This is my latest roundup of local news and Coronavirus updates for Hunslet and Riverside residents. There are several links to more detailed information from the Government, the Council and others within the post. In this update you will find:
Cases, Mortality and Infection Rates
Covid-19 Outbreak Management
New Business Grant
Translated Covid-19 Advice
Public Health England Action Cards
Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group Resources
Grief and Loss Support Service
Covid-19 Guidance Updates
Tenancy Evictions Changes
Travel Corridor Update
Covid-19 Business Engagement & Enforcement
Leeds Digital Festival
Leeds German Christmas Market Cancelled
Westbury Grove Acoustic Noise Barrier Update
Premises License Application - Jet Retail UK Limited on Dewsbury Road
Meetings and Visits
Upcoming Community Events
Live Q&A Events
Previous updates can be found here: Local News Summary
Cases, Mortality and Infection Rates: In Leeds as 10/9/20, there have been 5,249 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Of the 662 Covid-19 related deaths registered in Leeds so far:
649 (98%) were Leeds residents
362 (54.68%) were in hospitals
264 (39.88%) were in care homes
12 (1.81%) in a hospice
24 (3.63%) in their own home.
In Leeds as of 11/9/20, the Leeds 7 day infection rate is 66 per 100,000, and the 7 day positivity rate is 6%. The pattern of infection remains largely young adults (18-29 year olds), dispersed geographically across the city
Covid-19 Outbreak Management: In Leeds, as of 11/9/20, there were cases in 15 care homes experiencing, with three or fewer cases, identified through whole home care testing. Three are open and 12 are closed. Appropriate control measures are in place and all the care homes remain operational and supported by IPC.
Up to 10/920 there where, there were cases in three private nurseries, 12 schools and one university that have reported single cases. All appropriate control measures are in place, with additional support as they re-open. There are nine workplaces currently affected- most of these involve four cases or fewer, however an investigation is ongoing into a workplace outbreak in LS10 involving 9 cases - I'm aware of these details as this is in Hunslet and Riverside Ward.
This is a worrying picture, and different to earlier phases, where these aren’t outbreaks started in or caused by the setting, but they are occurring because of the widespread community transmission we are seeing. The way to tackle these is by everyone following all the messages and guidance.
The Council are taking an incredibly wide range of actions, in line with the approach set out in our published outbreak control plan and with enhanced actions. Some of the main actions, as a reminder, are:
Using the city’s excellent Public Health, Environmental Health, and Infection Prevention and Control teams, combined with our PHE colleagues, supported by strong data and intelligence, to have a strong and vigilant approach to the pattern of infection and to outbreaks.
Using the city’s multi-agency arrangements to ensure that all those across the system are aware of the situation and supporting where they can eg. GPs, vol sector, police, and a wide range of council services.
Promoting testing and increasing our testing rates despite the national issues, with more local testing sites and additional pop up capacity being planned, as well as pushing for more of the national mobile testing units to be sited in Leeds City Council.
Local contact tracing on complex cases, complemented by door knocking, often with 3rd sector colleagues, when we do have clusters of cases.
Extensive communications and engagement with the full range of partners across the city, with even more planned, being clear about the key messages and particularly young people and young adults
Extensive liaison with partners, especially around education, to ensure that additional capacity for a multi-agency approach to ensuring compliance of businesses in key student areas, with a view to wider rollout if successful and needed.
Continued response to issues raised about non-compliance of businesses through reporting to EPTeam@leeds.gov.uk
Covid-19 Testing: New content on the Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group Coronavirus website provides comprehensive information about accessing testing (including Gryphon, Temple Green and Bridge Street as well as Mobile Testing locations). Booking remains through calling 119 or nhs.uk/coronavirus and only for those with symptoms
In light of the challenges with testing this week, NHS Test and Trace have asked directors of public health to remind people about key testing messages to help manage unprecedented demand. This includes:
If you have one or more of the main symptoms of Covid-19 (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) you should get a test immediately, and not leave their house except to go to a test site
You should only get a test if you have symptoms.
You should only access a test when you need one (because of having symptoms) and should not order tests in anticipation of future need, or stockpile tests
Schools should not advise staff or pupils to access tests unless they are displaying symptoms.
We are working locally to try and ensure that there is reliable access to tests for key workers despite the national challenges and we will keep in touch with you, headteachers and others about this.
Covid-19 App: The Department for Health and Social Care has announced that the Covid-19 app will be launched across England and Wales on 24th September. People with the app will be able to check-in to hospitality venues, cinemas, hairdressers, etc using QR codes, and businesses will be encouraged to use this system as part of their requirement to record contact details of customers for Test and Trace. We will be pushing this during w/c 14 September.
