https://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/coronavirus – for up to date information
Tier 4 –
As the old (probably apocryphal) Chinese curse states, we are living in interesting times. While we can see the light at the end of the tunnel with multiple vaccines on the way, we are by no means out of the woods yet.
People’s behaviour is central to the spread of coronavirus. The Christmas period is a time when many people usually engage in activities which are currently considered high risk for transmission of coronavirus, and in some cases are against current legislation.
Reducing the amount of contact by meeting others less often, for shorter amounts of time or in smaller groups will help to keep the risk of transmission lower. What this means for us in the coming weeks is changing how we do things.
- Christmas shopping – this is an activity which generally means moving around in crowds, which isn’t a good idea now. We can reduce the risks from shopping by taking easy steps:
- Shop in different ways, for example, use home delivery/click & collect. Many local businesses offer these services, so support them when you can.
- Be prepared –making a list before heading to the shops makes your visit easier.
- And remember when you are around the shops, wear a face covering if you can and keep your distance from others.
- Socialising – this time of year typically sees an increase of people socialising, and often in larger groups. Large gatherings, especially indoors, are a high risk for spreading coronavirus. This year, the safest way to socialise is virtual. Having office quizzes or family get-togethers online can be a good substitute (or may even be preferable) to a crowded venue. If people from different households are meeting up, then:
- Do it outdoors – whilst we’re in Tier 2 this is the only option anyway, but even if the restrictions lift, being outdoors will still be a much lower risk for transmission.
- Keep groups small – we’re currently working to the Rule of 6 for meeting up outdoors. Smaller groups = smaller risk.
- Celebrating – The immediate Christmas period is traditionally a time for families to gather. Again, having larger mixed household groups indoors is a high-risk activity. The government is planning to ease restrictions between 23 – 27th December to allow for Christmas Bubbles. If you are planning to meet up with family and friends during this time, then the risk will increase for everyone meeting up. Some easy steps to try and minimise this are:
- Do as much outside as possible, weather permitting. Being outside is a much lower risk.
- If indoors, keep windows and doors open – having fresh air flowing through will help.
- Be especially careful if you have any vulnerable people at your gathering. Social distancing should still be followed.
- Ask everyone in the Christmas bubble to keep household mixing to a minimum before your gathering, so that there is less chance of you bringing the virus in with you.
- Keep mixing to a minimum after the event too in case the virus was anywhere in your gathering.
- Try not to travel at peak times (23rd and 27th likely to be busy days) which can help avoid crowds at any stops you need to make – and avoid potential traffic jams.
Using common-sense is going to be so important over the coming weeks. Just because we can do an activity doesn’t mean that we should. Something being allowed by law doesn’t make it low risk, so we need to be sensible to protect ourselves, our friends and family.
Think of Others:
Christmas can be a lonely time particularly for those on their own, or those caring for a family member they live with. Perhaps a knock on their door and a Happy Christmas wish will help their feelings of loneliness and/or isolation.
If someone you know is on their own for Christmas, an invitation to share time with your family at Christmas is a lovely thought. Don’t be offended if it is turned down. Everyone must do what they feel is right for them.
This has been a difficult year for young people too. Try to encourage them not to remain in their rooms on the computer for too long on Christmas Day by having activities they will enjoy and have fun with.
Young people can meet with their friends over Christmas outside getting some fresh air. Perhaps they can use your garden to do this.
People experiencing isolation and loneliness can come across as irritable and unfriendly. Be patient. It doesn’t mean they are, just that they may not know how to accept kindness.
If you live alone and have no-one to spend Christmas with, perhaps there is a neighbour who is in the same position. Why not ask if they would like to spend some time together with you – taking care and socially distancing
If you live alone, think of the things you enjoy – eating, drinking, activities you like doing or programmes you like watching on TV – and make a plan for your Christmas Day, doing the things that make you smile.
Most importantly, stay safe this Christmas and remember it is OK for you to do what feels right for you.
Advice to give to make Christmas Safer.
