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Friday 4th December 2020

Residents Bulletin

Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are providing regular email updates to let you know about the latest information we have on local and national measures to contain the virus, any changes to local services and support that’s available.

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Reduce the Risk - Covid alert level: very high


Rotherham suffers 42 Covid deaths in the last week

We continue to see a fall in the weekly average Covid infection rate across Rotherham borough, which today stands at 197.4 cases per 100,000 – reducing from 247.9 cases per 100,000 last week.

However, the infection rate is higher amongst the over 60s than it is amongst the population as a whole, which clearly means that some of the most at-risk individuals are more likely to be falling ill at the moment.

This week’s statistics also provide a stark reminder about the devastating impact the disease continues to have in our borough.

Tragically, a further 42 deaths were registered in Rotherham last week with covid mentioned on the death certificate and takes the total number of Covid related deaths in Rotherham since the start of the pandemic to over 500.

The number of in-patients with Covid at Rotherham hospital also reached a new peak this week, although it has begun to fall since then

The number of people testing positive for Covid in the last week was 524, a reduction from 616 the previous week.

This falling infection rate continues to show the benefit of the effort that residents have been making to reduce the risk.

Residents who would like to find out more information about how many cases of covid are in their local area can find out the daily latest numbers here:

Compare infection rates

Click on the picture above to see the video on Rotherham Council’s Facebook page

New video shows how quickly rates can rise

A new social media video showing how quickly covid infection rates rose across Rotherham this autumn is a reminder that we need to remain focused on keeping ourselves and our friends and families safe in the run up to and over the Christmas period.

Watch the video on our Facebook or Twitterpages.

News that a Covid vaccine is soon to start being rolled out in the UK is welcome but unless we continue to reduce the risk and follow the public health advice, the chances of the infection rate rising again will increase – and with it will bring increased strain on hospitals and more deaths.

Covid vaccine

More information about the vaccines will be available in the coming days and weeks, but please be advised that you will be contacted by your GP when it becomes available to you, based on your own personal circumstances.

Please do not put additional pressures on GP surgeries at the current time by making enquiries as these can prevent people who are ill right now from being able to get through and be seen.

Support for residents to avoid Covid Christmas crisis

Councillor Read

Rotherham Councillors will consider a package of support to make sure families and small business get the support they need over the Christmas period at an emergency meeting next week.

They will consider plans to distribute over £1million from the COVID Winter Grant scheme to help families struggling to afford food, utility bills or other related essentials.

The package of support includes:

  • Funding to children in receipt of free school meals for food during the Christmas and February half term holidays
  • Fianncial support for the Rotherham Food in Crisis Partnership Christmas appeal, which is expected to provide food for 300 families requiring support this Christmas
  • Extend the eligibility for support to purchase school uniforms to more families facing financial difficulties
  • Provide £250,000 to support households in financial need caused by unexpected or unaffordable bills, to prevent them from falling into financial crisis.

Plans to distribute £664,000 to micro-enterprises and small businesses that are mobile or run from home, freelancers and the self-employed will also be discussed.

Council Leader, Cllr Chris Read (pictured above) said: “We want to act quickly to ensure that families and our smallest businesses across Rotherham get some extra support in the run up to Christmas and over the winter months during the pandemic.

“After everything else that’s happened, this shouldn’t be the year to be worrying about the lack of free school meals, the cost of a new school jumper, or an unexpected electricity bill. Hopefully, by using this grant funding quickly, we can ease some of those worries and make sure that every child in the borough has the Christmas they deserve.

View the reports detailing the proposals on the Council’s website.

Rotherham Together’s countdown to Christmas

Minster lights

A packed programme of exciting events are planned this December as part of the Rotherham Together programme.

Events this month include:

Panto in the Wild – your favourite pantomime characters go back to nature.

Letters to Father Christmas – a new postal service providing express delivery to the North Pole.

Community Christmas Spirit – Learn how to make natural decorations then hang them on one of our community trees.

Light & Hope – a stunning light installation on Rotherham Minster.

Download the December brochure or visit the website for details.

Be the One to reach out to someone this Christmas

Be the One

This Christmas is going to be very different for many of us but what has shone through this year is the kindness shown by many people in Rotherham.

The best gift you can give someone this Christmas is the gift of time, so reach out to a friend or loved one. A simple text or call to let them know you’re thinking of them can make all the difference

For information on how you can spot the signs which could lead to someone taking their own life as well as advice and support on how you can help someone who may be struggling this Christmas visit the Be the One website.

Rotherham Toy Appeal

Click the picture above to donate to the Rotherham Toy Appeal

The best gift you can buy this Christmas

This Christmas is likely to be a tough one for many families and children across Rotherham.

Our friends at the Families First charity are once again running their Rotherham Christmas Toy Appeal – and they need our help more than ever.

The appeal sees donated gifts given to parents selected through a referral process, ensuring their children have something to open on Christmas Day.

In previous years, people have been asked to purchase presents whilst out shopping, but this year due to national lockdown forcing non-essential shops to close, it has been harder for the charity to run its traditional appeal. So this year a Just Giving page has been launched for the first time to provide an alternative way to donate.

Last year the appeal supported 1,600 local children. This appeal is something Rotherham can be proud of and by working together we can try to help even more families this year.

Click here to donate to the Rotherham Toy Appeal

‘Rapid and effective’ response for vulnerable children

Ofsted logo

Ofsted inspectors have endorsed the way Rotherham Council has continued to provide exceptional support to children, young people and families during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a letter published by Ofsted today (Friday 4th December), Ofsted said that the service “reacted rapidly and effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic in the early months of 2020” and that “Senior leaders ensured that, wherever possible, the services have continued to respond to need as they would have done prior to the pandemic”.

The report, which followed an inspection of the service in October, went on to say: “”Risks associated with child exploitation are well recognised. This enables children to receive an appropriate level of support and intervention, which has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Social workers work alongside a specialist exploitation team and youth offending services to reduce the levels of risk to children. Child-exploitation assessments seen are completed effectively and reviewed to update levels of risk when required.”

You can view the report on the Ofsted website or read a copy of our press release here.

Cllr Watson- Ofsted