Friday 11h December 2020
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.
If you do not wish to receive these updates please click on “unsubscribe” at the bottom of the page.
Further information is available from www.rotherham.gov.uk/coronavirus
Rotherham is in Tier 3 – Very High restrictions are currently in place.
Infection rate for today (7-day all age positive case rate relating 5th Dec) is 185.7 cases per 100,000 population, down from 197.4 for 7 days to 28th Nov.
We continue to see a fall in the infection rate across the borough however, this fall has significantly slowed and the rate remains high.
It is possible that it could rise very quickly again if we do not remain focused on keeping ourselves and our friends and families safe in the run up to and over the Christmas period.
The rate of infection in Rotherham for those aged 60 years and over is 215.4 per 100,000, which is higher than the overall rate. As these people are at greater risk of becoming more poorly if infected, it is even more important that we try to keep these people safe and that they seek a test if they feel at all unwell.
Last week 498 people in Rotherham tested positive for Covid. This is still a large number of people and there are still a lot of people in hospital with coronavirus.
Sadly, a further 18 deaths were registered in Rotherham this week with Covid mentioned on the death certificate bringing the total number of deaths in the borough mentioning Covid-19 to 530.
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.
Government officials are due to meet on 16 December to review what tier each area should be allocated.
Decisions will primarily be based on five key indicators:
- Case detection rates in all age groups
- Case detection rates in the over 60s
- The rate at which cases are rising or falling
- Positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken)
- Pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy.
You may have seen in the national news that the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is beginning to be rolled out to healthcare workers and at-risk groups.
The NHS is leading on what is a huge and complex undertaking.
We are asking that people across the borough remain patient.
Please, do not call the Council or your local GP to ask about the vaccine.
You will be contacted by your GP when the vaccine is available to you.
Jill lost her husband to COVID-19.
She is now urging everyone to follow the guidelines and to take the virus seriously.
You can watch Jill’s COVID Story here
You can form a ‘Christmas Bubble’ between 23 December and 27 December 2020.
A Christmas bubble means that a household can link with one or more members of another household during the Christmas period, allowing people to see loved ones that they might not have been able to be around over the last few months.
You should only link with up to two other households over the whole Christmas period – not, for example, a different household each day. You cannot be a member of more than one Christmas bubble. So choose who to spend time with carefully!
Two households who have already formed a support bubble will count as a single household.
If you develop any symptoms of coronavirus, you must get a test.
The sooner you find out if you have coronavirus, the more support you can receive.
There are three walk-through test sites across the borough including Forge Island in Rotherham town centre, Dinnington Resource Centre, and Maltby Leisure Centre.
There is also a drive-thru test site at Midland Road where you will not need to leave your vehicle for the test.
Alternatively, you can ask for a home test kit which is delivered to your door and is returned by posting in your local priority post box.
You can book your test online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ or by calling 119.
The Council’s Cabinet has agreed a package of support to make sure families and small business get the support they need over the Christmas period at an emergency meeting.
Plans to distribute over £1million from the COVID Winter Grant scheme to help families struggling to afford food, utility bills or other related essentials were passed at a special Council meeting this week.
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 were also agreed.
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.
Grants are available to support Rotherham businesses that largely rely on the hospitality, accommodation, leisure and entertainment sectors for business-to-business trade, and which have therefore suffered a significant loss of income due to COVID restrictions.
Applications to the Supply Chain Support Scheme must be made by 17 Dec 2020.
Payments will be based on the rateable value of the business, or rental value for those businesses not registered for business rates.
Also, if you run a small business from home, or from mobile premises, you’ve been affected in any way by Covid-19, and you haven’t been entitled to financial support from the government so far – you may be entitled to a new grant.
The Council’s local scheme will mean these businesses – as well some people who are freelance or self-employed – can receive grants of £500, which may be increased if the available funding is not claimed in full.
Claimants do not have to have been forced to close due to Covid-19 restrictions, simply to demonstrate that Covid or the resulting government restrictions have had a significant direct or indirect impact on their finances.
We want to make sure that all businesses that have been affected get the support they need. If you think your business is eligible you can apply at https://www.rotherham.gov.uk/covid-business-grants