Council News 191
This week’s news from around the Council.
- COVID-19 update
At present, Staffordshire remains in the Medium Tier of the Government’s three-tier system but COVID-19 cases continue to rise in South Staffordshire and the rest of the county. Staffordshire is at risk of being placed on the Government’s High Alert Level unless it can curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases. All borough and districts are now seeing their numbers increase, with Cannock and South Staffordshire running at above the national level per 100,000 of population. Read a press statement issued by Staffordshire County Council here.
Asymptomatic testing has been taking place in Great Wyrley and Essington this week to find out how much the virus is circulating in the local community. To do this, testing is being carried out on people who aren’t currently showing any symptoms of COVID-19 and residents are being asked to help with this important work.
Testing is taking place on Saturday 24 October 2020 (10am to 2pm) at:
- Essington Community Centre, Hobnock Road, WV11 2RF.
- Great Wyrley Scout and Guide Centre, Walsall Road, Great Wyrley, WS6 6LA.
Testing is quick and free and 200 appointments for each location are available. They must be booked in advance here: https://staffordshire.zipporah.co.uk/TrackAndTrace/
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, please do not attend this testing. You need to book through the NHS national portal or by calling 119.
- NHS test and trace support payments
Applications for NHS Test and Trace support payments are now open. This follows the Government’s announcement that from Monday 28 September 2020 people who have been told by NHS Test and Trace to self- isolate who on low incomes and unable to work from home can claim a support payment of £500 to compensate for their loss of earnings if they meet certain criteria. Local authorities are administering the payments for self-isolation and residents in South Staffordshire are now able to submit an application for this support and the application form is now live.
- Help for businesses
The three-tier alert system impacts on local business and the Council has been working hard to ensure that should our alert level change, then we are ready to help them. For further information please visit the local restriction support grant section on the Council website.
- Useful COVID-19 information – what the three alert levels mean
Tier 1: Medium alert level – summary document listing restrictions for the tier.
This covers most of the country including Staffordshire. In this tier, current national guidance measures apply.
- Follow the rule of six if meeting indoors or outdoors.
- Pubs and restaurants to close at 10pm.
Tier 2: High alert level – summary document listing restrictions for the tier.
This is for areas with a higher level of infections and includes areas in the West Midlands including Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell, Solihull and Birmingham. On Saturday, Stoke-on-Trent will move into this Tier too.
- No household mixing indoors.
- The rule of six applies outdoors.
- Pubs and restaurants to close at 10pm.
Tier 3: Very high alert level – summary document listing restrictions for the tier.
This is for areas with very high level of infections. Pubs and bars must close,
- No household mixing indoors or outdoors in hospitality venues or private gardens.
- The rule of six applies in outdoor public spaces like parks.
- Pubs and bars not serving meals will be closed.
- Guidance against travelling in and out of the area.
- Additional measures may be agreed locally in consultation with local authorities.
If you are unsure what the alert level is for your address, you can find out the local alert level in your local area with the following Postcode Checker:
- Web links to more useful information
- Information about face coverings – When to wear one, exemption cards, enforcement measures for failing to comply with the law, and how to make your own.
- Information about meeting others safely – Social distancing, the rule of six, and COVID-Secure guidelines.
- Information about what you can and can’t do – Frequently asked questions about social contact, visiting public places and taking part in activities.
- Information about NHS test and trace – The NHS test and trace service is a vital tool and helps control the spread of coronavirus. To get a test, you will need to apply online or call 119 and the test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud. If you test positive for COVID-19, you will be asked where you’ve been recently and who you have been in close contact with. This will help the NHS contact anyone who may have caught the virus from you. All information you provide is confidential and no one who is contacted will be told your identity. Anyone you’ve been in close contact with will be told to stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days. This is because it can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear.
- Information about the NHS COVID-19 app – This app is an integral part of the test and trace programme and is the fastest way of knowing when you are at risk from coronavirus. It is available to download on smartphones from Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
- Green Flag Awards
This year has brought home the importance of parks and green spaces and last week a record-breaking 2,000 green spaces across the country – including Baggeridge County Park and the Wom Brook Walk – were awarded the international quality mark of a Green Flag Award. Parks and green spaces have been a lifeline for many people during the coronavirus pandemic and millions of people have used them to relax, meet friends, exercise or simply escape for a short time. Well done to Baggeridge Country Park and the Wom Brook Walk.
- New blue bin sticker
Over the next two weeks, recycling crews will be stickering all blue bins in the district with a new and updated sticker to remind residents about all the items that can be accepted for recycling in the blue bin. For a full list of materials and what bins they should be put in, please visit the Recycling Finder on the Council website.
- Protect against flu
Every year, the annual NHS flu vaccination is available to help protect adults and children at risk from flu and its complications. With COVID-19 still in circulation, it’s important that as many people as possible get vaccinated for flu this autumn to protect the most vulnerable and reduce the number of people needing flu treatment from the NHS. This year, the flu vaccination programme has been expanded and more people are eligible for free flu jabs. The flu can be a serious disease and by getting the vaccine, you will be protecting yourself as well as your loved ones. Visit the NHS website to find out more about the flu vaccine and visit your GP practice website or speak to your pharmacy about booking a flu vaccination. High street chemists and most of the leading supermarkets also offer the vaccination to any adult at varying costs.
- Free online employment support session
South Staffs Work Club and the Council’s Welfare Support team will be sharing their expert knowledge at a free online employment support session to help individuals discover what help is available to get them back into work. The online event takes place from 11am to 12.30pm on Friday 13 November 2020 – further information about this online event is available here.
- Doing our bit – community fund now open
A new grant fund to help community groups who are doing their bit to support vulnerable children or older people in our communities opened this week. Groups and organisations can apply online for grants of up to £2,500. Find out more here.
- Staffordshire good neighbour scheme
Have you thought about becoming involved in a good neighbour scheme? Support Staffordshire is keen to support newer groups to continue long-term so that communities can continue to benefit from the good community links that have been established due to the coronavirus pandemic. Find out more about the Good Neighbour Scheme here or visit the Support Staffordshire website.
- Free online behaviour and wellbeing workshops
November Behaviour and Wellbeing Programmes for South Staffordshire – run by the Family Support Service by SCTSP (Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Support Project) in Partnership with Staffordshire County Council.
- Together we win!
Now more than ever, good causes in South Staffordshire need your support. One way you can help is by buying a lottery ticket in our weekly Community Lottery and as well as supporting a good cause you might even win a cash prize ranging from £25 up to a jackpot of £25,000. To buy a lottery ticket, simply register on the website www.southstaffslottery.co.uk or telephone 01902 213777. It’s nearly time for the next super draw, which takes place on 31 October 2020 so buy a lottery ticket now for a chance to win a family forest staycation voucher worth £500, redeemable with Forest Holidays.
Everyone is encouraged to submit news items, please email: [email protected]