- Don’t make Covid-19 your gift to parents and grandparents
- Consider seating arrangements – leave a space if possible
- Wearing a visor gives you protection and you can share your smile
- Drink sensibly – don’t lose your inhibitions
- Invite friends and family to join you for Christmas lunch via Zoom, FaceTime etc
- Go for a walk, it lifts your spirits
- Knock on the door of someone on their own and wish them a Merry Christmas
- Phone someone on their own and wish them Merry Christmas
ABOVE ALL STAY SAFE
Finally: Please remember those who cannot access the internet, Facebook and all the things we take for granted. Make a special effort in your parish to see they get the same information we so readily get, but which is unreachable by them
Coronavirus is here in west Norfolk – and on the rise
We’ve all got to play our part: Stay home as much as possible
Protect ourselves, protect each other, protect west Norfolk
West Norfolk, let’s keep the people we care about safe
We’ve all got to play our part: Don’t meet friends or family indoors
Protect ourselves, protect each other, protect west Norfolk
West Norfolk: let’s stop Coronavirus spreading
We’ve all got to play our part: Only meet outdoors with one person from another household
Protect ourselves, protect each other, protect west Norfolk
Love West Norfolk? So do we. Let’s keep it safe
We’ve all got to play our part: Stay safe outdoors
Protect ourselves, protect each other, protect west Norfolk
West Norfolk: let’s keep our families, friends, and neighbours safe
We’ve all got to play our part: Minimise contact with others
Protect ourselves, protect each other, protect west Norfolk
We’re in this together west Norfolk
We’ve all got to play our part: Just buy what you need
Protect ourselves, protect each other, protect west Norfolk
Covid cases are on the rise in west Norfolk
We’ve all got to play our part: Only make essential journeys
Protect ourselves, protect each other, protect west Norfolk
Coronavirus cases are increasing in west Norfolk
We’ve all got to play our part: You must self-isolate at home if you have symptoms / someone close to you tests positive / you test positive
Protect ourselves, protect each other, protect west Norfolk
Coronavirus postcode checker: https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-local-restrictions
Local COVID alert levels: what you need to know: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-levels-what-you-need-to-know
Local restrictions: areas with an outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19): https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-restrictions-areas-with-an-outbreak-of-coronavirus-covid-19
Coronavirus Latest Information, Advice and Useful Links (Updated 13 May 2020)
Special Edition: UK Government’s Coronavirus Recovery Plan
This is a very fast-moving situation and our focus right now is on delaying the spread of coronavirus and ensuring our services are responding well. This is clearly hugely important and requires all of our attention.
Following the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on Sunday night, the government has now published its plan for rebuilding and recovering from the coronavirus.
Given the importance of this plan, and the number of announcements and guidelines which have followed, this special edition of the briefing aims to bring together the latest information and key messages for the public for our elected members.
|UK Government’s Coronavirus Recovery Plan|
|The Government has published a roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the coronavirus crisis. The document describes the progress the UK has made to date in tackling the coronavirus outbreak and sets out the plans for moving to the next phase of its response to the virus. The strategy sets out a cautious roadmap to easing existing measures in a safe and measured way, subject to successfully controlling the virus and being able to monitor and react to its spread. The roadmap will be kept constantly under review as the epidemic, and the world’s understanding of it, develops. Below provides a summary of the key steps outlined in the Plan. Step One (Comes into effect on Wednesday 13 May 2020): For the foreseeable future, workers should continue to work from home rather than their normal physical workplace, wherever possible. People who are able to work at home make it possible for people who have to attend workplaces in person to do so while minimising the risk of overcrowding on transport and in public places.All workers who cannot work from home should travel to work if their workplace is open. Sectors of the economy that are allowed to be open should be open, for example this includes food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in laboratories. Food retailers and food markets, hardware stores, garden centres (from Wednesday 13 May) and certain other retailers can remain open. As soon as practicable, workplaces should be set up to meet the new COVID-19 secure guidelines.When travelling everybody (including critical workers) should continue to avoid public transport wherever possible, but where they are using public transport social distancing should be followed rigorously.Government is advising that people should aim to wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they do not normally meet, for example on public transport or in some shops. People may exercise outside as many times each day as they wish. You can also sit and rest outside – exercise or recreation can be alone, with members of your household, or with one other person from outside your household, while keeping two metres apart at all times.People may drive to outdoor open spaces so long as they respect social distancing guidance while they are there. Vulnerable people should continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their households. Those in the clinically extremely vulnerable group are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact. *The content and timing of the second and third steps will depend on the most up-to-date assessment of the risk posed by the virus. Step Two (Will come into effect no earlier than Monday 1 June 2020) A phased return for early years settings and schools. The Government expects children to be able to return to early years settings, and for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to be back in school in smaller sizes, from this point. Secondary schools and further education colleges should also prepare to begin some face to face contact with Year 10 and 12 pupils.Opening non-essential retail. Further guidance on the approach expected on the approach taken to phasing, including which businesses will be covered in each phase and timeframes involved. All other sectors that are currently closed, including hospitality and personal care, are not able to re-open at this point because of the higher risk of transmission.Permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact.Re-opening more local public transport in urban areas, subject to strict measures.The Government is also exploring options to allow those who are isolated some more social contact, and to reduce the most harmful effects of the current social restrictions, while continuing to limit the risk of chains of transmission. Step Three (Will come into effect no earlier than 4 July 2020) Open at least some of the remaining businesses and premises that have been required to close, including personal care (such as hairdressers and beauty salons), hospitality (such as food service providers, pubs and accommodation), public places (such as places of worship) and leisure facilities (like cinemas). These businesses must meet the COVID-19 Secure guidelines.Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to re-open safely at this point, or may be able to open safely only in part. Nevertheless, the Government will wish to open as many businesses and public places as the data and information at the time allows.In order to facilitate the fastest possible re-opening of these types of higher-risk businesses and public places, the Government will carefully phase and pilot re-openings to test their ability to adopt the new COVID-19 Secure guidelines.|
|Stay Alert To Stay Safe|
|In his statement to the nation on Sunday 10 May, the Prime Minister stated that everyone’s actions have helped to reduce the transmission of coronavirus in our communities, and that as the UK moves to the next phase in our fight against coronavirus, the most important thing we can do is to “stay alert, control the virus, and in doing so, save lives”. In line with the announcement, the Cabinet Office has now published guidance on staying alert and safewhich clearly set out the new rules that come into force on Wednesday 13 May (as set out in Step 1 of the Government’s Coronavirus Recovery Plan outlined in the previous section). The new ‘Stay Alert’ messaging reiterates the existing messaging for the public to: stay at home as much as possible work from home if you can limit contact with other people keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart wherever possible). wash your hands regularly Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms. Frequently Asked Questions: The Cabinet Office FAQ document on what the public can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak has also been updated to reflect the new rules and changes which come into force on Wednesday 13 May. For example: Can I meet my friends and family in the park? You can meet one other person from outside your household if you are outdoors. Public gatherings of more than 2 people from different households are prohibited in law.Does easing restrictions apply to healthy 70 year olds and over? The advice for those aged 70 and over continues to be that they should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household.How long will shielding be in place? We’ve advised individuals with very specific medical conditions to shield until the end of June and to do everything they can to stay at home. This is because we believe they are likely to be at the greatest risk of serious complications from coronavirus.|
|The Government has produced guidance to help people understand how to travel safely during the coronavirus outbreak in England. It provides guidance for walking, cycling, using private vehicles (for example cars and vans), and travelling by taxis and public transport (for example trains, buses, coaches and ferries). Key messages in the guidance include: by working from home where possible and shopping less frequently and shopping locally. if you can as this will reduce pressure on the public transport system and the road network. If you can, wear a face covering if you need to use public transport. when you walk or cycle, for example when approaching or passing other pedestrians or waiting at crossings and traffic lights, and when on public transport.|
|Staying safe outside the home|
|The Government has published guidance that sets out the principles the public should follow to ensure that time spent outside of home is as safe as possible. It asks the public to adopt the principles set out in the guidance wherever possible. The government is also using these principles as the basis of discussions with businesses, unions, local government and many other stakeholders, to agree how the principles should apply in different settings to make them safer. The public are asked to act to lower the risk of transmission of the virus. This includes: (2 metres apart wherever possible) and avoid being face-to-face with people outside your household *The Government has now advised the public to consider wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces such as shops, trains and buses to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. Guidance is available providing instructions on how to wear and make a cloth face covering.|
|Education, schools and settings|
|As part of national social distancing measures to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Government limited the numbers of children and young people attending educational and childcare settings, to ensure that pupils and staff attending could do so safely. That is why, since 23 March 2020, education and childcare settings have only been open to priority groups (vulnerable children and children of critical workers). Throughout this period, the work and dedication of critical workers has been crucial to our country. The Government anticipate, with further progress, that we may be able, from the week commencing 1 June 2020 welcome back more children to early years, school and further education settings. This will only happen if the five key tests set by government justify the changes at the time, including that the rate of infection is decreasing and the enabling programmes set out in the Roadmap are operating effectively. As a result, the Government are asking schools, colleges and childcare providers to plan on this basis, ahead of confirmation that these tests are met. New guidelines outline the next steps for the phased wider opening of educational and childcare settings. The Department for Education has published an FAQ document for parents and carers about the wider opening of nurseries, schools and colleges, transport, attendance, free school meals and remote education. [INFO TO BE INCLUDED FROM CS]|
|Going safely back to work|
