Lockdown Update May 16th 2020

We must stay alert, to control the virus, and save lives.
We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must: 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 (2 metres apart where possible) Wash your hands regularly. Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

The Government urged us to Stay Alert and keep the R down as it outlined its plans for a relaxation of the Lockdown Guidance. It has been incredibly positive to see the Garden Centres opening with each establishment receiving support from the Environmental Health Team at Stratford District Council regarding the Social Distancing hand hygiene facilities needed to meet the Government guidelines. After almost two months in Lockdown the opening of Garden Centres is a welcome and colourful boost!

The Government also announced

Temporarily easing regulations, so that new suppliers and businesses that produce ingredients for safe hand sanitiser and PPE will be able to bring their products to market in a matter of days. To help get PPE and hand sanitiser to NHS staff as quickly as possible, the Government is easing administrative requirements and barriers to imports of these essential tools, without compromising on their safety. They have also announced they will make changes to enable UK companies undergoing a rescue or restructure process to continue trading, giving them breathing space that could help them avoid insolvency.

Following on from last weeks update regarding Jaguar Landrover making 14,000 face visors weekly the government announced that an extra 70 million face masks will be manufactured elsewhere in the UK, securing vital PPE for frontline workers and creating hundreds of domestic jobs.  The Government have been working with UK industry to scale up and secure domestic PPE production, and have now reached a deal with technology company Honeywell that will allow us to manufacture 70 million more face masks for vital workers nationwide.

An extension of the Furlough Scheme was also announced this week extending it to October and the Self Employment Income Scheme was launched two weeks earlier than anticipated with a million applications taking place within 48 hours. This now means that one on four of the nations 33 million workforce are receiving some form of state support through these unprecedented times.  

Locally Recycling is tipping in the right directions with some recycling sites reopening.

WCC is opening the larger sites in the first instance on 18th May but this excludes the Wellesbourne facility is not included at this time. The sites opening include Burton Farm in Stratford and Princes Drive, Leamington Spa and visits will be controlled by a full booking system to manage the customer flow through the site: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/hwrc  Whilst the first four days are fully booked, WCC will be releasing more days at the end of Monday.

Safety is paramount for staff and customer and PPE will be worn by staff and there will be additional security at those sites opening which will operate seven days a week.  It is planned for Shipston and Wellesbourne’s site to open in the not too distant future, once the initial rush has calmed down.  The additional safety and security measures being implemented across the larger sites is costing WCC an additional £20k per week. Any vehicle turning up without an assigned booking slot will be turned away.

Bin It! Household Waste

The door to door waste collection service has continued throughout the lockdown period and BIFFA has worked extremely hard and diligently.  However, due to the increased tonnage of curb side waste any additional items not placed in the respective bins will not be collected. 

COVID-19 Update

Looking at the impact staying at home to support the NHS is having locally:

The cumulative cases in the county are now 1347 with confirmed cases in Stratford on Avon District at 351 representing an increase of 75 new cases since the previous week.  The expanded testing programme which now includes a pop-up site at Stratford College has inevitably resulted in more cases being identified.

Out of the 425 SWFT Hospital Beds there are 34 cases of COVID-19 and three cases in intensive care.  Sadly, the cumulative deaths across Stratford District as of 13th May is 100 with a cumulative total of 369 deaths in Warwickshire due to COVID-19.  Over the same period there have been 2074 non COVID-19 related deaths in Warwickshire.  The higher proportion of deaths in Stratford District reflect its older demographic profile when compared to Warwick District, Rugby or North Warwickshire.

Across the county there were 130 COVID-19 deaths in care homes settings compared to 635 non COVID-19 deaths in care homes over the same period.

In the ONS data which now reports on place and occurrence of death, based on registrations up to 9 May there were 56 COVID-19 deaths which occurred in care homes settings in Stratford District, with all cause deaths over the same period in care homes reported as 250.

(The variance in some of the figures reflects the differences between the Public Health England and ONS data which are reported at slightly different times of the day/week).

The capacity in hospitals remains good with 8% of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients and 13% with suspected COVID-19 patients and two patients in Intensive Care.  There are 22% of beds occupied by Non-COVID-19 patients and a spare capacity of 57% reinforcing that the NHS is very much open for business! 

There continues to be a reduction in the number of cases being hospitalised but WCC is reinforcing the importance of social distancing and hand hygiene measures being fully adopted as this is not the time for any relaxation because there are still so many unknowns regarding COVID-19.

There has been a total of 562 cases or suspected cases in 62 care homes settings from a total of 160 homes in Warwickshire and WCC is continuing to work closely with all care homes in respect of PPE, testing and training in respect of infection control and hygiene to help bring the number of cases down. There are 30 care homes which have requested WCC’s support for additional training.  All care home staff and residents are continuing to be tested and re-tested as a priority.

Test, Track and Trace (TTT) is aimed at identifying people with symptoms however mild and will be supported by the NHS COVID19 App, as well as a web-based tool and via telephone calls from the contact tracing teams.  PHE will be providing input on a local basis for the workplace, care homes and school settings, as and when required. Test results will be shared with the individuals.

There is positive news on the PPE front in there being sufficient supplies in the system and WCC is continuing to liaise closely with all the care homes.

 Healthwatch Survey

Healthwatch in Warwickshire and Coventry would like to understand the public’s views on health and social care support during the current pandemic. The organisations are launching a survey to find out how services are working for people and to ensure that high-quality safe services and support are being delivered now, and as the lockdown eases.

They are seeking to find out:

  • How the pandemic has affected your experiences of health and social.
  • If you have been able to access all the information that you need in order to keep you/your family safe and well.
  • Whether your mental health been affected, and if so, what support you have been able to access.

The survey will run throughout May. To tell Healthwatch about your experiences please go to: www.healthwatchwarwickshire.co.uk/covid-19/tell-us-your-experience

Visit their website for more information or to get in touch: www.healthwatchwarwickshire.co.uk

Economic Health

Business Grants

SDC has now paid out over £28million to businesses and organisations which are registered for business rates and the team have worked exceptionally hard in challenging circumstances to help as many businesses affected by the lockdown.  I have also been busy contacting and helping various individuals, businesses and organisations who are potentially eligible to claim for the grant with their application, which has been appreciated. The team at SDC are working relentlessly to ensure that all those businesses who are eligible for support are aware and receive it. If you think your business is eligible or know of anybody who might be please contact me.

Community Hubs

SDC has played a key role in setting up the Community Hub in Stratford Leisure Centre and delivering food packages to vulnerable and shielded residents across the districts.  Over 1000 food parcels have now been distributed and the team has worked extremely diligently and in liaison with WCC.

Economic Recovery

SDC has already been identified as the fourth worse district/borough council to be hit financially in the UK due to its reliance on tourism and is set to lose £millions in its collective revenues from car parking, licensing fees, planning and building control fees, leisure fees and business rates.  As a consequence there is a major focused effort in terms of developing a strategy to give businesses confidence and to encourage residents and visitors back into the town centres as and when the time is right and appropriate in accordance with Government guidelines.

If there are any questions or issues I can help you with as your District Cllr please contact me

Mobile: 07792 884167

Email: Penny-Anne.O’Donnell@stratford-dc.gov.uk

Stay Safe Stay Well and have a lovely weekend.

Penny-Anne

Ward Member Ettington

Chair Audit & Standards SDC

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