Friday, 10 April 2020

COVID-19 local update

It looks like we’ll get some nice weather over the Bank Holiday weekend but it’s important to keep doing everything we can to stay at home. That way we will slow the spread of the virus to stop the NHS being overwhelmed and save lives. Our thanks to all the keyworkers working to save lives and keep services running this weekend.
If you have questions about the restrictions, the Government have provided an FAQ. Avon and Somerset Police will be increasing their patrols this weekend.

Reporting symptoms

If you’ve unfortunately experienced COVID-19 symptoms you can help the NHS to understand the virus better by filling in this survey.

Donating PPE

Does your business or other organisation have any supplies of Personal Protective Equipment that you can donate to the council, so that their frontline staff can help support vulnerable local people more safely? They need masks, gloves, aprons and hand sanitisers. Please email CambrianGreenDayServices@southglos.gov.uk if you can help.

Food and other essentials

The latest information from the supermarkets:
Don’t forget that large supermarkets are closed on Easter Sunday.
Many local businesses are finding ways to help.
Sadly more people are struggling financially and demand on the foodbanks has risen dramatically. North Bristol Foodbank had a 316% increase in demand in one month – you can make a donation here.

Pharmacies

If you need a pharmacy over the Bank Holiday weekend, you can find one open near you here.

Help for those whose jobs have been affected

The Future Bright scheme usually offers free career coaching, training and support to help people in low-paid work develop the skills and confidence to take the next step in their careers. To help in the current crisis, the West of England has temporarily expanded eligibility to:
  • Those who have been made redundant, laid off or are at risk of redundancy, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,
  • Employees whose hours have been significantly reduced, and who therefore have a lower income (e.g. zero hours, cut from full to part time)
  • Self-employed workers, where their ability to earn has been severely impacted due to the nature of their business
  • Furloughed employees, if their reduced income means they are eligible for Universal Credit.
To find out more and sign up visit Sign up for Future Bright here or contact the local team at future.bright@southglos.gov.uk or call 01454 866008.
You can find out more about how South Glos Council is supporting residents through this emergency here.

Help for small businesses

If you are a local small business, South Glos Council may already have been in touch with you following the Government announcements about business support. If not, or you need more information, they have set up a page of information for businesses and employers.

Help for charities and community groups

The Quartet Foundation have launched a Coronavirus support fund to support groups who are supporting their communities. You can find out more about how to apply for a grant or how to donate to the fund online.

School admissions

South Glos Council say:
Primary school admissions: On-time applicants will receive an offer of a place on 16 April 2020 either via the online portal or by email. If you do not receive your offer, please contact us on 01454 868008 or AdmissionsandTransport@southglos.gov.uk
Secondary school admissions: Applications being dealt with as part of the second round continue to be processed. Details of second round offers will be sent to parents/carers via email during early May 2020.
Primary/secondary admission appeals: The council is monitoring government guidance for managing admission appeals. It is likely that alternative arrangements will be made in order to hold admission appeal hearings. Details to follow as soon as they are known.

Domestic violence

Sadly with so many people isolated there has been an increase in Domestic Violence. Under the restrictions you can still leave your home for your own safety and there is still help available. Find out more on the South Glos website.

Waste collections

Don’t forget that recycling is now only being collected fortnightly, on the same day as the black bin collections. You can put out extra recycling in containers no bigger than the green boxes. If you are doing projects at home or having a clear out, please don’t put out large amounts of waste if possible because the more rubbish there is to collect the longer rounds take. You can find out more about the changes to waste and recycling on the South Glos website and there is useful advice on home composting and reducing food waste on the South Glos Street Care Facebook page.
Charity shops, such as the St Peter’s Hospice ones, have asked people not to leave donations outside their doors. Instead please save items until after they re-open.
Both the Council and Avon Fire Service have asked people not to light bonfires. They can add to the problems of those dealing with breathing difficulties and risk putting more pressure on the emergency services if they get out of control.
If you decide to use one of the private waste services that are still running please make sure they have a waste carrier licence.

Libraries

Although the libraries are closed, library users can as always access eBooks, audio books and magazines online. As an added bonus during the closures you can use the Ancestry site to research your family history for free – usually the libraries only offer this on their own computers in the libraries.

Registrar services

All weddings and civil partnerships are cancelled until further notice. You can contact the registrar team by email for any advice you need.
The government has suspended the need to register a birth within 42 days. You can still apply for child benefit using your baby’s NHS number. You can also register your baby with your doctor before registering the birth.
Deaths can no longer be registered in person but you can now register a death by phone. When you call to book an appointment, you will be asked to provide your contact phone number and name for a call back by the registrar. Please make sure you are available to take the call back appointment, which will last about 30 minutes. You can book an appointment on 01454 863140.

Mental health

The NHS have provided some tips to help you if you are worried about the virus and MIND have provided an information hub.

Drug and alcohol misuse

If you are worried about yours or someone else’s substance misuse, you find out where to get help on the South Glos website.

Scams

Fraudsters may use the fact more people are staying at home, as an opportunity to operate doorstep scams. Action Fraud and Age UK have produced a video to explain how to protect yourself and others.

Where to find official information

There is a lot of mis-information being shared on social media. The following are the best places to go for official information:

What we are doing

Thanks to the restrictions we haven’t been able to deliver our planned spring Focus newsletter, but we are trying to keep you updated through our website, and facebook

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