Covid Updates for Gloucestershire

Friday 24 July 2020
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In this update:
• Care homes start to open carefully to visitors
• Face coverings to be worn in enclosed public places
• One in five targeted by COVID scammers
• 31 August deadline for 30 hours funded childcare
• Support available for farmers
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Care homes start to open carefully to visitors
From this week, care homes will be able to allow visitors back in to see their residents, so long as adequate measures are in place to prevent spread of coronavirus.
Care homes were advised to temporarily halt visits in the early weeks of the pandemic to prevent vulnerable residents and staff from catching the virus.
Many residents, although staying in touch remotely via telephone or social media, haven't had face-to-face contact with family members for months. So news this week that care homes can carefully start opening their doors, albeit still in a restricted way, will no doubt be welcomed by many who have missed seeing their loved ones in person.
The new national visiting guidance requires our Director of Public Health, Dr Virginia Pearson, to assess arrangements here in Gloucestershire by carefully weighing up the situation in each individual care home, while considering the context in the local community. She says: "Currently our COVID-19 incidence, and therefore risk levels in Gloucestershire, are very low.? "We know that care home providers are continuing to follow all of the current public health requirements, and we'll work closely with them around these new visiting arrangements."

To limit risk of infection where visits go ahead, the government would like to restrict visits to one regular visitor per resident, as much as possible. Visitors will be encouraged to wear face coverings and to wash their hands thoroughly before and after putting on and taking off their face covering; and to wear other appropriate personal protective equipment depending on the need of their visit, such as gloves or aprons.
Care homes will also consider whether visits could take place in communal gardens or outdoor areas, where ever possible.
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Face coverings to be worn in enclosed public space

It's Friday the 24 July, and if you’ve not already heard, face coverings must be worn in shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and transport hubs, from today.
It's the law, so from now on you'll need to wear something like a mask, scarf or bandanna that fully covers your nose and mouth in enclosed public spaces.
Even when buying food and drink to take away from cafes and shops. But if you're sat in to eat or drink, you can take it off. It's important because the risk of transmission is so much higher indoors, so please let's all do our bit. I wear a face covering to protect you. You wear a face covering to protect me. It's simple. It helps fight spread of the virus, and besides, it enables further easing of national restrictions. If you're a business, you're encouraged to encourage your customers to follow the law, through signage and in-store information. You can find out more about when to wear a face covering and how to make your own on the government's website. When using a face covering, the government strongly advises that you:

• make sure it covers your nose and mouth fully
• wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting it on or taking it off
• avoid touching the front of it or taking it off and putting it back on again a lot in quick succession
• wash it regularly and store it in a plastic bag in between washing or wearing
• avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth while wearing it
• not share your face covering with others

There are some exemptions, so if you see anyone not wearing one, there may be good reason. Face coverings are not mandatory for:

• Children under 11 years old
• People with disabilities or certain health conditions, such as respiratory or cognitive impairments that make it difficult for them to wear a face covering
• Children under 3 years old should not wear face coverings as the could cause choking or suffocation

If you are exempt from wearing a face covering, you might feel more comfortable using an exemption card to show that you don't have to wear one. You can download one to print or save to your smartphone from the government's website. It's up to you though, you don't have to carry one and you shouldn't be routinely asked to provide any written evidence of your exemption.
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More about the ‘tracing’ in the NHS Test and Trace

We’ve been asked this week to explain a bit more about what happens if you develop any of the coronavirus symptoms. So, we thought we’d unpick it a little and explain more about the 'tracing'. We all know the symptoms - a continuous cough, a high temperature, loss or change in taste or smell - and if you have any of these you must be tested for coronavirus as soon as possible. You can have a test kit delivered to your home or arrange a test at a testing centre. Either way, you need to arrange it online or by phoning 119 if you don't have internet access. Results usually take up to 48 hours to come back.
If your results are negative and you no longer have the symptoms, brilliant, you can stop self-isolating.

