Friday 29 January 2021
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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Further information is available from www.rotherham.gov.uk/coronavirus
New financial support for people asked to self-isolate
No-one should be unable to self-isolate because they are worried about money.
Rotherham residents who face financial hardship due to lost earnings because they are instructed to self-isolate can get help from a new Council support package.
The local scheme, which launched on Monday (25 January), is providing financial assistance to many people who fall outside the Government’s national scheme, with the intention that anyone who needs to self-isolate and who would otherwise lose income as a result, is entitled to cash support.
Crucially, it is hoped that the scheme will incentivise people worried about the financial consequences of not being able to work, to do the right thing.
Under the local scheme, a payment of £250 will be made to people who have:
- Been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test & Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
- Started a period of self-isolation on or after the 25th January 2021.
- Have not been able to access the Government’s self-isolation support payments or discretionary payments.
- Are employed or self-employed; and
- Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.
Click here for further information and to make an application.
To apply, you will need the unique NHS Test and Trace ID number they have been allocated for their application.
The scheme is available for people who have been instructed to self-isolate since 25 January and cannot be applied retrospectively to people who started self-isolating prior to that date.
The Council has allocated a total of £100,000 for the scheme initially, which will allow for up to 400 claims to be paid.
New Covid variant continues to increase
This week the infection rate for the borough has seen a slight increase, despite lockdown and stands at 287.9 cases per 100,000 (for the 7-days to 23 January).
Whilst the number of old variant cases has been falling, the estimated number of new variant cases is still increasing, which is preventing a fall in the overall rate.
The new variant is more transmissible, so for every case, it is more likely to be passed on to more people. The current estimate is that more than half of positive cases in Rotherham are likely to be the new variant.
As the new variant inevitably becomes more common, it is even more important that everyone does what they can to keep safe.
Always make sure you:
- Maintain a good social distance
- Wash your hands regularly, especially while you’re out and when you get home
- Wear a mask in indoor or busy public places
- Stay at home where possible.
It is really important that you arrange to get tested if you are displaying any Covid-19 symptoms.
If you test positive, or are a contact of someone who does, self-isolate to stop others becoming infected.
Consider how you can self-isolate at home and avoid passing it on to family members.
Residents who would like to find out more information about how many cases of Covid are in their local area can find out the latest daily statistics on the Government’s data website.
New location for Rotherham test site
A new Covid-19 test site will be opening at Herringthorpe Stadium in February.
This follows the current closure of the Forge Island test site and will allow future development work on the new multi–million–pound cinema and leisure complex at Forge Island.
The Herringthorpe Stadium site offers residents who may need to travel from other areas of the borough, good transport links and car parking spaces.
Separate access to Herringthorpe Stadium running track will be maintained – . with further details released when lockdown restrictions are eased.
The site will be run by Deloitte on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care on a six month license, with a review of operations after three months.
An exact date for the opening of the new facility will be confirmed in due course. In the meantime, good Covid testing capacity remains available at the former bus station site on Midland Road, in Maltby and in Dinnington.
If you have Covid symptoms book a test or arrange for a home test kit either by calling 119 or going online to www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
Covid update from Rotherham Hospital
On Wednesday this week, the number of inpatients being treated for Covid-19 in Rotherham Hospital was 102, of which 10 were in critical care.
This brings the total number of inpatients who have tested positive since the start of the pandemic to 2,153.
Sadly, a further 24 death registrations this week referenced Covid-19.
The total number of death registrations mentioning Covid-19 in Rotherham since the start of the pandemic is now 714.
Beware Covid vaccine scams
Residents are being warned to be aware of current scams circulating via text and email about Covid vaccinations.
The NHS will never ask for bank details to book your vaccination and appointments will not be sent via email.
All invites for COVID-19 vaccination appointments will be via phone call, text message or letter.
NHS Rotherham CCG is continuing to vaccinate large numbers of people within the high priority groups.
As the vaccination programme expands, people are being provided with an additional option to book vaccination appointments via an online booking system. It is your choice if you wish to use this additional option for booking online. If you do not wish to use the online booking form, you will still be contacted via phone call or letter.
Rotherham residents who have mobile phone number registered with their GP practice may receive a text message from ***GP SURGERY*** that will contain a unique link directing you to book.nhs.meto book your vaccination when it is turn to be vaccinated.
You will only receive the booking text message from ***GP SURGERY*** if you have a registered mobile number with your GP Practice.
You will only receive an invite for your COVID-19 vaccination when it is your turn.
You will only be able to book an appointment for yourself. The link included in the text message is unique to you. The system will not allow anyone to use the same link to book an appointment for themselves.
The NHS COVID-19 vaccination text message will sent from ‘GP SURGERY’ contain the following:
Mr / Mrs / Miss / Ms XXX [Your Forename / Surname]
Name of GP Practice
Primary Care Network [PCN] Signature
Once you have booked your appointment, a confirmation text message will be sent to your phone.
Of you do not have a mobile number registered with your GP, don’t worry. The vaccination booking centre will call you to book your appointment when it’s your turn. Please DO NOT ring your GP Practice for a vaccine appointment.
Getting to your vaccination appointment
If anyone needs support in getting to and from vaccination appointments, Rotherham Community Transport is providing transport for people who have no means of getting there. Anyone who needs transport should call 01709 517100 once they have their appointment time and location.
View the Vaccine FAQs on the NHS Rotherham CCG website for further details.
Enforcing Covid restrictions in Rotherham
Since the first lockdown in March 2020, officers from Rotherham Council have undertaken extensive work around the enforcement of covid restrictions, aiming to provide both reassurance and advice, along with more formal enforcement action when required.
Operational working until midnight, seven days a week has been underway since April 2020, with joint shifts on Friday and Saturday nights, alongside South Yorkshire Police.
Further daily joint patrols with South Yorkshire Police, particularly focusing on self-isolation and compliance of businesses in key areas have also taken place.
During this period, 600 covid enforcement related actions have been taken in Rotherham, which include formal warnings issued to 105 businesses and 381 individuals, 48 closures and prohibitions of businesses, and 10 fixed penalty notices issued.
Details about the lockdown restrictions are available from the Government website.
See the Council’s website for how to contact the Enforcement Team to raise any concerns about businesses you think may be contravening the restrictions.
Support for older people during the pandemic
AGE UK Rotherham is continuing to support older people during the pandemic.
Services include a regular friendly phone check and virtual clubs to reduce loneliness and isolation whilst family or friends can’t visit.
If you know of any older person who may benefit from support, please encourage them to give AGE UK Rotherham a call on 07782 550 926.
They also offer a free and confidential telephone information and advice service on Monday to Friday (9am to 4pm) by calling 01709 835 214 (choose option 2). Further information on the AGE UK Rotherham website.