Nationally, the infection rate is 350 per hundred thousand, but in West Northamptonshire it is 436, so there is work still to do. Vaccination rates are high, but there are still some hard to reach groups. The basic message is that even though mandated restrictions are gone, the simple public health message – Hands, Face, Space – still needs to be observed and promoted.
Rules on face coverings are being updated in England from 30th November 2021
The public and staff in public facing areas will be required to wear face coverings in these settings from 4am on 30 November 2021:
- shops and supermarkets (places that offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
- shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
- auction houses
- post offices, banks, building societies, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses
- estate and letting agents
- premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (barbers, hair salons, tattoo and piercing studios, nail salons and massage centres)
- premises providing veterinary services
- retail galleries
- retail travel agents
- takeaways without space for consumption of food or drink on premises
- public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams, buses, coaches and ferries), taxis and private hire vehicles
- transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
- any car or small van during a professionally delivered driving lesson and practical driving test
- during all HGV lessons and tests, during all professional driving lessons and formal driving tests, and during any practical test for giving driving instruction
Beware of COVID Pass FRAUD -
We have been advised by our partners that over recent months, cross-sector agencies have detected a significant increase in scams relating to the COVID Pass to steal money, financial details and personal information.
Spread the word, not the virus
Cases of Covid are rising across the county, by getting both jabs you reduce the chance of being hospitalised by over 92%. This NHS video features young Covid patients talking about their experiences of suffering from serious Covid-19 and developing Long Covid, and the experience of Doctors and frontline staff treating them: https://youtu.be/XEwwcIs6aH4. "In hindsight I wish I had taken the jab when I was initially offered it. I now understand that it would have likely reduced my chances of ending up in hospital or given me a stronger chance of fighting it off. I would take that in a heartbeat" – Quincy, 31. Book an appointment or attend a drop-in centre if you have not had your vaccine yet. You can book a vaccination at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ or find a walk-in centre at https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-walk-in-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-site
Free Temporary Membership for NHS COVID Vaccine Appointments
Towcester are door 2 door (TADD) are offering free temporary TADD membership to residents who have difficulty arranging transport to their NHS COVID vaccine programme appointments. The passenger will only have to pay the driver the cost of the journey at the HMRC rate of 45p per mile.
Should you know of anybody in the community who may need to make use of this service please contact TADD using the online contact form and they will get in touch.
They cannot accept applications by telephone.
More details about TADD including the area covered, price list, membership and how to become a volunteer driver are available on their website.
A useful graphic following the news of our area going into Tier 2.
I am writing to you directly, as we enter the winter period, to inform you of the current situation relating to Coronavirus in Northamptonshire and specifically the areas in which you live. I'm also hoping to share some key tips to help you and your families stay safe during the winter period and how to access support if you need to self-isolate, if you become unwell, or if you require help with shopping, medication or loneliness.
We are currently seeing the largest rise in cases in Northamptonshire since the first national lockdown. Positive cases range across all age groups, but significantly are largest in the age groups from 10 to 59. We know that these age groups are amongst the most sociable, go to school, university or work, and may be involved in the care of others, children and/or older people.
Worryingly, we are also seeing a rise in cases amongst those aged over 60. This age group is the group that are most likely to become severely unwell should they get Coronavirus, they may need to stay in hospital and sadly, as we are starting to see once again, more of this age group are likely to die from the virus.
Transmission can easily spread within families, especially where children and parents mix with grandparents and particularly in indoor settings. Whilst we recognise the importance of social interaction, we would recommend that if you have to work with or care for someone who is older or more vulnerable, or if you ordinarily mix with grandparents, that you consider reducing your social contacts elsewhere, or move your interactions with those older, more vulnerable contacts to an online format where possible during the winter period.
The introduction of recent national lockdown guidance will help us to reduce community transmission of the virus. Community transmission is where the virus spreads in households with people mixing in indoor spaces in particular. We would recommend that where anyone enters your home, or you theirs, for example for childcare purposes, that everyone wears a face covering, maintains a two metre social distance, and keeps interactions as short as possible. Continue to wash your hands regularly and clean any surfaces or contact points such as door handles, cupboard handles and taps.
