be supporting clients as well as friends and family members who are concerned for loved ones.
New Anglia: Employment Opportunities in Key Sectors in Norfolk and Suffolk Individuals and Businesses wanting to know what employment opportunities are available in some of our key sectors The New Anglia LEP – alongside other partners including local authorities – have pulled together lists and links to key employment roles needed now as part of the response to the current crisis.
Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership Everyone The website aims to help everyone understand the signs of neglect or abuse and what to do if they are worried about a child or an adult.
NEW ANGLIA GROWTH HUB Businesses needing support

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A one stop shop source of information for government support and guidance available to  businesses including 121 business advice sources of business grants and loans.
Healthy Suffolk: COVID-19 Emotional Wellbeing, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Information Hub Everyone This page contains links to a wealth of resources and support for your health and wellbeing.
Suffolk County Council: Coronavirus information Everyone Suffolk County Council coronavirus (COVID-19) information, including health advice, service changes, business support and schools guidance.
Keep Moving Suffolk Everyone The website contains free resources, ideas, tips, useful links and positive stories to encourage people to stay active during these unprecedented times.  The website and our social channels will be constantly updated.

 

 

Global: WHO Situation Report – reports available here

 

Situation in Numbers WHO SitRep 162, 30 June