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Coronavirus update from Somerset County Council – 23/12

Posted on 24th 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:

Somerset moves into Tier 3 from Boxing Day

Somerset is being moved into Tier 3 from 00.01 on Boxing Day (Saturday 26 December) the Government announced this afternoon. This means the county – and its neighbours Bristol and Gloucestershire – will be subject to tighter restrictions.

Tier 3 is set at Very High Alert level. Around 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 have no symptoms so will be spreading the virus without realising. We must all take action to protect each other and our hospital capacity.
The restrictions include:

  • No mixing of households indoors, or most outdoor places, apart from support bubbles. Maximum of six in some outdoor public spaces (e.g. parks, public gardens).
  • Hospitality is closed, except takeaway sales, drive-through or delivery.
  • Retail – open.
  • Everyone who can work from home should do so.
  • We advise against overnight stays other than with household or support bubble.
  • 15 guests for weddings, civil partnerships and wakes; 30 for funerals. Wedding receptions not permitted.
  • Places of worship – open, but cannot interact with anyone outside household or support bub
  • Avoid travelling outside your area, other than where necessary such as for work or education. Further exemptions apply. Reduce the number of journeys where possible. Plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. Avoid car sharing with those outside of your household or support bubble.

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Christmas open letter from health leaders in Somerset

Health leaders in Somerset have written an open letter to all residents ahead of Christmas.

It says: Your health and care staff in Somerset, in hospitals, GP practices, social care and community services, are continuing to do a fantastic job of making sure that people get the care they need. Together we are working very hard to keep you safe and well, and ensure services are here for you when you need them – but we need your continued help and support. We write on behalf of colleagues within our organisations to thank you and to ask you to continue to do all you can to stay healthy and well over Christmas and into the New Year.

For many of us Christmas is going to be different this year. Somerset has seen a significant rise in Covid-19 cases over the past few weeks and the Prime Minister’s recent announcement about changes to the rules on families meeting up may well affect your plans. Please think carefully about the risks of meeting indoors with relatives and friends, particularly if any of them are elderly or vulnerable.

Read the letter in full at https://www.somersetccg.nhs.uk/your-christmas-open-letter-somerset/

Christmas bubbles

The safest way to celebrate Christmas this year is with your household or existing support bubble in your home. If you do form a Christmas bubble with people you don’t normally live with, try to keep it as small as possible because the more people you see, the more likely it is that you will catch or spread coronavirus.

Wherever possible, discuss alternatives to meeting up in person, and if you do meet people you do not live with, it is important to do so outdoors where possible, or to make sure that any indoor venue has good ventilation (for example by opening windows so that fresh air can enter).

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Somerset vaccination update from health and SCC leaders

Thanks to an enormous amount of hard work behind the scenes vaccine has been delivered from 8 sites in Somerset in the last two weeks. Our thanks and appreciation goes to everyone who has helped make this possible. We have had incredible support from colleagues in the CCG, at Yeovil District Hospital, at Somerset County Council, at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, from GP practices across our county and from the voluntary sector. This has truly been a joint effort on all our parts to make this happen.

In Somerset our aim is to make the vaccine available in a planned way and in line with national guidance. This includes delivering it in a number of locations to enable easier access for as many people as possible. This will include large county sites, community sites in locations across the county, hospital hubs, some GP surgeries and via teams of mobile vaccinators for those who cannot leave their homes. We will continue to update you as our programme develops.

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Looking ahead to the New Year

It may be tempting to want to bid farewell to 2020 with friends and family – but please follow the guidelines: celebrate at home; celebrate safely; celebrate with your own household.

Steer clear of fake news

False information, when shared, can take on a life of its own and have serious consequences. Recently there has been a lot of false information about coronavirus and the new vaccines designed to tackle it. It’s not always easy to spot. The government has developed a useful online tool to help you know what to look out for before you like, comment or share information you come across online: Home – SHARE checklist