If you have any concerns about whether you may have COVID19, how to get a test, how to get more support for someone who is vulnerable or the current guidance and what you can and cannot do, visit the County Council website. https://www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/coronavirus-updates/Pages/default.aspx
We all need to work hard to ensure that case numbers reduce in our local area, to ensure that we keep the people we love safe, and so that we can return to a more normal way of living as soon as possible when the national measures come to an end. We are all in this together and all of our actions contribute to the outcomes we face. Let's continue to work together, to wash our hands regularly, to wear our face coverings and to keep two metres from others.
Director of Public Health, Northamptonshire County Council
Northamptonshire's Community Resilience hub continues to provide support for the most vulnerable.
The countywide Community Resilience hub was set up at the start of April to help those needing support or assistance during periods of isolation or for those who are vulnerable. As we enter a second national lockdown period, the Local Resilience Forum wants to reassure residents that support is available for anyone who needs it.
The local Coronavirus support line which is run by Northamptonshire County Council continues to provide support for anyone who requires help with accessing food, medication or for those who are lonely.
District and Borough Council teams continue to provide localised support in communities, working together with the County Council to ensure that those in all areas of the county can access the help they need.
Although shielding has been paused, people on the new Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) list will be written to shortly. This letter will confirm that they are on the CEV list. Residents who don't receive a letter but believe that they should be on the list can register here https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support.
Northamptonshire County Council's Community Resilience team plan to phone individuals on the CEV list to make sure that they are aware of the ongoing support that is available.
Those that are self-isolating or have been told to through the local test and trace system can also use the service to get support.
Self-isolation can be a challenging time and many residents will have their own support networks; friends, family and neighbours. We would encourage residents to use those local networks where possible so that the support on offer from the Community Resilience hub can go to those who are most in need or those without their own support networks.
The Community Resilience hub continues to work on plans to escalate support if required. Voluntary organisations connected through the Northamptonshire Emergency Response Corps are also ready to step back up if required.
Volunteers and voluntary groups that were set up at the start of the pandemic, have continued to work tirelessly in supporting and engaging with their communities. They will be supported with more regular communications throughout the lockdown period.
Councillor Matt Golby, Leader of Northamptonshire County Council said: "As we enter a second national lockdown period, it is important that we continue to support those who are most vulnerable in our local communities. "The pandemic has developed a real sense of community spirit across the Country and I would urge people once again to look out for neighbours, friends and family. Maintain contact by telephone or online calls and do use the helpline if you have no other support and need assistance. Together, we will get through this."
Residents who require additional support can call the coronavirus helpline on 0300 126 1000 option 5 from Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.
Notes to Editors COVID-19 Guidance or the CEV group can be found below: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/clinically-extremely-vulnerablereceive-updated-guidance-in-line-with-new-national-restrictions
- · This briefing has been issued on behalf of the Northamptonshire Local Resilience Forum.
- · Media enquiries should to be sent to: email@example.com
Community Food Larder - Free Weekly Food Boxes
Roade Community Larder is now back up up and running every Tuesday afternoon distributing FREE weekly food and produce boxes to people adversely affected by the current Covid-19 lockdown.
If you or anyone you know is struggling to get enough food please get in touch with the Parish Clerk on 01604 861976 (Monday - Friday 10am - 12pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register for a free food box.
Eligibility includes people who are self-isolating or shielding, those on a reduced or low-income, and people unable to get to the shops due to ill health or disability.
The food is donated by supermarkets and producers and would otherwise go to landfill.
The scheme is supported by charities SOFEA/FareShare, SNVB, Grand Union and also by Northampton ACRE and Roade Parish Council.
Test & Trace Support Payment
This is a genuine government scheme
It is now a legal requirement for those testing positive for COVID-19, or those identified by NHS Test and Trace as a contact of someone with the virus, to self-isolate for 14 days.
On 20 September, the Government announced a new national Test and Trace Support scheme. Under the new scheme, payments of £500 will be available for residents who have received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, providing that their period of self-isolation started on or after 28 September 2020. The scheme will run until 31 January 2021.
If you have been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period
Simply complete the online application form (link below), which covers both the Support Payments and Discretionary Payments. South Northamptonshire Council officers will then assess your eligibility.
If you are unable to complete the online form, please contact SNC on 01327 322322 and they will complete the form on your behalf.