|The Prime Minister announced that all workers who cannot work from home should travel to work if their workplace is open. The government has stated that sectors of the economy that are allowed to be open should be open, for example this includes food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in laboratories. Food retailers and food markets, hardware stores, garden centres (from Wednesday 13 May) and certain other retailers can remain open. Workplaces should be set up to meet the new COVID-19 secure guidelines. The Government has published guidance for employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating safely from Wednesday 13 May. The announcement is available here. This sets out steps for businesses focused on 5 key points, which should be implemented as soon as it is practical: 1. Work from home, if you can – All reasonable steps should be taken by employers to help people work from home. But for those who cannot work from home and whose workplace has not been told to close, our message is clear: you should go to work. Staff should speak to their employer about when their workplace will open. 2. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions – This guidance operates within current health and safety employment and equalities legislation and employers will need to carry out COVID-19 risk assessments in consultation with their workers or trade unions, to establish what guidelines to put in place. If possible, employers should publish the results of their risk assessments on their website and we expect all businesses with over 50 employees to do so. 3. Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible – Employers should re-design workspaces to maintain 2 metre distances between people by staggering start times, creating one-way walk-throughs, opening more entrances and exits, or changing seating layouts in break rooms. 4. Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk – Employers should look into putting barriers in shared spaces, creating workplace shift patterns or fixed teams minimising the number of people in contact with one another, or ensuring colleagues are facing away from each other. 5. Reinforcing cleaning processes There are 8 sector-based workplace guidance documents now available under Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance. As part of the announcement, the government has made available up to an extra £14 million for the HSE, equivalent to an increase of 10% of their budget, for extra call centre employees, inspectors and equipment if needed. Digital products, that can be used to raise awareness of the announcement, have also been published.|
|Other national announcements|
|Furlough scheme extended – The Chancellor has announced (12 May) that the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October. Furloughed workers across UK will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500 a month. From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff. The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month. Funding for food aid charities – The government have announced that those that run a front-line food aid charity can apply for a grant of up to £100,000 to help them to continue to provide food to the vulnerable. Further information on this fund can be found here.|
|Additional local information|
|New bereavement service – dealing with bereavement during this difficult time has become even harder. In response to this, the Norfolk Resilience Forum has set up a pro-active approach offering extra support to those who have lost a loved one. From this week, Norfolk County Council, in conjunction with the Working Together Partnership, will offer anybody who is calling to book an appointment to register a death a 30-minute bereavement support call. This new initiative aims to help people, who due to Covid-19 restrictions, have not been able to visit hospitals or care homes, or to travel to say goodbye to loved ones or to fulfil the funeral arrangements, as they would have wanted to with their friends and family. The calls will be made by trained members of the County Council’s Library and Information Services and offer the opportunity for people to be supported by having a sympathetic, listening ear. Once the call is complete, the caller may be referred, if needed, for ongoing, longer-term support from a bereavement organisation. It will also be possible to defer counselling to when a person is ready to receive the bereavement service.Use of PPE by voluntary services – The use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is an important element of infection control in clinical and health care settings and the government have provided very clear advice on when and where it is appropriate to use it. Whilst there has been understandable focus on the need to make sure PPE is provided to those that need it, we must remember that the most effective ways we can all limit the spread of the virus is to reduce contact with others to only the essential tasks in line with government advice, where this cannot be avoided keeping your distance (2m) as far as is possible, as well as implementing hygiene measures, both environmental cleaning and personal hygiene. Government advice is clear, we should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE to protect against COVID-19 outside the prescribed circumstances. The demand on PPE is currently high, so it is important that we support the governments call to reserve PPE, including face masks for those who need them such as health and social care workers. Most voluntary activities, such as delivering food or other supplies, or befriending services, can be carried out in a safe way maintaining social distancing and good hygiene practices. PPE is not required or recommended. Where voluntary organisations are undertaking roles that mean they need PPE, such as working in an adult care setting, they have access to the emergency Resilience Forum stocks in the same way as other organisations.PPE in schools – Comprehensive guidance on PPE has also been made available to schools. Whilst schools are responsible for sourcing their own PPE, as with any other resources, NCC will be making centrally sourced stock available to schools, in recognition of the difficulties and high cost in procuring adequate supplies.|
|Trusted sources of information|
|The most recent verified data on cases in the UK and Norfolk is available from Public Health England here.Everyone has a key role in promoting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus and www.gov.uk/coronavirus as trusted sources of information to the public. It is really important to ensure people go to the right sources of information and keep up to date with how to look after themselves. PHE is addressing common questions on its Public Health Matters blog.Keep up to date: We have a dedicated webpage for coronavirus updates in Norfolk, and impacts on Norfolk County Council services. This is updated regularly so please do re-visit this page.The latest information on the government response can be found here.|
Information updates: 26.4.20
Information updates: 16.4.20
Information updates: 10.4.20
NEWS RELEASE – 4TH APRIL 2020
Stay at home, save lives, protect our NHS
It is essential that people stay at home, especially this weekend and over the Easter weekend. Please help us to remind people of the vital importance of this and reiterate the ‘stay home, save lives, protect our NHS’ message.
