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:
Covid-19 Cases, Mortality and Infection Rate
Covid-19 Outbreak Management
Covid-19 NHS Test and Trace App
NHS There for You
Mental Wellbeing Support
Changes to Support and Enforcement for Self-isolation
Increasing Restrictions across the Country
Bile Beans Sign Restoration Completed
Planning Application for Hetton Court, The Oval, Hunslet
Meetings and Visits
Upcoming Community Events
Live Q&A Events
Previous updates can be found here: Local News Summary
Covid-19 Cases, Mortality and Infection Rates: The latest infection rate for Leeds is 81.5 per 100,000, with a positivity rate of 7.9, and a testing rate of 147.7 per 100,000. On the 18/9/20, of the 666 covid-19 related deaths registered so far:
653 (98%) were Leeds residents
64 (54.65%) were in hospitals
265 (39.79%) were in care homes
13 (1.95%) in a hospice
24 (3.60%) in their own home.
Covid-19 Outbreak Management: In Leeds:
As of 18/9/20 there were 19 Care Homes with cases, the majority of which have 3 cases or under, identified through whole home care testing. Appropriate control measures are in place.
As of 17/9/20 there are 3 private nurseries, 50 (estimated) schools, 2 colleges and 1 university that have reported cases.
There has been an outbreak in a Youth Offenders Institute following 2 confirmed cases; a multi-agency meeting was called 16 September, with 90 out of 173 children/young people, and 84 out of 400 staff needing to self-isolate.
There have been no significant workplace outbreaks last week, and proactive engagement continues across all settings. Additionally, there is a range of activity across communities where infection rates are higher, in particular with our third sector partners.
The Council is taking the full range of actions with the full range of partners it can, including:
localised effort in response to clusters and outbreaks eg testing, tracing, door knocking, infection prevention and control; compliance and enforcement where needed
significant campaign with licensed premises, initially in student areas, with multi-agency teams visiting all premises to check compliance, and with plans for further roll out
continued enforcement activity with the police to ensure compliance with the ‘rule of six’, building on the approach taken over the recent Bank Holiday weekend
promoting the App so that all venues in the city have a QR code ahead of the launch next week
extensive wider communications, especially about the new rules, including social media, poster campaigns, signage, direct email, video, translation into community languages, to encourage compliance
managing the impact of the national issues on testing, with communications and setting up local arrangements for key worker testing
strong partnership with our universities, colleges and schools, with businesses and with community and faith organisations to support them to be covid secure and handle cases
focus on the vulnerable with extensive work in care homes to prevent and control infections
work with health partners to ensure we deal with non covid health issues, including a big focus on mental health
continued focus all the data, including the epidemiology as well as insight about behaviour change, to inform our actions and consideration of the most appropriate additional restrictions.
Covid-19 NHS Test and Trace App: With the new app is being launched on 24 September, we are determined that as many venues in the city get ready for the App. This means getting a QR code for the venue, making a poster, and displaying the poster. Here is the relevant pages of gov.uk.
Covid-19 Testing: New content on the Leeds CCG Coronavirus website provides comprehensive information about accessing testing (including Gryphon, Temple Green and Bridge Street as well as Mobile Testing Unit locations). Booking remains through 119 or nhs.uk/coronavirus and only for those with symptoms. Deployment for our MTU’s for the beginning of this week are as follows:
Scott Hall Leisure Centre, Leeds (opening times 10:00 am – 4:00 pm)
St George’s Centre, Middleton, Leeds (opening times 10:30 am – 3:30 pm)
Pudsey Civic Hall, Leeds/Bradford (opening times 10:00 am – 4:00 pm)
Covid-19 Disinformation: Healthcare professionals from the NHS are running a Facebook Live session on 29/9/20 from 6pm to 7.30pm, offering people in Leeds a chance to find out more about coronavirus. The NHS in Leeds is working with partners to dispel some of the myths around coronavirus as well as providing trusted information on how people can reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
This event is being kindly supported by NHS England and is being led by Dr Mizanul Haque from London who has been running similar sessions for people in London and further afield. Joining him on the evening will be Dr Mohammed Sattar, a GP in Leeds, Dr Najeeb Rehman, an accident and emergency consultant from Leeds and Dr Andrew Lee, a GP from Sheffield and Reader in Public Health.
