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
Outbreak Management Update
International Travel Update
Randox Testing Kits
Workplace Guidance Update
Tropical World Re-Opening
Public Spaces Protection Orders Consultation
Local Authority Debt Recovery
Leeds Central Library
Active Leeds Update
Hunslet Community Hub and Library
Upcoming Community Events
Live Q&A Events
Previous updates can be found here: Local News Summary
Cases, Mortality and Infection Rates: In Leeds, at 17:00 11 August, the number of confirmed cases within Leeds stood at 4,028. The total of Covid-19 related deaths in Leeds to 658 (up to 12 August). Of the 658 covid-19 related deaths registered so far:
645 (98%) were Leeds residents
361 (55%) were in hospitals
262 (40%) were in care homes
12 (2%) in a hospice
23 (3%) in their own home.
On the 14 August, the 7-day average rate of infection is 12 per 100,000 in Leeds (16.8 Yorks & Humber; 10.2 nationally). Overall case numbers and rates appear to be levelling off, however Leeds may see further rises as it continues to increase testing and the Council don’t want to be complacent.
Outbreak Management Update: A new pop-up test site has been established at Bilal Centre in Harehills. Twenty tests were completed on Tuesday, and 18 on Wednesday last week. The Fearnville Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) has also seen high levels of attendance, with over 100 tests carried out each day in the first days of it being established. The Council is awaiting more recent and up-to-date figures on attendance for both Fearnville and Kirkstall MTUs. This week, MTUs will be at Fearnville Leisure Centre on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 August; and Pudsey Civic Centre on Wednesday 19 August. Opening times for all will be 10am to 4pm.
There are no outbreaks in care homes, but two members of staff at one home have tested positive and are now isolating, with restrictions are in place and the home is being supported by the LCH IPC service.
Two nurseries are affected; one is closed due to 1 positive case, the other has had a bubble suspended due to 1 positive case and both are being supported.
Two workplace outbreaks- individuals are self-isolating and Environmental Health are supporting. Four other workplaces have been reported, all with fewer than 4 Covid cases, all are complying with advice and receiving support. One case has been identified in HMP Leeds. Outbreak management plans are in place supported by PHE.
Localised Restrictions: These will continue in Kirklees, Calderdale, Bradford, Greater Manchester, parts of East Lancs (now including Preston) and Leicester due to cases remaining high. People in these areas will continue to not be permitted to mix with other households (apart from those in their support bubble) within private homes or gardens. People are still able to meet others in groups up to 6 individuals, or 2 households, in outdoor public places. New national easing of restrictions which took effect on 15 August will not happen in these areas.
National Restrictions: Following a 2-week pause to the Government’s Roadmap to Recovery plan,
Saturday 15 August saw the following restrictions lifted in England (excluding areas under local restrictions):
o Indoor play and indoor soft play, bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos can reopen.
o Beauty salons, tattoo studios, spas and barbers can offer all close contact services.
o Indoor theatres, music and performance venues can reopen with socially distanced audiences.
o Wedding receptions (a sit-down meal in a COVID-secure location for up to 30 guests) will be permitted.
o Pilots of a small number of sporting events will take place to test the safe return of spectators, with a view to reopening competition venues for sports fans, with social distancing measures in place from 1 October.
Fines Changes: As restrictions are further eased, the Government has announced tougher penalties for those breaking the rules: fines will double to a maximum of £3,200 for those who repeatedly flout face covering rules, and new fines will be introduced for people hosting raves or other illegal gatherings of over 30 people.
International Travel Update: France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba are being removed from the travel corridors list. Passengers arriving in the UK from these locations from will need to self-isolate for two weeks. Last week Andorra, Belgium and Bahamas were also removed from the list, and Brunei and Malaysia were added.
Face Coverings: Since 8 August the wearing of face coverings is now mandatory in more settings, including places of worship, libraries, community centres and museums. The attached briefing note includes details on where face masks must be worn and an overview of the enforcement powers. The full government guidance is available here. And a briefing note is attached, which draws learning from feedback about what people haven’t found clear.
Ofsted Inspections: Ofsted to start visits to some childminders and nurseries from September.
Randox Testing Kits: Testing kits made in Randox laboratories have been recalled due to safety issues- details about identifying the kits and the steps to take are available here.
Workplace Guidance Update: The Working Safely during Coronavirus guidance has been updated to include guidance on consulting staff before returning to the workplace, and protecting people at higher risk.
Tropical World Re-Opening: Tropical World will reopen on 17 August with restrictions in place to ensure it is covid-secure, with a pre-booking system in place, only six people allowed to enter at a time, and stewards will be in place to manage this.
Public Spaces Protection Orders Consultation: Residents are invited to comment on a proposal to extend 13 Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) in Armley, Burmantofts, the City Centre, Farsley, Garforth and Swillington, Guiseley, Harehills, Horsforth, Kippax and Allerton Bywater, Otley, Pudsey, Wetherby, & Yeadon.
All 13 PSPOs have prohibitions which do not allow people to consume alcohol in public places. The Armley and Harehills PSPOs also have prohibitions to help tackle issues of household waste containers being left in the street for prolonged periods of time. The council is proposing to keep these PSPOs and prohibitions.
It is also proposed that prohibitions be added around ‘temporary structures’ (tents, portable shelters and unauthorised and unlicensed structures) to the city centre PSPO and to support the tackling of anti-social behaviour issues seen at Leeds General Infirmary.
Similar prohibitions have also been proposed for St James’s University Hospital as part of the Burmantofts PSPO. Residents can comment on these proposals until Sunday 6 September 2020 by filling in an online questionnaire at: https://surveys.leeds.gov.uk/s/PSPO-Consultation/
Local Authority Debt Recovery: At the start of the pandemic the Council ceased the commencement of proceedings in a number of areas. The restart of debt recovery/land recoveries is, however, now legally possible and the Council are now in the recovery phase, Legal Services will be re-commencing proceedings in the following areas: adverse possession / boundary dispute; debt recovery; breaches of tenancy agreement (deceased tenants / tenants in care homes; abandoned properties; under-occupying; tenancy breach cases; tenancy fraud cases) rent arrears (once permitted by Civil Procedure Rules).
The Council anticipate that issues may arise when the ability undertake recovery action on rental arrears comes back, which is expected to be reviewed in September.
Leeds Central Library: This has re-opened for the following services:
· library book pick-ups and returns
· computers (book a free 45 minute slot by calling 0113 378 5005)
The new temporary opening hours for Central Library will be Monday to Saturday 11:00 to 15:00. To reserve a book please use our library catalogue or the library app; for help contact 0113 378 5005 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Council are working to open Moor Allerton, Otley, Bramley, Hunslet, Kippax, Rothwell Libraries and Community Hubs this week.
Funerals: We are hearing reports from Funeral Directors of large numbers of mourners attending some burials where social distancing is not being observed. This is of serious concern as we work hard to keep the rate of transmission of the virus low. The latest government guidance on funerals can be found here.
Foster4Leeds: A new holiday lodge at Rudding Park camping and caravan site near Harrogate has been opened and will provide free short breaks to foster carers who foster with the council, plus kinship carers, special guardians and care experienced families in Leeds, helping families who may not otherwise be able to afford a family holiday to have some time away.
Active Leeds Update: Find out what the Councils Active Leeds team is doing locally here.
Hunslet Community Hub and Library: The local Hunslet Hub will reopen this week. Details about the services on offer and access can be read here.
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:
28 August: Ask Paul