Following the Government’s announcement, the Coronavirus lockdown guidelines are that you must not leave your house except to:
- Shop for essentials, as infrequently as possible
- Receive medical treatment or provide care
- Travel to and from work, if it’s impossible to work from home
- Exercise outdoors once per day, alone or with household
Remember when out of your house, stay 2m away from other people and wash your hands as soon as you get home
Everyone must comply with these measures.
Here are this week’s latest updates:
Waste and refuse teams in west Norfolk are working to new advice on social distancing. This will affect collections from week commencing 6 April 2020. Garden waste collections (brown bins) will be reinstated from next week but food waste will only be collected with black bin collections and not green bins.
Also, due to smaller waste teams, the collection team will need to combine the food caddy waste with the black bin waste, and it will not be processed separately in the normal way. It will not be possible to collect side waste or garden waste that has been bagged. Please feed any excess garden waste into your brown bin over the next couple of collections.
We would ask if people could assist this situation by being very careful about not overbuying their perishable foods to avoid waste, and by getting creative with leftovers to reduce waste and their need to go the shops. For more tips visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com.
Residents are reminded to practice safe hygiene and to wash their hands thoroughly after they take the bin out and when they return it to their property.
Bin service changes can be found here: https://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/yourbins or by following their social media channels.
The Government has announced a package of support including for small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. This support will take the form of two grant funding schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, both of which are administered by the borough council. This week we have paid out the first of those grants to local businesses, totalling a sum of £6.955m by close of play today (3 April 2020). The first grants were paid to businesses on Tuesday, 31 March. A total of 578 businesses have now received grants of either £10,000 or £25,000.
Anyone that hasn’t yet registered for one of the above grants should go to the webpage https://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/coronavirus and click on business assistance page to check their eligibility for a grant and to complete the online verification form. It is important that businesses don’t miss out on support to which they could be entitled. Further information about support for businesses from the government is available by going to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
Business Rates Relief
Under the Expanded Retail Discount Phase 1 – an additional £5,602,791 has been awarded and a further 404 accounts included in the scheme – Revised bills and letters have gone out to business automatically.
It is important to support the many key workers as identified by the Government and the borough council is introducing free parking for key workers in priority car parks in King’s Lynn and Hunstanton. With effect from 2 April 2020, key workers are able to park in Austin Fields East – near the sorting office, and the upper deck of the Vancouver Quarter car park – Sainsburys, King’s Lynn, and the Central car park in Hunstanton, free of charge. If you are a key worker, all you need to do is get a document or card from your employer with the following on: your employer’s logo, confirmation that you are a key worker as set out in the Government’s guidance and an authorised signatory. This should then be placed on your dashboard. This will be in place for the duration of the current stay home arrangements announced by Government last week. If the initial three-week period announced by Government is extended, then this parking arrangement will be extended for as long as necessary. Any key workers that currently have parking permits will be credited for the period that this arrangement is in place, so that they also benefit from the free parking.
More information is here: https://west-norfolk.gov.uk/keyworkerparking
In addition, a simple parking permit has been made available to ease the way for health workers, and community volunteers, who are helping people across Norfolk. County, city, borough and district councils have all come together to create the new permits which will allow free parking on-street and in council run car parks for key workers and community volunteers helping people across Norfolk. Outside of Norwich people can apply online for the new COVID-19 Response Permit by providing a photo of their work id badge or proof they are registered with the NHS scheme if they are a community volunteer. The new permit will allow free parking in all council run car parks, in on-street pay and display bays, permit parking and time limited waiting bays. However, to ensure vital spaces will still remain available, and roads accessible for emergency services, the new rules will not apply to disabled parking bays, loading bays, car club spaces and double yellow lines. Initially permits will be valid for three months, however this will be extended if necessary. To find out more, and to apply for a permit, visit: www.norfolk.gov.uk/freeparking.