If your results are positive, you and members of your household must self-isolate and you'll be sent a link to the NHS Test and Trace website to create a confidential account in which you can record contact details for people you've been in close contact with recently.

If you've not got internet access, you'll receive a call from a contact tracer, and they'll ask you details over the phone. It's important that you know that the details you give will be kept totally confidential. Those people also won't be told the identity of the person who's given their details. Contract tracers will contact the people identified and advise them to self-isolate. We've listed the things that contract tracers will ask you, and (so that you're not fooled by someone else pretending to be from the Test and Trace service) we've listed things they they won't ever ask you.
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One in five targeted by COVID scammers

A new survey by Aviva has found that more than one in five people think they've been targeted by coronavirus scammers. Some 22 percent of people in the study believed that emails, texts, phone calls and other contacts they’d received from what appeared to be legitimate companies mentioning COVID-19, were in fact fraudulent. Despite suspecting them to be scams, nearly half of those surveyed didn’t report it, the most common reason being they weren’t sure who to report such scams to. Janet Quinn, Lead Scams Officer - Gloucestershire, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards service said: "We've seen a number of different scams over the last few months from scammers trying to make money out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"These people just want to take money from you and they use all the tricks in the book to try to do so, often targeting those members of the public they see as the most vulnerable.?

“If you suspect that you’ve been approached with something that does not look or feel right, please report it to Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133.”

To find out about some of the COVID-19 scams to be aware of and how to stay safe, we have a guide called 'Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Scam Aware'. Or you visit the Gloucestershire, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards website for more information and advice.
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It’s getting busier out there. Please Share this Space

A reminder to “Share this Space” has been issued to everyone using Gloucestershire’s roads and paths this summer. With roads and walking and cycling routes getting busier again, as more people return to work and more visitors travel to Gloucestershire, we're urging everyone to take extra care. Cyclists are asked to please pass walkers slowly and carefully, letting people know you’re there and giving them space.Dog walkers on shared paths are asked to keep dogs under close control on a short lead. Pedestrians are asked to check for traffic if they are stepping into the road to maintain a social distance.
Drivers and motorcyclists are asked to be considerate and to give vulnerable road users such as cyclists and horse-riders extra space (two metres if possible) when passing them. And be aware of the possibility of pedestrians stepping into the road for social distancing. We've published films, animations and graphics on our Share this Space webpage, so that you can help us spread the message via your own social media channels.
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31 August deadline for 30 hours funded childcare

If your income has changed due to coronavirus – perhaps you’ve lost income, or maybe you’re working additional hours – you may be wondering whether you still qualify for the 30 hours of funded childcare per week. The government has announced temporary changes to the eligibility rules so that parents are not disadvantaged by the coronavirus pandemic. If you are a working parent and have a 3 or 4-year-old child, and your income has changed, you could still be eligible for 30 hours of early learning and childcare per week from September. All eligible parents are encouraged to apply for, and reconfirm, their 30 hours and tax-free childcare entitlements, even if they have not been using their entitlement due to the coronavirus pandemic and the closure of childcare settings during lockdown. Find out more and apply online before Monday 31 August
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Support available for farmers

A free event aimed at supporting farmers who have found the coronavirus pandemic particularly difficult to deal with mentally, will take place next Friday (31 July), between 6.00pm and 8.00pm. It’s been organised by Gloucestershire, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards to help tackle the stigma surrounding mental health. The event will feature speakers from The Farm Community Network, The Yellow Wellies Campaign and The National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs. The event also includes a Q&A session and questions can be asked anonymously. You can get a free ticket online here.
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Barnados launches new service to support at-risk children

