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Coronavirus update from Somerset County Council – 19/12

Posted on 21st December, 2020 in News

All our help and information is now available in a single place on the SCC website https://www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-latest-advice/

This page is refreshed through the day so please check in regularly to keep across developments and news.

Public Health dashboard: Detailed Public Health information dashboards are available on our website www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus just scroll down to ‘Covid-19 dashboard’. These are updated daily.

Top stories today:

Minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus this Christmas

Public health leaders in Somerset are warning of rising infection rates as they offer advice on staying safe this Christmas.

Following this week’s announcement Somerset remains in Tier 2 but seven-day rates in the county have jumped from 86.8 cases per 100,000 people between November 30 and December 6, up to 123.1 in the week ending December 13.

With restrictions being relaxed between December 23 and 27 so that three households can meet to celebrate Christmas together, the advice is to be cautious and recognise the risks.

Where possible, people are being encouraged to keep it small, keep it short, keep it local and think of the vulnerable.

In the lead up to Christmas and over the festive period, people should continue to follow the hands, space, face guidance, and self-isolate if they show symptoms of coronavirus which include a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste.

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Three more vaccinations sites in Somerset

Three more GP-led community sites will start to vaccinate more of the county’s most vulnerable residents over the next few days. These locations will add to the first four sites announced earlier this week, as part of the developing plan to roll out the NHS vaccination programme in Somerset.

The latest vaccination sites are; Frome Medical Practice, Minehead Community Hospital and the Henhayes Community Centre, in Crewkerne.

GP practice teams have been working very hard with NHS colleagues across the county to set up local vaccination sites to enable the most vulnerable people to have their vaccinations.

People who have been identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) as the highest priority will be invited first, including over-80s and health and care staff. Please wait to be contacted – the NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine.

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Clinton’s Covid catch-up

The latest Somerset Covid Catch Up film, hosted by former BBC Points West producer Clinton Rogers, highlights the need to be cautious this Christmas as well as warning people not to get tested just to prove they do not have the virus.

The result is just a snapshot of that day and you could still be incubating the virus. Please and watch and share the video by clicking here: Clinton Rogers Covid Catch-up: Week 3

Become a Covid Community Champion

The Covid Community Champions Network gives local people a role in helping their community to get up to date information and make the right choices to stay healthy.

After attending a short online training course, Covid Community Champions will be able to help their family, friends and the wider community to understand the latest guidance around Covid-19, and signpost to other health and wellbeing support.

This can be done informally as the Champions go about their day to day lives. Whether they chat to someone while queuing outside a shop, talk to colleagues at work, or question something they see online, they will play a vital part in helping keep local people informed, happy and healthy.

Champions will have the opportunity to attend regular meetings, where they’ll get to know other Champions, keep up to date, and feedback about how things are going in their community.

If you, or someone you know, are interested in a becoming a Covid Champion, you can find more information and sign up here.

For more information, contact: Helen Fielden, Covid Community Champion Coordinator, E: helen.fielden@sparksomerset.org.uk, T: 07535 800944

Chancellor extends furlough and loan schemes

The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced.

The Chancellor also confirmed he would be extending the government-guaranteed Covid-19 business loan schemes until the end of March.
These changes come ahead of the Budget, which the Chancellor has confirmed will take place on 3 March 2021.

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Christmas shopping

Please remember Somerset remains in Tier 2 so it’s important to follow government guidance if you’re Christmas shopping to continue to drive down infection rates.

You can protect your loved ones, your community and yourself by:

  • not mixing with people from outside your household or support bubble anywhere indoors, including in shops
  • wearing a face covering while shopping, unless you are exempt
  • using in-store sanitiser on trolleys and baskets before and after use
  • staying 2m apart from others
  • using contactless payments if possible.

If you are asked to put a face covering on by a bus driver or shop staff, please be kind – they are doing their bit in helping to protect us all from coronavirus.

Appeal for equipment

Due to significant global issues affecting stock availability, we are making an urgent appeal to request the return any of our community healthcare equipment you no longer need. Our priority is hospital beds, mattresses, bed rails and bumpers, hoists, overbed tables and 4-wheeled walkers which are in very short supply both locally and nationally.

Millbrook, our community equipment provider, will collect the equipment for free and pick up from outside homes to ensure everybody stays safe. If you have any of this equipment currently not required please contact Millbrook urgently somersetcontactus@millbrookhealthcare.co.uk or phone 0333 003 2407.

Millbrook will take the equipment to our service centres to be deep cleaned, tested and refurbished if necessary, ready to be issued to others on behalf of our clients – the NHS and local social care teams.