Thanks to the help of a host of local businesses the hub has now been established and the first food parcels are going out to our most vulnerable residents. The call centre has been set up on behalf of Norfolk – the number is 0344 800 8020. The lines are open 9am -5pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 4pm for emergencies only on Saturday and Sunday. The calls are then triaged and directed to the place that can help those people the most.
Here in west Norfolk calls are referred to our Lily service which has a well-established network of support. They are provided information on their website which includes a list of local businesses and organisations that can offer assistance to those that can’t leave the house but are able and willing to pay for services and deliveries, leaving the team able to help those most in need.
All residents should have or will shortly be receiving a letter so that those who are isolated by not on the shielded list can get in touch and seek help if they need it.
The staff in the hub are also dealing with outgoing calls to everyone on the shielded list to ensure they are getting the assistance they need. Feedback has been very good so far, and staff are going over and above to ensure that they help is available for everyone that needs it. We will be doing a Press Release on this next week.
The Government announced a £500m hardship fund which will allow those of working age in receipt of Council Tax Support to receive a £150 grant reduction on their council tax.
More news is expected next week about this.
We know this is a difficult and worrying time for everyone and that for many finances are becoming increasingly stretched. Anyone who is struggling to pay their council tax should get in touch to see how we can help, by telephoning 01553 616200, option 2, to discuss further.
The Crematorium (including book of remembrance room and remembrance gardens) is closed to members of the public except immediate family when they are attending a funeral. Full details of the impacts on the crematorium can be found here: https://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/coronavirus
If you have any businesses in your area that are able to provide deliveries of groceries, sanitary products, cleaning products, or baby products (nappies and formula), for people who are isolated and unable to leave the house, but able to pay, please ask them to get in touch with us and we will help promote them on the askLily website. Please ask them to email email@example.com with their name, what they can provide, and how people can contact them.
Dog Mess Bins
We apologise but the regularity of collections of dog poo bins has reduced due to pressure on our services in these unprecedented times. People can bag their dog poo as normal and place it in their black bin at home.
Grounds maintenance and street cleansing
As a council we are pooling all our resources. Our priority is refuse and cleansing services, along with closing play areas and installing appropriate signage for the safe use of open areas and allotments. It is important to maintain some level of grounds maintenance in order to provide a clean and safe environment for those who are doing their daily exercise. However, staff working on these duties are on alert that at any time they could be redeployed to other duties and grounds maintenance will be reduced or stopped. Staff have been instructed to ensure they maintain social distancing at all times, please respect this.
If you have play areas in your parish that have not been closed, please make sure they are closed, and that appropriate signage is put in place. A copy of the sign we have produced is attached for your use.
The Government asked all local authorities to find suitable accommodation for homeless people in shelters and hostels to enable them to self-isolate properly. All those identified have now been relocated to alternative accommodation where they have their own room and are able to follow social distancing guidance. They are also being provided with welfare support, three meals a day, toiletries and will soon be provided with clothing bundles. This was no mean feat and would not have been achieved without the support of partners in west Norfolk providing assistance. The Purfleet Trust have worked with the council and Alive West Norfolk to ensure the safe accommodation of 26 people.
The Winter Night Shelter and the Purfleet Trust Day Centre are now closed. Anyone homeless needing assistance should contact the council on 01553 616200 (option 4 then option 1) during office hours or 01553 616601 outside office hours. If you are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, please let the council know as soon as possible.
With many more people now working from home, we are keen to encourage everyone to be respectful of their neighbours, for example, by keeping noise levels down or not having bonfires which may be disruptive. We would ask too that people look out for neighbours – safely – who may not have anyone checking on them.
There are many, many frontline and keyworker staff who are undertaking enormous efforts to keep services running, right across the borough council and in other organisations. We are extremely grateful to everyone who is making a difference for our community at this time and we are keen to shine a light on these efforts wherever possible.
Alive West Norfolk staff have already opened their doors to provide activities and care to enable key workers at the NHS and the council to continue to provide essential duties. This has really helped many people who are working so hard to care for all of us.
