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Coronavirus update from Somerset County Council – 24/03

Posted on 24th March, 2021 in News

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

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:

Flag flies at half-mast to mark Covid anniversary

The flag flew at half-mast outside County Hall in Taunton today as Somerset County Council marked a year since the first lockdown was introduced.

And to mark the day, Somerset’s Director of Public Health Trudi Grant thanked everyone who had worked so hard during the pandemic while urging people to maintain the “hands, face, space” good practice to keep coronavirus at bay.

She said: “Coronavirus has touched all our lives. Tragically, people have suffered grief, lost a loved one or seen a friend or family member struggle with the virus. Others have had to shield and have not been able to see those they love.

“People have lost their jobs or seen their employment prospects affected. But we have also seen the very best of our communities with people helping each other, volunteering and going that extra mile time after time.

“We must not forget all the positives – the incredible vaccination programme, and testing capability. Those successes – as well as our own behaviour – are key to unlocking restrictions.

“Covid-19 is not going to disappear but we can all play our part in keeping numbers down: please take the vaccination when offered, keep washing hands, keep social distancing – and keep looking after ourselves and each other.”

The Council joined the rest of the nation in a minute’s silence to remember and reflect on the 12 months of the pandemic. County Hall will be illuminated in blue and green this evening to honour all those in the emergency services.

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More groups urged to take part in free Covid-19 testing

Free Coronavirus community testing is now available for even more groups of Somerset residents to help break chains of transmission and keep communities safe.

Around one in three people with Coronavirus do not have symptoms. Community testing, using lateral flow devices, is a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms, but who may still be spreading the virus.

Free, rapid lateral flow COVID-19 tests are now being offered to:

  • anyone whose job or volunteering work requires them to leave the house and be in contact with others
  • anyone who cares for others, either paid or voluntary

Everyone in these groups – even if they are vaccinated – is encouraged to test themselves twice a week from now on to help identify positive cases and prevent Covid-19 being passed onto others. This helps keeps the community safe.

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Somerset Medal to honour county’s unsung heroes

From vaccinators to van drivers, health staff to home-schoolers, countless people have kept Somerset going over the last 12 months – and now Somerset County Council is honouring them with a new accolade.

Today (23 March) marks one year since the first lockdown was introduced – and now it also marks the launch of the Somerset Medal in tribute to all those who made superhuman efforts during the pandemic.

The Medal is designed to say a heartfelt thank-you to the best of the best, nominated by the people and presented on behalf the people on Somerset Day, 11 May.

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Children set to benefit from Easter holiday activities programme

Somerset County Council has joined with Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) to organise a programme of activities for the Easter holidays, aimed at countering the triple inequalities facing Somerset’s most disadvantaged young people – holiday hunger, physical inactivity, and social isolation.

More than 2,000 young people aged 5 – 16 years will have access to these opportunities through the Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) over Easter.

Organisations across the county will be offering four half days of activities to young people in receipt of free school meals.

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Half of all UK adults have now had first jab

Half of all adults in the UK have received their first dose of the (coronavirus) COVID-19 vaccine, the latest figures show.

The UK health services vaccinated a total of 26.8 million people between 8 December and 19 March with first doses, while 2.1 million people have had their second dose so far. Half of all adults in UK receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)