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 and Mortality
Local Outbreak Response
Libraries and Community Hubs
Eat out to Help Out
Rapid Virus Testing
Small Business Grants
Updated Government Guidance Documents
Discretionary Grant Fund Phase 2
Stourton Park and Ride
Windrush Compensation Scheme
Upcoming Bus Service Changes in Leeds
Local Civic Enforcement Officer Success
Premises Licence Application - Department at Leeds Dock
Premises Licence Application - Juicy African Kitchen Limit on Beeston Road
75th VJ Day Anniversary
Temporary Pepper Road Closure
Waddington's Railway Bridge Maintenance
Upcoming Community Events
Live Q&A Events
Previous updates can be found here: Local News Summary
Cases and Mortality: In Leeds As at 17:00 on 2/8/20, the number of confirmed cases within Leeds stood at 3,895. As of the 7/8.20, there have been 656 covid-19 related deaths registered in Leeds. To date, 22% of all deaths registered have been covid-19 related. Of these:
643 (98%) were Leeds residents
360 (54.88%) were in hospitals
261 (39.79%) were in care homes
12 (1.83%) in a hospice
23 (3.51%) in their own home.
Infection Rates: The rolling 7 day infection rate in Leeds as of the 7/8/20 was 16.7 cases per 100,000 people. The testing positivity rate was 2.1. This is broadly in line with Bradford and Kirklees and as Leeds tests more, we expect the infection rate to rise a bit more next week, but the Council is hoping that the positivity rate and hospital admissions stay broadly stable.
To give the national picture, here is the government's watchlist that has been published on 8/8/20. Leeds has not been put on the watchlist at this stage and so does not face any additional restrictions, although obviously this is reviewed every week.
Given all of Leeds West Yorkshire neighbours are on the watchlist, and many have friends and families in areas affected, here is guidance about the measures in place, including Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale, and also guidance about holidays in areas with local coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions
In terms of outbreaks, there are no reported outbreaks of COVID related infection in care homes, we have one nursery closed that had one Covid case and we have one live workplace outbreak which is being closely monitored.
Local Outbreak Response: The Council is monitoring the data closely to assess whether this is an emerging trend in line with increasing national rates, or a blip in otherwise relatively low levels of infection in Leeds. Thanks to our strong outbreak planning arrangements we have been able to identify and respond to the clusters rapidly. The following actions have been taken to prevent further community transmission:
Additional support offered to the households self-isolating as part of the two clusters.
Clinical Commissioning Group primary and urgent care have been informed.
Mobile Testing Units have been established at Fearnville Leisure Centre and Kirkstall Leisure Centre at the start of the week and will also be available next week. The sites are open 10am to 4.30pm and residents are encouraged to book in advance through nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
Letters are being sent to local residents in the areas of concern to inform them of the sites, and there will be door-knocking activity in the areas to promote the testing sites. Both sites have been well attended so far.
Social media messages targeted at residents in the affected areas have been issued to reinforce messages about testing, hand washing, social distancing etc.
A new webpage has been created with key coronavirus messages translated into 12 community languages: https://www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus/messages-to-share
Regrettably, due to the increased cases in these areas and the risk, we have had to cancel the Breeze events in Kirkstall and Harehills that were due to take place soon, and a funfair that was planned in the area. Whilst this is very disappointing for young people and families in these areas, you will appreciate that managing the spread of COVID-19 and the safety of the public must always be our first priority. The cancellation will be formally announced shortly.
Libraries and Community Hubs: Seven sites are currently open and between now and early September the Council will open the rest of the Community Hubs and Libraries.
Eat out to Help Out: The Eat Out to Help Out scheme launched on 3/8/20 and customers can receive 50% off bills in participating restaurants, pubs and cafes on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August as part of the Chancellor’s plan to boost the hospitality sector.
Rapid Virus Testing: Two new coronavirus tests that are able to return results within 90 minutes are to be rolled out over coming months. 450,000 swab tests that deliver results within 90 minutes will be rolled out to adult social care settings and labs from next week. Separately, a new test has been developed that uses DNA to detect coronavirus- 5000 machines with the capacity for 5.8m tests will be rolled out across NHS hospitals from September.
MOTs: Motorists with an MOT due in Sep, Oct or Nov are encouraged to get this done as soon as possible in anticipation of a very busy period for MOT providers in the autumn due to the extension granted to motorists during lockdown.
Small Business Grants: The Leeds City Region is to receive £972,127 as part of a national £20m pot to help small business recover from the pandemic through £1-5k grants.
Updated Government Guidance Documents: The following guidance documents have been updated to reflect the changes announced on 31/7/20 and the changes to advice on shielding and working from 1/8/20:
Face coverings guidance- updated to include the full list of settings in which face coverings must be worn from 8/8/20
Guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships- including the requirement that face coverings be worn, and the pausing of wedding receptions until 15/8/20
Discretionary Grant Fund Phase 2 :The second phase of the went live this week, giving small and medium businesses and charities in Leeds a further four weeks to apply for funding (until 28/8/20). The eligibility criteria for the second round of grant funding has changed slightly- please refer to the attached briefing document for details. This is being promoted on social media (see below) and I would appreciate your help getting the message to local businesses.
Stourton Park and Ride: The first phase of earthworks have been completed and a new road for HGVs into the site has been created. Information on upcoming night work can be found here.
Bus Services: Operators have been working hard to ensure public transport is safe for customers and drivers- customers can download their relevant bus operator app to track bus journeys on a map and see upfront what capacity is available on board. Whilst capacity still remains restricted to keep customers safe, operators now provide more seats in line with the recent reduction of social distancing restrictions.
Windrush Compensation Scheme: There is an online event regarding this. Details can be found here.
Upcoming Bus Service Changes in Leeds: More information can be found here.
Local Civic Enforcement Officer Success: You can read more on this via South Leeds Life.
Premises Licence Application - Department: I have successfully come to an agreement with applicant fro this site at Leeds Dock and have removed my objection. You can find out more here.
Premises Licence Application - Juicy African Kitchen Limit: This is a new application for the bottom of Beeston Road. You can read more here.
75th VJ Day Anniversary: Find out more about how Leeds will make the day here.
Temporary Pepper Road Closure: You can find out more about these road works here.
Waddington's Railway Bridge Maintenance: This will cause some traffic diversions. you can read more here.
Upcoming Community Events:
5 September: 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:
14 August: Ask Paul