We are aware that there has been an increase in the number of people seeking Universal Credit. If anyone has any concerns about Universal Credit, for example being sanctioned if they can’t attend an appointment due to self-isolating, please contact the with an enquiry about Universal Credit can call their enquiry line 0800 328 9344.
Borough Council service impacts
All of our service impacts can be found here: www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/coronavirus
Please remember our council offices are no longer accepting visits from the public. People can contact us through Live Chat on our website, or by calling us on 01553 616200. Anyone needing to provide documents can post and drop these into the letterbox which is emptied daily.
If you require specific information about any of the issues raised in this update, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Useful contacts and information Business Support
- The government advice for businesses is available here: https://gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
- The Growth Hub from the New Anglia LEP offers free, expert advice for any business in Norfolk and Suffolk and the advisers are able to signpost employers and employees to details of the new Government support schemes. They’re a valuable additional resource. Please call them on 0300 333 6536 or email email@example.com
- You can follow @newanglialep and @angliahub for tweets with links to the latest Government guidance and
The best places for health advice are:
- NHS – https://nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- Public Health England – https://gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
Norfolk County Council
- A single dedicated web page is being developed and details of this will be shared once it is ready. In the meantime the Norfolk County Council website is a useful and trusted resource: https://norfolk.gov.uk/care-support-and-health/health-and-wellbeing/adults-health/coronavirus
- We know that there are many people keen to help out at this time which is very much welcomed. If you are able to volunteer some of your time to assist others in your community, we really need your help. If you are a business and can help with services, vehicles or other resources, we would love to hear from you, as together we really can make a difference. Individuals who want to volunteer should
- If any groups have set themselves up in your village or parish, please encourage them to get in touch with the Lily team at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can support each other through this. They may be able to assist the group with help, advice and support, and the group may be able to help individuals that are referring through the countywide helpline. Anything you can do to promote this would be very helpful.
03 April 2020
Support for Queen Elizabeth Staff
During these unprecedented times it is amazing to see how the community has pulled together to support one another during this period.
Alive West Norfolk is wholly owned by the borough council and as such Alive employees have been redeployed to help with the community effort by caring for Queen Elizabeth hospital staff children, allowing them to concentrate on the brilliant jobs they are doing caring for us all.
Alive Lynnsport has opened its doors for free to Queen Elizabeth Hospital staff providing Activity Clubs for children aged 5-14 years old. Clubs run 8am-6pm 7 days a week including school holidays and bank holidays. Alive staff are keeping children entertained with a range of activities including sports, fitness, arts and crafts, video games and films. The children are being split into small groups and social distancing guidance is being followed. As part of this service Alive are also providing free meals, drinks and snacks to the children.
This service is proving very popular with 227 places booked over the Easter break already. There are still places available, so if you are a member of QE staff and need free help with childcare please to contact email@example.com for more details.
Cath Castleton, Human Resources Director at Queen Elizabeth Hospital said: “We have been bowled over by the response from our local community and the support both individuals and organisations are giving us. Alive West Norfolk’s childcare sessions, along with other extremely generous offers of childcare, have allowed many of our staff to carry on working to deliver the best care for our patents. We would like to thank everyone who has rallied round. Knowing we have the people of King’s Lynn and the surrounding area firmly behind us has helped us all during these challenging times.”
Neil Gromett, Managing Director of Alive West Norfolk said: “I would like to thank all of the Alive team especially the gymnastics team for their enthusiasm and commitment for caring for these children. Knowing your children are safe, happy and well cared for is such a relief. The feedback we have had from parents has been heart-warming. This is just one of the things Alive is doing to help the community at this time. We have frozen all membership payments as well as all other regular payments including swimming lessons and gymnastics payments for peace of mind for our customers.”
While it is fantastic to see what is being done locally to support our key staff it is also brilliant to see such efforts are also being carried out county wide.
Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, Deputy Leader of the borough council and cabinet member for Culture, Heritage and Health said: “I am so proud to see how our staff are working together to provide help for key workers at this important time. We are all working hard to ensure we protect all of those in our community, particularly those who are most vulnerable. The efforts being made across Norfolk to pull together and help one another is testament to what a special place this is to live and work”.
Cllr Stuart Dark Portfolio Holder for Emergency Planning / Response to Covid 19 said: “The council is working tirelessly to ensure local communities and businesses are protected at this time. Please follow government advice to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
Stay at home
– Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
– If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
– Wash your hands as soon as you get home
– Do not meet others, even friends or family.
