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Coronavirus update from Somerset County Council – 16/08

Posted on 16th August, 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:

Self-isolation to end for double jabbed close contacts from Monday 16 August

From Monday 16 August people who are double jabbed or aged under 18 will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case.

From that date double jabbed people and under 18s identified as close contacts by NHS Test and Trace will be advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible to check if they have the virus and for variants of concern. People can order a PCR home test online, by calling 119, or going to a test site.

Double jabbed people identified as close contacts will be advised to consider other precautions such as wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and limiting contact with other people – especially anyone who is clinically vulnerable. They will not have to self-isolate while they wait for the results of the PCR test unless they are displaying Covid-19 symptoms.

If you have received a positive PCR test or are displaying symptoms of Covid-19, you must still self-isolate for ten days or until you receive a negative test result.

A close contact is defined as:
a) having face-to-face contact with someone at a distance of less than 1 metre
b) spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of an individual
c) travelling in a car or other small vehicle with an individual or in close proximity to an individual on an aeroplane.

You are classed as being fully vaccinated two weeks after your second dose of the vaccine. If you’ve not received your vaccine yet it’s not too late. You can check out vaccination sites in Somerset here.

If you are not fully vaccinated, you will still need to self-isolate if you are identified as a close contact of a positive case. Despite these changes, the pandemic is not over and the virus is still with us, with cases continuing to rise, here in Somerset and nationally. Please do what you can to protect yourself and others in Somerset.

More information, including other exemptions from self-isolation can be found here:

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£500,000 to boost re-start and recovery

Anchor businesses in Somerset that attract people to visit and support a wider range of local enterprises are being urged to bid for grants to help them re-start and recover from the economic hit of the coronavirus pandemic.

Somerset County Council is launching a £500,000 fund to support strategically significant businesses badly affected by Covid-19 and successive lockdowns.

These could be organisations that often did not fit neatly into Government Covid support programmes such as multi-purpose venues, heritage attractions, and food/craft events showcasing local produce that attract local people as well as visitors.

Although Covid-related restrictions have eased, many businesses are still facing a tough uphill climb on the road to recovery.

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Ideas for getting outdoors again

Time spent moving outside can help boost your mood, sharpen your focus, reduce stress, and improve sleep.

We know being outdoors is good for our mental and physical health, but for most of us, the Covid-19 pandemic has created barriers to getting outside and active.

With Covid-19 restrictions easing, the new Get Outside in Somerset project is empowering and supporting people across the county to get outside and move in ways that suit them.

This could be anything from going for a short walk or a spot of gardening, to taking part in sports on a local river or going for a run.

The Get Outside in Somerset project is a joint initiative from Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP), the Community Council for Somerset (CCS), Spark Somerset, and Somerset Wildlife Trust, and funded by Somerset County Council.

For tips, advice and guidance on how to get active outdoors. visit https://getoutsideinsomerset.co.uk/

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Somerset’s Covid catch-up

In this week’s Covid Catch Up, Clinton discusses with Councillor Clare Paul the impact Covid-19 has had on people’s alcohol consumption.

While most of the population reported drinking the same or less, nationally it’s estimated that more than eight million people drank more during lockdown. And habits formed quickly can be hard to break.

Clinton also meets Sally Farmer, a local pharmacist, to chat about a new support service for those of us who drink more than we should but are not dependent on alcohol.

If you would like to discuss your drinking with someone, you can access free and confidential support from Somerset Drug & Alcohol Service (SDAS) on 0300 303 8788, this service is mainly for people who are dependent on alcohol and is funded by Somerset County Council.

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Have you had your jabs? Book now for first and second doses

Vaccines are the best way to protect people from Covid-19 and have already saved thousands of lives.

Anyone in Somerset who is aged 40 or under can now have their second dose of Covid vaccine after eight weeks, rather than 12 – either by booking or managing your appointment through the National Booking Service, or by attending a walk-in clinic. It is not possible to have your second dose earlier than the eight-week interval from your first dose.

Don’t forget – if you haven’t yet booked your appointment or had your first dose of the Covid vaccine, please go online or call 119 to confirm your booking dates – there’s no need to worry there are plenty of slots and you haven’t missed out!

Vaccination sites across the county are continuing to offer both first doses and second doses, to check availability and the nearest location to where you live, visit the National Booking Service website: Book or manage your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination –

For the latest information about the Somerset vaccination programme, vaccination centres and walk-in centres follow this link: Covid-19 vaccinations in Somerset – Somerset CCG

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Expectant mums encouraged to be vaccinated

England’s top midwife is urging expectant mums to get the Covid-19 vaccine after new data shows most pregnant women hospitalised with the virus have not been vaccinated.

The same data also shows that no pregnant women who have received both doses of the vaccine have been admitted to hospital.

Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Chief Midwifery Officer for England, has written to fellow midwives and GP practices across the country stressing the need to encourage pregnant women to get the jab to protect them and their baby.

Any pregnant women who have questions or concerns about the vaccine can speak to their GP, midwife or obstetrician to get more information and advice.

Even if you have previously declined the vaccine, you can change your mind and book an appointment to get it on the NHS National Booking Service website or call 119 between 7am and 11pm.

There’s more guidance and advice on fertility and breastfeeding here: COVID-19 vaccination: a guide for all women of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)