Friday 28th August 2020
Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are providing weekly 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
Covid-19 infection rates drop sharply in Rotherham
Rates of infection in Rotherham have decreased significantly this week, with the seven-day infection rate now at 6.4 per 100,000, falling from a rate of 20 per 100,000 last week.
This is considerably lower than the local authority areas on the Government’s national watchlist, published today and lower than the average for England, which is 11.3 per 100,000.
The number of positive cases in Rotherham was 16 last week.
To Keep Rotherham Open it is vital that we continue to:
- Keep 2 metres apart whenever possible
- Wash our hands often
- Get tested if we have symptoms, however mild
- Wear a face covering whenever required
Please encourage anyone with symptoms, however mild, or with any cause for concern, to get tested as soon as possible.
Testing is free, quick and painless. You can book an appointment for a test on the NHS website or by calling 119. You may order a home-testing kit or attend the drive-through site at Midland Road, Masborough, or the walk-in site at Forge Island. Appointments are preferred at Forge Island and face-coverings must be worn.
If you receive a positive test result or have symptoms, you must self-isolate at home for 10 days from the start of symptoms. Anyone you have been in contact with should also self-isolate for 14 days, even if they get a negative test result as they may still be incubating the infection. You will be asked to provide contact details of anyone you know you have been in close contact with so that the NHS Track and Trace team can get in touch with them to advise them to self-isolate.
Advice and support for anyone with concerns about self-isolating is available through the Rotherham Community Hub.
Leisure Centres and swimming pools to re-open
We’re delighted to confirm that gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools at Aston-cum-Aughton, Maltby and Wath upon Dearne Leisure Centres, as well as Rotherham Leisure Complex will re-open on Monday 14th September.
Leisure facilities in Rotherham are operated on behalf of the Council by Places Leisure.
Since Places closed its facilities following Government instruction in March, the team has been taking advice from Public Health England, following Government guidelines, and consulting with its trade body, ukactive to ensure they are ready for reopening.
Measures have been put in place to keep customers and staff safe, including additional signage to remind everyone to social distance, reduced activity capacities, enhanced cleaning regimes, and hand sanitising and cleaning stations. Customers will be asked to pre-book sessions on ourthe Places Locker app or via the Places website.
Places has produced this useful 2-minute videoabout what customers should expect when they are returning to their local centre and there is further information, including Frequently Asked Questions and opening times on the Places website, via the button below:
Three countries removed from Travel corridors list, one added
The countries are the latest to be removed from the travel corridors list.
Data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England has indicated a significant change in both the level and pace of confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in all 3 destinations, leading to ministers removing these destinations from the current list of travel corridors.
Meanwhile, Cuba has now been added to the list of safe travel corridors for England where returning travellers do not need to self-isolate, having been assessed by the Joint Biosecurity Centre as posing a lower infection risk. Portugal was also added to the list last week.
Payments for people self-isolating in high infection areas
The Government has announced that people on low incomes who need to self-isolate and are unable to work from home in areas with high incidence of COVID-19 will benefit from a new payment scheme.
The support will be available to people currently receiving either Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit living in areas with high Covid-19 infection rates. It is being trialled, initially, in Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Oldham.
The announcement follows recent pressure from Council Leaders in Yorkshire, including the Leader of Rotherham Council, Cllr Chris Read, to provide financial support to people on low pay and zero-hours contracts who may be reluctant to get a test for fear of having to stay at home for 14 days without pay if they test positive for the virus.
Under the scheme, those eligible who test positive for the virus will receive £130 for their 10-day period of self-isolation. Other members of their household, who have to self-isolate for 14 days, will be entitled to a payment of £182.
And non-household contacts advised to self-isolate through NHS Test and Trace will also be entitled to a payment of up to £182, tailored to the individual length of their isolation period.
Recruitment drive for care workers as Skills Academy goes live
Rotherham Council’s new Adult Social Care Skills Academy has been set up to support adult social care employers to find, recruit and train local people who want to start a career caring for adults at home or in residential care homes.
The Academy will support employers to find the right people at the right time to meet their business needs as well as equipping new recruits with the education, knowledge and skills they need to excel in their new workplace.
Training is available which includes an online Care Certificate and classroom-based learning on topics such as Roles and Responsibilities; Health and Safety; Safeguarding; Moving and Handling of People; Providing Personal Care, Infection Prevention and Control and PPE; Emergency First Aid; and Medication Awareness.
Currently 24 vacancies are currently being advertised through the Skills Academy for employers in Rotherham, including role such as support workers, home care workers and care assistants. This number is expected to increase as adult social care providers assess their staffing needs.
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.