You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.
Coronavirus – how you can help yourself and the NHS (23 March 2020)
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. This update provides you with information on what you can do to look after yourself, your family, your community and the NHS. Please share it with your family, friends and community.
- Keep yourself up-to-date with the latest information
Visit nhs.uk/coronavirus for the latest information, including guidance on what to do if you have symptoms of coronavirus, advice on staying at home and what you can do to avoid catching and spreading the virus.
- Use the NHS App to order repeat prescriptions
Owned and run by the National Health Service, the NHS App is the simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet. Right now you can help the NHS by downloading the app and using it to order repeat prescriptions – it’s easy to do.
- Let your GP practice help you safely
Routine non-urgent services in the NHS could well come under pressure as a result of the coronavirus, and so the NHS is preparing a number of practical solutions to effectively respond to this outbreak.
If you have an appointment booked at your GP practice, or if you book one online, then they may call you to make sure that you see the right person in the right place for your illness. Your GP practice may encourage you to make use of more telephone and online appointments. Each practice will come up with slightly different arrangements depending on local needs and circumstances.
This is not something to be concerned about, but is being done as a precaution to help protect patients, staff and the public. You can help by following the advice of your GP practice.
- Visit your hospital’s website if you have an appointment or want to visit someone
Our hospitals are also making changes to how they care for people, this includes having more appointments over the phone and by using video calling, as well as changing how and when people can visit patients. These changes are being made to protect patients, staff and the public.
Visit your hospital’s website if you have questions about your appointments, procedures or visiting the hospital. Alternatively, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn has set-up dedicated phone lines for people to call:
The number for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital phone line is 01553 214545.
- Use the online 111 coronavirus service
It is really important that people use the online 111 coronavirus service if they can – people should only call 111 if they cannot get help online.
People should use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- they feel they cannot cope with their symptoms at home
- their condition gets worse
- their symptoms do not get better after 7 days
- Keep active and well
If you’re stuck at home because of coronavirus, or your normal activity has been cancelled, it’s still important to stay as active as you can. Even a small amount of activity will have a positive impact on your physical and mental health, and there’s plenty you can do at home – visit Active Norfolk and One Life Suffolk for some ideas to keep you moving.
It’s important to take care of your mind as well as your body. There are lots of tips and advice on the Every Mind Matters website about things you can do to help you keep on top of your mental wellbeing and cope with how you may feel while staying at home. Make sure you get further support if you feel you need it.
The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust will also be updating their website every Wednesday at midday with new information, resources and materials. They’re active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (#NSFTjoinin) too.
- Look after each other
The most immediate form of help you can provide to your community during this time is to look out for vulnerable neighbours. If you want to support a neighbour who is self-isolating, you can use one of these postcards to tell them that you’re available. Information about helping others and staying safe if someone offers you help can be found on the Norfolk County Council website.
- Stay at home advice
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home if you have either:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.
Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.Use the 111 coronavirus serviceInformation:
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
How long to stay at home
- if you have symptoms of coronavirus, you’ll need to stay at home for 7 days
- if you live with someone who has symptoms, you’ll need to stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in the home started having symptoms
If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.
Read our advice about staying at home.
How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus (social distancing)
Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
- only travel on public transport if you need to
- work from home, if you can
- avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
- avoid events with large groups of people
- use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
- do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family
Advice for people at high risk
If you’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, there are extra things you should do to avoid catching it.
- not leaving your home – you should not go out to do shopping, visit friends or family, or attend any gatherings
- avoiding close contact with other people in your home as much as possible
Who is at high risk?
You may be at high risk from coronavirus if you:
- have had an organ transplant
- are having certain types of cancer treatment
- have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
- have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
- have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections
- are taking medicine that weakens your immune system
- are pregnant and have a serious heart condition
If you’re at high risk, you will be contacted by the NHS by Sunday 29 March 2020. Do not contact your GP or healthcare team at this stage – wait to be contacted.
How coronavirus is spread
Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.
Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.
It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.
If you’re pregnant and worried about coronavirus, you can get advice about coronavirus and pregnancy from the Royal College of Obstretricians and Gynaecologists.
There are some countries and areas where there’s a higher chance of coming into contact with someone with coronavirus.
If you’re planning to travel abroad and are concerned about coronavirus, see advice for travellers on GOV.UK.
Treatment for coronavirus
There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.
Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.
Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.
You’ll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered.