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Friday 9 July 2021

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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Update from the Director of Public Health, Ben Anderson

As with the rest of the UK, the rate of COVID-19 is increasing rapidly in Rotherham with the doubling time now at 7 to 9 days. The current rate is 218.2 per 100,000, which is slightly lower than the UK average, but this perhaps reflects the fact that Rotherham has often been a little behind the national trend throughout the pandemic. The vaccination programme is clearly making a significant difference in preventing many people from becoming seriously ill, but over the next few weeks we are anticipating that the infection rate will increase and will continue to do so into the summer holidays. Inevitably with more cases we will see some hospitalisations and potentially, sadly, deaths.

Whilst the majority of cases are in the 15- 35 age group in Rotherham, over the past week, we have also seen a rise in cases within older age groups. The effectiveness of the vaccine is clear with those who are vaccinated with one or two doses showing milder symptoms and being much less likely to need hospital treatment. However, we know that vaccines aren’t 100% effective and that there are still around 6000 unvaccinated people aged over 50 in the Borough. Rising case rates will see some of these individuals affected.

Overall, there are around 35,000 adults in Rotherham still to be vaccinated with one dose, which leaves a large pool of susceptible people for the virus to continue to circulate in, so we are not through this yet. Both the Hospital and our GPs are hard at work, but they are under significant pressure at the moment. More people catching COVID-19 will add to that pressure. Whilst those yet to be vaccinated tend to be younger there is still a risk of more severe disease and the concern of long-COVID so I want to encourage every adult who hasn’t already had their vaccination to get theirs as soon as possible.

You can get the jab locally by calling Rotherham NHS Clinical Commissioning Group on 0300 3035258. We have also been working with the CCG to organise ‘walk-up’ vaccination centres across the borough where people can attend without appointments. Keep up to date with vaccination information on the CCG’s Facebook page.

Changes coming into force on Monday 19 July 2021

Earlier this week, the Government outlined its five points of living with COVID and set out what the Government will do to manage the risk of serious illness from the spread of the virus. These are:

  • Reinforce the country’s vaccine wall of defence through booster jabs and driving take up.
  • Enable the public to make informed decisions through guidance, rather than laws.
  • Retain proportionate test, trace and isolate plans in line with international comparators.
  • Manage risks at the border and support a global response to reduce the risk of variants emerging globally and entering the UK.
  • Retain contingency measures to respond to unexpected events, while accepting that further cases, hospitalisations and deaths will occur as the country learns to live with COVID-19.

On Monday, the Government is expected to confirm that England will move into Step 4 of the Roadmap. This would mean that from 19 July 2021 changes to the guidance will include:

  • All remaining limits on social contact (currently 6 people or 2 households indoors, or 30 people outdoors) will be removed and there will be no more restrictions on how many people can meet in any setting, indoors or outdoors.
  • All settings will be able to open, including nightclubs.
  • Large events, such as music concerts and sporting events can resume without any limits on attendance or social distancing requirements.
  • All restrictions on life events such as weddings, funerals, bar/bat mitzvahs and baptisms will be removed, including the remaining restrictions on the number of attendees.
  • The legal requirements to wear a face covering will be lifted in all settings. To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, published guidance will advise that wearing a face covering will reduce your risk and the risk to others, where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces.
  • Social distancing rules will be lifted but you should continue to consider the risks of close contact with others, particularly if you are clinically extremely vulnerable or not yet fully vaccinated.
  • It is no longer necessary for Government to instruct people to work from home. Employers can start to plan a return to workplaces.
  • Businesses must not require a self-isolating worker to come to work and should make sure that workers and customers who feel unwell do not attend the setting.
  • In care homes, the Government will lift restrictions that limit each resident to five named visitors. Care homes will need to retain infection prevention and control measures essential to protecting residents from the risk of infection.

Keep up to date with the latest updates at www.GOV.UK/coronavirus.

Grab a jab

Grab a jab is back this Saturday

After the success of Rotherham’s walk-up vaccination sessions, grab a jab returns again this Saturday, 10th Julyat Montgomery Hall, Church Street, Wath on Dearne (8am – 10am)

There’s no need to book, just turn up to get your first dose of the Pfizer vaccine if you’re aged 18 or over and live in the Rotherham borough. If you’re coming down, remember:

  • bring proof of age ID
  • be ready to queue during busy periods
  • have something to eat and drink before you come along

If you’d rather book

Over 44 million people in the UK have had their first dose, with 33 million of those receiving their second dose.  

People who have had both doses of their vaccine are less likely to become dangerously ill from COVID-19.  

If you are 18 years old or over and not had your first dose and are registered at a Rotherham GP practice, we are strongly advising you to book your COVID-19 vaccine.

Call the vaccine booking service on 0300 3035258 (excluding those registered at Swallownest, Thurcroft, Dinnington and Kiveton Park) to get your appointment at a Rotherham site.  

The Rotherham booking line is open:

  • Monday to Friday – 9am to 8pm
  • Saturday and Sunday – 9am to 5pm 

For those registered at Swallownest, Thurcroft,  Dinnington or Kiveton Park surgeries, please send your full name, date of birth, GP practice, contact number and postcode to the secure email address Someone will contact you to arrange an appointment.  

All first dose appointments in Rotherham over the coming weeks will the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Latest from Rotherham Hospital

Rotherham hospital at night

There has been a slight increase in the number of inpatients being treated for COVID-19 with 6 people being in Rotherham Hospital on Wednesday morning, with 1 in critical care. 

Since the start of the pandemic, Rotherham Hospital has treated 2,609 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and safely discharged a total of 1,926. 

Add regular rapid testing to your training routine!

If you’re heading for an exercise class, for your weekly swim, or having a session at the gym, you can now collect lateral flow tests from Wath, Aston and Rotherham Leisure Centres. All you need to do is ask a member of staff at reception for your test kits.

Lateral flow tests are rapid tests that you can do at home. They only take 30 minutes and give you the reassurance that you are not spreading the COVID-19 virus. If you test positive on a lateral flow test, you will need to order a lab – or PCR – test to confirm the result. You will also need to self-isolate.

Go to for more info

Free school meal vouchers extended this summer

Almost £1m worth of vouchers will be provided to 10,000 children eligible for free school meals this summer holiday as the Council extends support to families on low incomes.

Continuing the provision made throughout the last four school holidays to families who are struggling in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, the council is providing £90 supermarket vouchers for each child to cover the six-week break. The money is roughly equivalent to the cost of providing a child with a free meal at school.

The food vouchers can be redeemed at local supermarkets and will be provided to 10,802 pupils from 119 schools across the borough, totalling £970,785 in funding (two schools are closing for five weeks only).

The Council has chosen to make the provision by using the government’s Covid Local Support Grant.

Read more here

Thank You day

Thank You Day

On Sunday 4 July, the UK celebrated Thank You Day. Throughout the day we shared a number of videos and messages of thanks from residents to others in the community.  

If you missed the videos, you can find them on our YouTube channel. We’ve put them in a playlist to make them easier to find.

Watch our videos

If you know someone who has made a big difference to your lives over the last 18 months, it’s not too late to join in! Post your own messages of thank you on your social media channels by using #ThankYouDay and #ThankYouRotherham.