Barnados has launched a new service this week to support vulnerable children and young people who are exposed to even more risk during the coronavirus pandemic.
It's called See, Hear, Respond. It's government-funded and brings together a coalition of national and local charities to identify and support vulnerable young people.
The aim is to provide early intervention before children reach a threshold for significant harm, where statutory services become involved.
If you think that a child is in immediate risk of harm, call 999. If you have concerns about a child’s health or wellbeing, you can report it anonymously to Gloucestershire’s Multi- Agency Safeguarding Hub on 0345 155 1071 or email mashsecure@Gloucestershire.gov.uk
To find out more or to report a concern to See, Hear, Respond, visit the Barnados website. A helpline is available for parents, carers and children wishing to make a referral or for more information. The helpline number is 0800 157 7015.
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Contacting the Police this summer

This summer we are expecting even more people than usual to visit the region, and Gloucestershire Police say this may cause a considerable increase in demand on their contact centres. So they're asking that if you need to contact them, please 'ClickB4UCall'. Gloucestershire Police offer a range of online services which can be used to report any non-emergency crimes and incidents including Report Crime Online, WebChat and Email 101.If you have a question, but not sure who can help, then make AskNED – their non-emergency directory - the first place you look to find the answer.
AskNED has hundreds of answers to the most commonly asked questions and provides you with the information about who can help and how to contact them.
You can find your nearest Police Enquiry Office on the Gloucestershire & Cornwall Police website.In an emergency ALWAYS dial 999.
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Leisure facilities can reopen tomorrow

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can open their doors again tomorrow, Saturday 25 July, but it won't be business as usual. They will be following strict new guidelines in order to keep their customers and staff safe, such as introducing timed bookings, spacing equipment two metres apart, enhanced cleaning and sanitising and encouraging people to change and shower at home. Many gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools in Gloucestershire are run by district councils, so check your local district council's website to see what's reopening in your area and the special measures they have in place before you visit.
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The latest national advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on the
Government website and NHS website. You can find local guidance and information about the impacts on our services on the Gloucestershire County Council website.
Please forward this email to anyone you think would find it useful and encourage them to sign up.Please note that all of our sites and offices are closed to the public, except for necessary prearranged visits, but you can still contact us if you need to.

Information about coronavirus (COVID-19) is available in different languages and formats including Easy Read from Learning Disability Gloucestershire and British Sign Language (BSL) from Sign Health. BSL users can contact Gloucestershire County Council using the InterpretersLive service. If you need information in another language or format please let us know by email via customer@Gloucestershire.gov.uk or phone 0345 155 1015 or SMS text (text ‘Gloucestershire’ then your message to 80011)

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Coronavirus bubbles: How do they work and who is in yours?

As lockdown restrictions are eased further, people across the UK can now set up support bubbles.

The aim is to help people who've been cut off from friends and family.

Those inside a support bubble count as one household and do not have to socially distance from one another.

What is a support bubble?

A bubble is defined as a group of people with whom you have close physical contact. The idea was first introduced in New Zealand.

Single adults living alone - or single parents whose children are under 18 - can now form a support bubble with one other household.

The second household can be of any size and can now include people who are shielding.

The independent advisory group Sage has been asked to examine if, when and how people might safely be allowed to expand their bubbles.

What are the support bubble rules?

Support bubbles must be "exclusive". Once in one, you can't switch and start another with a different household.

People in each bubble can stay in each other's homes and do not have to socially distance. They count as one household, which means that in England a further household is now allowed to stay overnight with them.

Anyone in the bubble contacted as part of England's test and trace programme must stay at home. If they develop coronavirus symptoms, everyone in the bubble must self-isolate.

BBC news for Gloucestershire

Gloucester surgery in massage parlour phone mix-up

Calls made from a surgery are showing up on patients' mobiles as having come from a massage parlour.

Large blue butterfly reintroduced in Gloucestershire

An estimated 750 butterflies have successfully emerged following a conservation project.

Gloucestershire hospitals declare critical incident

The NHS trust said despite additional staffing it was taking longer for patients to be seen in A&E.

Sharpness Docks: Repairs under way on Victorian wooden pier

Engineers from the Canal and River Trust are using a spider crane to help repair Sharpness Docks.