Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we will now be providing regular email updates for residents to let you know about the latest information we have and any changes to local services that may be affected.
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You can check the latest information on our website at any time by going to https://www.rotherham.gov.uk/coronavirus
Rotherham Director of Public Health’s weekly message
In her update this week, Teresa Roche, Rotherham’s Director of Public Health, highlights the pivitol role the new NHS Test and Trace service will play in supporting the country to move gradually out of lockdown measures.
She said: “The service (test and trace) will allow us to trace the spread of the virus, isolate new infections and play a vital role in giving us early warning if the virus is increasing, both locally and nationally. By notifying people who have been in close contact with an infected person means that they can take action to self-isolate too.
“These measures are really important as they help break the transmission chain, preventing other people from becoming infected, and ultimately reducing the overall virus reproduction rate (R).”
Click on the button below to read the full update.
Tuesday Street market to return next week
Rotherham town centre’s popular Tuesday Street Market will be back from next Tuesday, 9th June.
The market starts at 8.30am and stalls will be located on Effingham Street, Upper Millgate, Bridgegate and Effingham Square, next to All Saints Square.
Stalls will be spaced out to enable safe social distancing and all Market Traders are required to complete a risk assessment for safe operation of their business before being allowed to stand. Contactless payments are encouraged as much as possible.
Extra staff will be on duty and people will be reminded to remain 2 metres apart at all times.
The outdoor covered market off Drummond Street is also now re-open on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
And the Indoor Market, based at Centenary Market Hall remains open on Fridays and Saturdays for essential foods only, from 8.30am to 2pm, as it has done throughout the restrictions.
Meanwhile, work is on-going to safely re-open the Crafters Market and Bazaar Market as soon as it is possible to do so.
Reports show inequalities in coronavirus death rates
Two new reports have shone a light on the disproportionately high coronavirus death rates amongst Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people and people with learning difficulties.
A report from Public Health England published this week showed that age was the most significant factor in deaths from coronaovirus.
It also showed that the risk of dying among those diagnosed with coronavirus was higher in males than females; higher in people living in more deprived areas and higher in those in BAME groups than in White ethnic groups.
These inequalities are largely the same as mortality rates prior to the impact of coronavirus, except for BAME groups, where it showed that the impact of Covid-19 is noticably and disproportionately higher.
The reason for this is unclear and the Equalities Minister, Kemi Badenoch has been directed to investigate the issue, alongside Public Health England.
Meanwhile the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published data on deaths of people with a learning disability, some of whom may be autistic, receiving care from providers.
The report shows a significant increase in deaths of people with a learning disability as a result of coronavirus, including a 134 per cent increase in the number of death notifications this year – and that the impact is being felt at a younger age range than in the wider population.
This is likely to be related to people with a learning disability being at an increased risk of respiratory illnesses, although access to testing could be key to reducing infection and saving lives.
The CQC is undertaking a targeted piece of work to review death notifications to ensure the data provided is both accurate and accessible.
The Government confirmed yesterday that passengers arriving in the UK by plane, ferry or train – including UK nationals returning home – will have to quarantine at the same address for 14 days.
Passengers will be asked to drive in their own car to the place where they plan to isolate, where possible. If they don’t provide an address, the government will arrange accommodation.
Surprise visits will be used to check they are following the rules, with fines of up to £1,000 for those people failing to self-isolate.
They must not go to work, school, or public areas, or use public transport or taxis. They should also not have any visitors unless they need essential support and should not go out to buy food or other essentials where they can rely on others.
There are a number of groups who are exempt, including:
- Road haulage and freight workers
- Medical and care professionals travelling to the UK to provide essential healthcare
- Those arriving to attend pre-arranged medical treatment
- Passengers in transit to another country, if they do not pass through UK border control
- Anyone arriving from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man
- Seasonal agricultural workers if they self-isolate on the property where they are working
- UK residents who ordinarily travel overseas at least once a week for work
The Rotherham Heroes scheme has now responded to almost 3,000 requests for help from some of our most vulnerable residents since early April.
Although the number of requests for support is beginning to reduce slightly as lockdown measures are eased, the Rotherham Heroes are continuing to play an essential role in the local response to coronvirus.
The majority of requests have been from people needing support with food deliveries (35%), closely followed by prescription collection (32%). Other support has included combating loneliness, pet care and referring people on to other help available such as benefits, housing or council tax support.
A lot of work has been carried out in support of people on the shielded list, those most at risk from coronavirus, who were unable to leave their property.
The Council’s housing team has also been supporting vulnerable tenants, with over 4,000 people contacted sinc the pandemic began.
Despite the social distancing measures meaning council meetings can’t go ahead in person, coronavirus is not stopping the democratic process in Rotherham.
A number of remote council meetings have been held in recent weeks, using Microsoft Teams and broadcast live on the Council’s website.
And another milestone was reached yesterday, when the first remote Full Council meeting – open for all 60 councillors to take part – went ahead, with councillors taking part from their homes across the borough.
The meeting included a silent tribute to all those who have lost their lives to coronovirus and rousing round of applause for the Rotherham Council employees and all key workers who have continued working to keep local people safe and Rotherham running during these unprescedented times.
One of the items the Full Council meeting resolved was to make Dame Julie Kenny Honorary Freewoman of the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham – the ultimate accolade that the Borough can bestow on one of its citizens.
The Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr Jenny Andrews, said: “Dame Julie Kenny is well known and respected throughout the country for her hard work and dedication to numerous roles over the years.
“She has provided an outstanding service as a major employer here in the borough and is an inspirational businesswoman.
“Dame Julie has also spearheaded the restoration of Wentworth Woodhouse, carried out work with numerous charities across Rotherham and South Yorkshire as well as holding various roles on government bodies.
“I can think of no-one else more deserving than Dame Julie to be put forward for the honour of Freewoman of Rotherham.”
The award will be formally made at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council on a date to be decided.