New Business Grant: A new grant scheme has been announced to support businesses that are forced to close due to local lockdowns. Affected businesses will be able to apply for up to £1,500 per property every three weeks. Local authorities in areas of local lockdown will be asked to administer the grant scheme, and will also receive an additional 5% ‘top-up’ discretionary fund to support affected businesses that aren’t on the business rates list with an amount up to £1,500. While we welcome this additional support to businesses, there is concern about the capacity of local authorities to continue to administer grant schemes in the long term without additional resources.
Translated Covid-19 Advice: This has been translated into 12 community languages which include our infographics with thr six main safety messages; video on spotting the signs of Covid-19; video on correct hand washing.
Public Health England Action Cards: These are a series of clear instructions on a page that outline the steps to be taken in the event of a possible Covid-19 outbreak. There are different Action Cards for different settings, e.g. consumer workplaces, industrial workplaces, residential, education settings, travel, etc. Each folder contains sub-groups. Available to download, these resources are designed to be printed /on hand for businesses and organisations to refer to.
Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group Resources: There is a huge number of resources in different formats and languages on their website and on the main Coronavirus page.
Grief and Loss Support Service: This service from the West Yorkshire & Harrogate Health and Care Partnership is available with trained counsellors offering practical and emotional advice to anyone in West Yorkshire & Harrogate experiencing grief or loss. Information posters in different languages are available in English, Arabic, Bengali, Punjabi and Polish at request.
Covid-19 Guidance Updates: A number of guidance documents have been updated:
Guidance for universities on safely reopening buildings and campuses.
Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community venues.
Guidance on the phased return of sports and recreation.
Further information for venues about the legal requirement to record, store and share customer contact details for Test & Trace from Monday.
Social distancing guidance for young people.
Stay at home guidance for households with suspected Covid-19 infection.
Guidance on forming a support bubble with another household.
Guidance for local authorities and other operators of urban centres and green spaces.
Guidance has been published for employers and third-party healthcare providers that may wish to run their own internal testing programmes outside of NHS Test & Trace
Tenancy Evictions Changes: In addition to the recent announcement that landlords must give 6 months’ notice of an eviction, there has been an announcement that bailiffs cannot enforce eviction in areas of local lockdown, and a truce on eviction enforcement over the Christmas period.
Travel Corridor Update: Portugal, Hungary, French Polynesia and Réunion to be removed from travel corridors list- passengers returning from these places from 4am Saturday 12 September will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks. Seven Greek islands have also been removed from the travel corridor list.
Covid-19 Business Engagement & Enforcement: As part of the national briefing on Wednesday, the Prime Minster announced the following:
Venues will be legally required to record the contact details of at least one person per party of customers to share with Test & Trace if needed.
Venues must ensure that individual groups of customers don’t exceed 6 people.
That venues can be fined for not following these, or other Covid-secure rules. Government will support LAs to enforce these rules.
That ‘Covid marshals’ will be deployed in city centres to help with engagement and enforcement.
Attached is a poster to be displayed in windows of hospitality venues to remind customers of the behaviours required. The Council are pushing this through all channels. Businesses can print and display themselves. The posters will be delivered to licensed premises as part of site visits that Environmental Health/Licensing are undertaking to monitor compliance with Covid-secure, social distancing and queue management rules, with an initial focus on student areas.
In terms of the requirement to provide ‘Covid Marshals’, which are unfunded, the Council has a well-established network of people who help to deliver safe spaces in the city centre, including the Council, BID, and volunteers like the Street Angels. Following this week’s announcement, the Council will be reviewing all the work we are doing on compliance and enforcement, and take a view about the approach to ‘Covid Marshals’ in Leeds given these aren’t funded.
Leeds Digital Festival: The Festival has announced the programme for its second edition of 2020, with 294 events taking place between 21st September and 2nd October.
Leeds German Christmas Market Cancelled: Unfortunately, due to the ongoing risk posed by coronavirus, the organisers of the Leeds German Christmas market have confirmed it will not be going ahead this year.
Westbury Grove Acoustic Noise Barrier Update: After significant lobbying, Highways England have finally agreed to consult on the colour of the acoustic noise barrier.
Premises License Application - Jet Retail UK Limited on Dewsbury Road: This is a new application for the Dewsbury Road. You can read more here.
Meetings and Visits: As part of my many different roles I attend meetings with:
Canal and Riverside Trust about rubbish in the Aire.
Highways Officers on the progress to close the Clayton Ginnel.
TCV to look at joint environmental project in the ward.
Hunslet and Riverside Branch Labour Party - our first in six months.
Democratic Services Officers to look at the progress to create hybrid Council meetings.
Rowthwell Together who are wanting to expand their work into LS10.
This is on top of my doing casework for residents via email, telephone and social media.
Councillor Newsletter: Here is a digital copy of our latest newsletter.
Upcoming Community Events:
If you have a community event you'd like me to share, please let me know. The events must be non-party political and for the whole community. I'll also offer to host the Facebook event page if your group does not have its own Facebook Page etc. to do so.
Live Q&A Events: Past event can be re-watched here. The next event(s) are below:
25/9/20: Ask Paul