Updated: Jul 19
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:
Coronavirus Cases and Mortality
Local Outbreak Management
Further Easing of National Lockdown
New Lockdown Powers
Randox Covid-19 Test Kit
Coronavirus Virus Support Line
Personal Protective Equipment Disposal Guidance
Personal Protective Equipment Ordering
Non-Government Back Business Support
Increase in Universal Credit Claimants
Domestic Abuse Charity Fund
Reopening The High Streets Safely Fund
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Over-payments
Hedonist Project Premises Licence Application
City Bloc Climbing Wall Premises Licence Application
Winston's Premises Licence Application
Previous updates can be found here: Local News Summary
Cases and Mortality: In Leeds, as of 17.00 on 16 July (the latest confirmed figures available at the time of writing this email), the number of confirmed cases within Leeds stood at 3,704. Please note the methodology for reporting positive cases changed on 2nd July and now includes pillar 2 testing as well as pillar 1 tests. This explains the significant increase in the figures - it does not represent a surge in positive cases. The number of pandemic related deaths were 636, of which:
344 (54.1%) in hospital
258 (40.6%) occurred in a care home
23 (3.6%) at home
You can follow this link for the latest reproduction number (R) and growth rate of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK; the national R rate is between 0.7-0.9.
Local Outbreak Management: Leeds 7 day infection rate is 8.2, compared to Yorkshire and Humber rate of 12.8. We are monitoring this very intensely and working very closely with our neighbours who mostly have higher rates at the moment.
One case in a school involving two children; the bubble has been collapsed with letters sent to staff and parents, including self-isolation measures being taken; a deep clean of the bubble area has taken place; and the school is continuing to monitor the situation.
One case in a school involving one member of staff; the staff member does not have any contact with the students or other staff, and had no bubble interaction. School is undertaking a deep clean of the area; has notified staff members; and PHE has advised there is no need to close the school.
One single case involving one child, who has not had contract with the school for more than 48 hours.
One case in a workplace involving five employees, three of which live outside the Leeds boundaries. Cases were reported through Track and Trace. There is no evidence of a spread within the workplace or that this is a workplace outbreak – the employer and office space has good prevention measures in place.
There are currently four care homes in Leeds affected with COVID-19, two are closed and two remain operational with restrictions in place. Of the four care homes, three have less than four cases. Some of these cases were identified through routine whole home care testing.
Further Easing of National Lockdown: The Government has published the next chapter of its COVID-19 recovery strategy.
From 17 July: Anyone can use public transport, while encouraging other option transport options.
From 1 August:
Updated guidance on going to work; employers are given more discretion on how employers can work safely, including bring staff back into the workplace rather than working from home (in line with COVID Secure guidelines).
Reopen most leisure settings in line with COVID Secure guidelines – bowling, skating rinks and casinos. High-risk settings such as nightclubs and soft plays will remain shut and be kept under review. Further details of what businesses can and can’t open, along with links to sector specific guidance, can be found here.
Enable the restart of indoor performances to a live audience, in line with COVID Secure guidelines (subject to success of pilots that will take place). Further details can be found here.
Enable all close contact services to resume in line with COVID Secure guidelines such as eyebrow threading, make-up application etc.
Enable wedding receptions and sit-down meals for up to 30 people, in line with COVID Secure guidelines.
There will be pilots for the return of spectators to elite sporting events running in July – there are no pilots in the Leeds area at this time.
From 1 September:
Schools, colleges and nurseries will reopen for all children and young people on a full time basis.
Protective measures will be put in place to reduce the risk of transmission. This includes keeping pupils in consistent class or year groups, as well as regular hand washing and cleaning of premises.
Local outbreaks may require classes, year groups or even whole schools to isolate or be sent home temporarily.
Home testing kits will be provided to schools and colleges for children and staff who would otherwise be unable to get a test.
Universities are also working to reopen as soon as possible.
From 1st October: If prevalence remains around or below current levels into the autumn, following on from pilot studies and have a reliable understanding of the impact of reopening schools on the virus, allow in a COVID secure way eg Audiences back into to stadia and conferences and other business events to recommence.
New Lockdown Powers: Councils and Government Ministers are to get new lockdown powers to shutdown premises, outdoor spaces and cancel events in their areas, to contain future outbreaks.
Central government will be able to shut down whole sectors or types of premises in an area, introduce local stay-at-home orders, prevent people entering or leaving defined areas, reduce the size of gatherings beyond the national defined rules or restrict transport systems serving local areas where there are local outbreaks.
The CONTAIN Framework has been published to set out how local authorities and national Government will work together to manage local outbreaks. This describes the main local roles and governance, which you are already familiar with from the briefings we have done previously. It also describes the national governance arrangements for monitoring transmission, escalating issues and providing additional support. In addition to business as usual, where the bulk of outbreaks are expected to be managed locally, it describes 3 categories of – areas of concern, areas of enhanced monitoring and intervention – published as a watchlist on page 2 of weekly PHE report . The national work around these areas is often demonstrating good local practice, for example of community engagement and communications.
Randox Covid-19 Test Kits: The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) issued a statement that some test kits produced by Randox laboratories may not meet the required safety standards for coronavirus testing, and as a precautionary measure while DHSC investigate further, NHS Test and Trace are requesting that all settings pause the use of Randox test kits with immediate effect and until further notice.
Coronavirus Virus Support Line: Planning is underway to ensure citizens continue to get the help and support they need through the Local Welfare Support Scheme, as the COVID helpline is anticipated to close at the end of August 2020.
Personal Protective Equipment Disposal Guidance: Guidance for the public and businesses on how to dispose of their personal or business waste, including face coverings and PPE, during the coronavirus pandemic.
Personal Protective Equipment Ordering: Guidance for healthcare providers on how to order emergency personal protective equipment.
Non-Government Back Business Support: The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has updated the list of organisations that have produced additional resources that may be useful to employers and employees. The list now details the support offered by the National Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses (FSB).
Increase in Universal Credit Claimants: Provisional data for June 2020 shows 65,935 claimants of Universal Credit in Leeds (for those both in and out of work), an increase of 86% since March 2020.
Domestic Abuse Charity Fund: The Home Office has published a bidder clarification document for the second bidding round of the £2 million fund for domestic abuse charities affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Reopening High Streets Safely: This has fund was updated last week to reflect the latest positions and developments. The FAQ can be found here.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Overpayments: Guidance from HMRC was published today on how those who’ve been overpaid, made a claim in error and were not eligible for the grant, or would like to make a voluntary repayment, can tell HMRC and pay some or all of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant back. Failure to notify HMRC could result in a penalty.
Hedonist Project Premises Licence Application: More information can be found here.
City Bloc Climbing Wall Premises Licence Application: More information can be found here.
Winston's Premises Licence Application: I have objected to this application on public safety grounds. More information can be found here.
Residents Meetings: I'm happy to attend public meetings and if you’re part of a community not current covered by a regular residents meeting and want one, please let us know.
Live Events: Past event can be re-watched here. The next event(s) are below:
28/7/20: Guest Q&A with Hilary Benn MP
31/7/20: Ask Paul