Friday 5 March 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
Back to school covid tests for children and families
The first step easing of national lockdown restrictions begins next week with schools and colleges re-opening to all pupils and students from Monday.
Any subsequent easing of restrictions is dependent on the success of all previous steps going well, so it’s vital we all do our bit to ensure the roadmap to the gradual easing of restrictions is a success.
The Government has announced that some school children and their families will now be able to get tested regularly for COVID-19.
If you are the parent or guardian of a student returning to school or college next week you can collect free rapid lateral flow home test kits from our testing sites at
- Herringthorpe Stadium
- Maltby Leisure Centre
- Dinnington Community Centre
They are open for collection from 1.30-7pmall weekend. More information is available from the Government website.
These tests are for people who have no current symptoms of COVID-19. If you have any symptoms, you should book a test online and self-isolate immediately.
Schools are doing everything they can to make sure the classrooms are COVID safe, but they need your help. Every rapid test you do helps schools to stop outbreaks before they happen and keep other more vulnerable people safe.
Schools are contacting parents directly about arrangements for testing in school and if and when there’s a requirement for face coverings to be worn.
Workplace testing available for Rotherham businesses
Businesses in Rotherham with 50 or more employees can now register their interest in work place testing.
The scheme is open to businesses where staff cannot work at home, such as retail, manufacturing and health and social care companies.
It provides employers to routinely test their workers so that employers can continue to make sure their businesses remain COVID safe for all staff and customers.
Further information is available from our website.
Plan ahead for the journey to and from school
From Monday 8 March there will be changes to local school and college services with many dedicated services reinstated to support the return to school and further education.
If your children travel by public transport to school, it is worthwhile planning ahead before Monday.
You can find out more about local school and college services on the Travel South Yorkshire website.
As social distancing guidelines are still in place and buses are running with reduced capacity. The key advice to remember is:
- Think about how you travel. Try cycling or walking where possible.
- Plan ahead. Check your journey before you travel.
- Leave extra time for your journey. With limited space on board there may be more demand for services at key times.
Dedicated school buses will be running in some areas, they’ll be numbered between 400 and 700 to make it easier to identify them. Those buses will have larger capacity than general bus services under social distancing guidelines and students are asked to try to sit in their year group bubbles where possible.
Passengers aged 11 and over are required to wear a face covering – unless they’re exempt – when using the public transport network, including dedicated school services and while walking through transport interchanges.
Social distancing still critical to reducing Covid spread
From Monday 8 March, there will be some changes to the lockdown restrictions to help facilitate school children going back to the classroom. You will also be able to go outdoors for exercise or for recreation with people from your household, support bubble or with one other person from another household.
Please remember to social distance if you are out and about, even if you are at the school gates or meeting a friend or family member outdoors.
Here is how you can help stop the spread:
- Limit your exercise or recreational time in public spaces to once a day
- Do not car share with anyone outside of your household or support bubble
- Keep 2m away from people you do not live with at all times, including at the school gates and when in the supermarket
- If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and book a test
With the first steps being taken towards easing of Lockdown measures, this is a crucial period and continuing to stick to the rules is our best chance of stopping the virus spreading and of the further lockdown easing going ahead as planned.
The current infection rate in Rotherham is still above the national average and the new variant is more easily spread, so please be cautious. This advice still applies:
- Stay at home as much as possible and work from home if you can
- Wash your hands regularly
- Keep your face covered in public areas and give others space
- Do not mix with people from other households
For the latest Covid-19 data visit https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/
Number of Covid infections at lowest in five months
There were 395 new positive Covid tests in Rotherham in the latest 7-day period, the first time the number has fallen below 400 since October last year.
However, with a significant increase in the number of tests being taken by school staff, children and their families, it is likely that the number of infections being detected in the coming weeks will go up in the coming weeks.
The infection rate for the latest period (up to 27th Feb) was 148.8 cases per 100,000 population, a reduction from 183.1 for the previous week.
For people aged 60 years and over the rate is 101.1 cases per 100,000 population, down from 124.5.
The latest infection rate information is available from the Public Health England Covid data website.
The new ‘Kent variant’ of the virus, which spreads more quickly and easily than the original variant now accounts for virtually all the cases in Rotherham.
If you test positive, or are a contact of someone who does, it is really important that you self-isolate to stop others becoming infected even if you don’t have symptoms.
Consider how you can self-isolate at homeand avoid passing it on to family members. For support to self-isolate, including financial help for lost earnings or help with practical tasks like shopping, visit the Rotherham Council website.
Latest update from Rotherham Hospital
The number of inpatients being treated for Covid-19 in Rotherham Hospital has reduced again this week
On Wednesday the number of Covid inpatients being cared for at the hospital was 47, a reduction from 58 inpatients last week.
Seven patients were in critical care, which is one fewer than last week.
The total number of Covid inpatients since the start of the pandemic is now reached 2,419.
Sadly, a further ten deaths were registered which referenced Covid-19 this week bringing the total number of deaths due to coronavirus in Rotherham to 786 since the start of the pandemic.
Hope Fields opening provides Rotherham Together finale
Hope Fields will create a dedicated place for people to pay their respects to those who have passed, to remember the keyworkers, front line staff, volunteers and emergency services who worked through the Pandemic and create a space for wellbeing where people can recover from the trauma of the previous 12 months.
Download the Rotherham Together programme for March here.
The programme began in September 2020 and has already delivered more than 50 individual activities reaching and combined audience in excess of 200,000 people across the borough and beyond.
To date Rotherham Together has included: a huge a land art mural at Clifton Park (pictured); online discussions led by Black women from Rotherham with the Women of the World who inspire them; a large scale projection of Light & Hope at Rotherham Minster; virtual talks and tours of some of the borough’s most loved venues, targeted and community-led programmes to support people to lead active lifestyles.
See our website for more information about Rotherham Together.