The session can be accessed on the night by visiting NHS Leeds CCG’s Facebook channel. If you have any questions ahead of the session, please do send them through and we’ll do our best to answer them on the evening: Leedsccg.firstname.lastname@example.org
NHS There for You: NHS Leeds are still here bt please choose the right service. Please do not visit A&E or your GP or call 111 for a test. When you fall ill or get injured and it’s not a life or limb-threatening emergency, please contact your GP practice, call NHS 111, or go online www.111.nhs.uk. By only calling 999 or going to A&E in a genuine emergency we can provide safe, timely care for those that are seriously ill.
Mental Wellbeing Support: For anyone needing help with emotional health and wellbeing, they should contact the West Yorkshire 24 hour support line 0800 183 0558. For children and young people please visit www.mindmate.org.uk to find the best service to meet their needs.
Changes to Support and Enforcement for Self-isolation: You will probably have seen that the government have announced new measures to support those who need to self-isolate, which is overdue and an important step forward to help people who are struggling financially to self-isolate.
These changes also mean fines for those who don’t self-isolate in line with the guidance, including fines up to £10,000 for repeated infringements or for employers who don’t allow employees to self-isolate.
These new rules come into force from 28 September, with the administration schemes expected to be implemented early October (with backdated claims allowed). At this stage we don’t have details of what this will mean in practice for local authorities administering the scheme, especially in terms of access to data to judge eligibility.
It is expected that funding will be announced so that local authorities can administer the scheme. The police will have the enforcement role. This is another reason that points to the importance of the government stabilising the local government sector’s finances soon.
Increasing Restrictions across the Country: Everyone will be aware from the media of the increased level of restrictions in a number of areas, now affecting about 20% of the population, with the potential for another national lockdown widely reported. The bulk of these are in areas in the north, with three areas of Wests Yorkshire continuing to face additional restrictions. The packages of measures, whilst having some local variation, are very clear in terms of:
household mixing restrictions on top of the national rule of six;
hospitality restrictions with early closures or takeaway only and early closure;
and travel restrictions for some.
This is a very live conversation for us given our rates aren’t yet decelerating and that there are national issues with test and trace meaning that containing the virus is not as effective, and therefore movement restrictions are an alternative or additional measure. We fully anticipate that we will have additional restrictions in the city this week, but we are in active dialogue to try and ensure that these will be as effective as possible in balancing the Covid issues with broader health, wellbeing, social and economic issues. We will of course keep you posted with developments.
Kickstart Scheme: This will pay employers to create new jobs for young people (16-24). Funding will be conditional on the employer proving that these jobs are new, and are not replacing jobs held by staff who have recently been made redundant. The jobs created must provide a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months. The Government will provide funding to cover the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week for six months if employers meet these conditions. It will also provide up to £1,500 per job placement to cover setup costs, support and training. Jobcentre Plus work coaches will support Universal Credit claimants “who are ready for an opportunity” to enrol in the scheme. Employers will then interview applicants and select the best candidate for their role.
Employers with 30 or more work placements interested in participating in the scheme can find further information and apply on-line here. If an organisation is not able to offer this many placements, then they would need to partner with another organisation to reach this number.
Leeds City Council Employment and Skills service has registered to become a representative for employers with less than 30 jobs for businesses who would still like to participate in the scheme. Companies can register interest with the Council’s Employment and Skills Service by e-mailing email@example.com and the scheme sis being promoted by the council. Further information will be made available on the Employment and Skills Leeds website.
Bile Beans Sign Restoration Completed: The famous sign has had a restoration. Feedback is overwhelming positive, though I full appropriate some would prefer these signs to fad-away untouched. It is definitely very noticeable now.
Winston's Premises License Withdrawn: I'm happy to report the applicant has withdraw the application. This is a huge win for local people and the wider area.
Planning Application for Hetton Court, The Oval, Hunslet: I have serious concerns about this application to covers this office building into flats. I've asked for an urgent briefing from the Council Planning Department.
Meetings and Visits: As part of my many different roles I attend meetings with:
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:
3/10/20: Friends of Hunslet Moor Litter Pick
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