Tuesday 9 June 2020
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.
If you do not wish to receive these updates please click on “unsubscribe” at the bottom of the page.
You can check the latest information on our website at any time by going to https://www.rotherham.gov.uk/coronavirus
Get tested to protect family, friends and wider community
The new NHS Test and Trace service is now live.
Thousands of new contact tracers have been enlisted to provide advice to people who test positive for coronavirus and those who they have come into contact with.
However, the service will only be truly effective in helping to reduce transmission rates and in so doing getting the country back on its feet, if we get tested as soon as we start experiencing coronavirus symptoms.
Most people with coronavirus display at least one of these symptoms:
- high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
The symptoms of coronavirus are usually mild, but some people can become very unwell.
If you are displaying any symptoms you should contact nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119. You can ask for a test for yourself or for someone you live with, if you have coronavirus symptoms.
If you test positive, you should respond as soon as possible to texts or emails from NHS Test and Trace. This will help to protect you, your family and friends and everyone in the wider community.
If you are a social care worker or a care home resident are entitled, you are able to get tested, even if you are not currently displaying symptoms.
More financial aid for local small businesses and charities
Small businesses in shared office or flexible workspace, charities, B&Bs, private childcare nurseries and market traders are amongst those set to be eligible for a new £2.4m financial support package from Rotherham Council.
The new Discretionary Business Grants Fundgrants, which range from £1,000 to £25,000 will benefit hundreds of firms impacted by the coronavirus.
The Council has already processed more than £40m in payments to over 3,600 local businesses from the nationally prescribed Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund. The new discretionary grant is for businesses which have not already benefited from these schemes.
To qualify, firms must be defined as a small or micro business and:
- have been active and trading on 11 March 2020.
- have fixed costs, not exceeding £51,000 per year.
- be able to show they have suffered a significant loss of income due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Applications are open now on the Council’s website and businesses are urged to apply as soon as possible using the link below.
Bookstart playing a part in introducing kids to reading
Our Early Help and Libraries teams have joined forces with the BookTrust on a new initiative aimed at getting children into books at an early age, called the Bookstart scheme.
During the coronavirus pandemic the Council has had to explore new ways of helping families access the books on offer. As a result, around 75 packs a week are now being sent out to families with 0-4 year-olds across the borough.
Children who are likely to benefit from the scheme are identified through the Council’s Early Help team, which works with children, young people and families who might need extra support.
The packs include tips for parents on reading together, resources to bring the stories to life for the children and associated activities.
Many of the packs have been delivered by Council staff and Rotherham Heroes volunteers at the same time as food parcels.
Reports show inequalities in coronavirus death rates
Since early April, the Rotherham Heroes volunteers have now responded to more than 3,100 requests for help from some of the most vulnerable residents in the borough.
Although the number of requests for support is beginning to reduce slightly as lockdown measures are eased, they are continuing to play an essential role in the local response to coronvirus.
They are gearing up to provide additional support as more people potentially self-isolate because they have been identified by the NHS Test and Trace service that they have come into contact with someone who has coronavirus.
The majority of requests have been from people needing support with food deliveries (43%), closely followed by prescription collection (39%). 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.
Visit our website using the button below if you or someone you know needs support from the Rotherham Heroes scheme.
Quarantine now in force for people arriving in the UK
New quarantine arrangements, which mean that most people arriving in the UK – including British citizens returning home – will have to quarantine at the same address for 14 days, are now in force.
Inbound travellers will be required to complete the public health passenger locator form 48 hours before their journey to the UK, which they must present on arrival.
After arrival, for their onward journey from the port or airport they will be asked to travel in their own vehicle to the place where they plan to isolate, where possible. If they don’t provide an address, the government will arrange accommodation.
From when they arrive at their designated address, they must not go to work, school, or public areas, or use public transport or taxis for 14 days. 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.
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.
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
Getting in touch…
During this challenging time please, where possible and appropriate, use our online services rather than calling via telephone. We’re receiving a high level of calls daily and want to ensure we’re able to answer urgent calls regarding vulnerable residents and our front line services.