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Friday 23 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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Covid infections at highest level since pandemic began

Covid infections in Rotherham are now at their highest level since the start of the pandemic – a stark reminder that the virus remains a serious threat to public health.

The infection rate today stands at 573.5 per 100,000 people. Prior to this week, the previous peak was during the second wave in October 2020, when it reached 537.3 per 100,000.

Although local rates are still the lowest in South Yorkshire and 89th highest nationally, this is worrying, especially with the number of Covid patients in Rotherham Hospital increasing significantly in the last week, from 14 on 14 July to 38 as of today.

More than 70% of Rotherham residents are now fully vaccinated, without which, we know the number of seriously ill people being admitted to hospital would have been worse.

All of us – vaccinated or not – can play a part in reducing the risk of infections by making covid safety part of our daily routine. These are the some of the simple things we can all do, every day:

  • Wear a face covering in busy places, indoor venues and on public transport
  • Always use the hand-sanitiser provided when you’re shopping or socialising and wash your handswhen you get home
  • Try and keep a reasonable distance away from other people when you’re out and about, especially indoors, in shops or at work
  • If you have visitors, keep windows and doors open as much as possible to let air through or sit outside if the weather is good
  • Test yourself regularly – lots of venues are now providing free test kits, including libraries, pharmacies and leisure centres. Always self-isolate at home If you test positive, start to get symptoms or are instructed to do so by NHS Test and Trace.

New Messages July 19

A message from Ben Anderson, Director of Public Health

Ben Anderson, Rotherham Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “During the previous peak in infections, many restrictions were in place to reduce social contact and curb the spread of the virus. The vaccine has had a huge impact in reducing transmission and serious illness of course, but with few formal restrictions now in place and the highly contagious Delta variant accounting for virtually all new cases, there are still a lot of simple things we can all do as part of our everyday routine to protect ourselves, our families, our workplaces and the NHS.

“Perhaps most importantly of all, please get the vaccine when you can. If you’re unsure, for whatever reason, speak to your doctor, pharmacy or any medical professional. More than 70% of residents in Rotherham are now fully vaccinated and much less likely to get seriously ill from Covid-19 or catch it in the first place.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility to do all they can to support each other. The freedoms we have now have been hard won by people acting responsibly and making covid safety part of their daily routine. As we learn to live with the virus we will continue to need to adopt some of these measures, especially while local case rates remain high. Let’s keep it up and keep moving forward together.”

Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions

Steep increase in Rotherham Hospital covid patients

Rotherham hospital at night

Rotherham Hospital has seen a steep increase in the number of patients it is treating for Covid-19.

Since 14 July, the number of Covid patients has increased from 14 to 38, as of today.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Hospital has treated 2,657 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and safely discharged a total of 1,951. 

Visiting Rotherham Hospital?

Angela Wood, Chief Nurse at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We understand that outside things have changed, however in healthcare settings, including the hospital, we are still following national infection prevention and control guidance. This means our staff are still wearing surgical masks, and they will also wear PPE when appropriate.

“We ask that anyone using our healthcare services also wears a face covering. We are caring for vulnerable and immuno-suppressed patients and we are following this guidance to keep the environment as safe as possible for them.

“As well as wearing a face covering, we ask that people continue to follow social distancing and hand hygiene while using our services. Our visiting restrictions also remain in place. Our website will be kept up to date with the latest restrictions, which are being regularly reviewed.” 

The Covid vaccine – your views

Covid vaccine

Rotherham Council is conducting a survey to find out more about local attitudes towards about the COVID-19 vaccine.

If you’re aged 18 to 65, we are interested in your views, regardless of whether you have accepted/taken the vaccine or not.

If you have had the vaccine, how was the experience, did you have any doubts or were there any barriers you had to overcome?

If you haven’t had the vaccine, what is it that’s preventing you, do you need extra information or support or do you plan to never have it?

The survey results will help us to understand how best to support residents during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the future. All responses you provide are anonymous.

Complete the survey on our website.

Great Big Rotherham to-do list

Click the image to download the great BIG Rotherham to-do list

The great BIG Rotherham to-do list

Rotherham people found countless ways to keep going through the upheaval of the past 15 months and many discovered inner strengths they didn’t know they had. For experts in wellbeing, this new-found resilience isn’t a surprise!

We have made the effort to do lots of new things because of COVID, which has made us more resilient to stress, such as being physically active, learning something new, helping others or just pausing to reflect.

To help us all keep up good habits, we asked residents to share the things which helped them feel happier and healthier.

We used these to create The Great Big Rotherham To-Do List: an illustrated guide to inspire everyday moments of calm, kindness, fun and fascination, because little actions can make a big difference to how we feel today, and our ability to adapt and cope when times are tough.

A free copy of the Great Big Rotherham To-Do List is available in this week’s Rotherham Advertiser – or download and print your own copy here.

Stay safe. Stay out of the water.

Stay safe in the sun and in the water

The weather over the last few days has been glorious, but as school children break up for the summer and more people are going on holiday in the UK, it’s important to remember to take care in the sun.  

Currently, as Covid-19 cases increase across the country, the amount of pressure on the NHS and emergency services is mounting. This means that there are longer waiting times for A&E services, ambulance response times are increasing, and some low priority appointments are being cancelled. 

We can all work together to help reduce this pressure on our care services by being safe in the hot weather.  

Here are some tips: 

  • Avoid going out during the hottest part of the day (11am-3pm) 
  • Sit in shaded areas 
  • Drink lots of water to keep hydrated 
  • Wear sun cream, and cover your head with a hat to protect it from the sun 

Open Water Safety 

While it may be tempting, it is important that you stay away from open water during the hot weather. This includes rivers, reservoirs, and lakes.  

It may be warm on land, but under the surface of the water it can be very cold. There are also strong currents under the surface of the water which can pull even strong swimmers down.  

You must not swim in these waters. If you do want to go swimming or paddling, go to a lifeguard manned venue such as a leisure centre. There are also various children’s water play areas in Rotherham, including at Clifton Park.  

If you, or someone you are with, happen to fall into the water, you should follow the Water Safety Code. 

  • Do not go into the water to rescue the person 
  • Throw a life ring or buoy to person in the water 
  • Call 999 immediately 
  • Float on your back to save your energy 

Further information is available on the Royal Life Saving Society’s website.

Summer events schedule

Click the image to download

Outdoor Summer events in Rotherham

Rotherham Council’s events team has lined-up a wide range of outdoor events right across the borough.

The Summer Programme has been made possible through funding from the ‘Welcome Back Fund’. The Welcome Back Fund provides councils across England a share of £56 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the safe return to high streets and help build back better from the pandemic.

To ensure Covid safety, all events are ticketed to limit attendance and ensure Covid safety. You can book using the Rotherham Theatre website or find out more on the RMBC Events Team Facebook page