Before you start making your application please make sure you have the following information:
• a copy of your latest bank statement (one issued within the last two months which must clearly show proof of earnings);
• proof of self-employment e.g., recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns;
• proof of your NHS Account ID for coronavirus COVID-19 or;
• proof of the Account ID you have received from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate • your National Insurance Number.
NHS Covid-19 app
The new NHS COVID-19 app is now available to download for free in England and Wales, it is the fastest way to see if you're at risk from coronavirus. The faster you know, the quicker you can alert and protect your loved ones and community.
The app has a number of tools to protect you, including contact tracing, local area alerts and venue check-in. It uses proven technology from Apple and Google, designed to protect every user's privacy.
The Parish Office now has a QR poster displayed, so when visiting if you're using the NHS app please scan it to check in.
More information: https://covid19.nhs.uk/
Mental Health Support
Coronavirus - Guidance for better mental Health
Keep Active and well at home during Covid-19
The lockdown period has ultimately meant that we are all having to adjust to a new way of working, with many of us now spending a lot more time at home.
Activities that we would have accessed during the week are either cancelled or moving online, meaning our sense of routine may be feeling a little off.
While the situation can be frustrating at times, there are things you can do to make your time at home enjoyable and take care of your physical and mental wellbeing.
There is an abundance of online resources which we would encourage you to take advantage of. South Northamptonshire Council's Healthy Communities team has also been working hard to find alternatives for some activities that would normally be taking place.
They have updated there webpages to include a range of resources to help people keep fit and active while staying at home, which includes resources from our Leisure Centres which are providing on-line classes whilst physically shut. They also have information on local walks and cycle routes and local arts and craft opportunities. There are also links to local food producers, many of who are operating delivering services to customers during the lockdown.
Advice for Parents
Volunteer card/Voucher Scheme
The Co-op, ASDA, Sainsbury's and M&S are offering a volunteer card/voucher scheme. These can be purchased online by residents who are self-isolating and given to their family, friends or volunteers who are helping them with shopping. These are available to purchase online so won't be an option for all our residents. However, it's a good way to safeguard both residents and volunteers where possible as these are cashless transactions and avoid the need to share bank cards/details etc.
More details can be found on the supermarket websites:
The Co-op's card can be accessed via a dedicated phoneline on 0800 029 4592
In addition, schools have access to a voucher scheme for pupils who access free school meals get a £15.00 voucher per week to reduce costs of providing for their child whilst they are at home. See: https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2020/04/17/fr ee-school-meals-covid-19-faq/
Are you struggling to buy food due to money problems? Many people are facing a serious drop in income during the covid 19 crisis. Self employed people and those on zero hours contracts are just some examples but there are many more. Others have financial issues not related to covid. Perhaps there has been an unexpected expense or a delay in benefits payments. If you are having any form of financial trouble we may be able to help you.
Please phone the SNC Money Advice team on 01327 322107 and ask for a Towcester Foodbank e-voucher.
You may get an answer phone but they will get back to you. You will be asked a few simple questions about your circumstances, so that they can complete an e-voucher, which will then be sent to the foodbank.
You will be given a phone number and a reference number and told how to arrange a delivery of your food. All deliveries are made by people who have been DBS checked. They will not enter your home.
If you are NOT having money problems but want other forms of assistance such as help with shopping, collecting medicines or just a friendly phone call, you should contact the parish council on 01604 861976 or email at email@example.com
Towcester Foodbank is part of Britain's biggest foodbank network, The Trussell Trust which is aiming to end food poverty.
Charity commission number 1110522
Anglian Water Priority Register
Anglian Water has asked parish councils to advertise the fact that some residents, including those people who are self-isolating due to Coronavirus can register for free, additional practical support from Anglian Water's Priority Services. Some of the ways being on the Priority Services Register could help include help with reading the water meter, a knock and wait service where Anglian Water will wait longer for the door to be answered when visiting, and a scheme to protect people from bogus callers and scams.
Registration is quick and easy! To find out more about Priority Services and to sign up call Anglian Water on: 0800 919 155 or visit https://www.anglianwater.co.uk/.
Alongside Anglian Water, other Water and Energy providers offer a Priority Service.
If you think you may need extra help during an interruption to supply or a power cut due to being medically dependent on electricity, elderly or disabled or if you have specific communication needs, contact your provider to find out how they can assist you.
Statement from our Chairman, Cllr Lorne Murray
Firstly, I would like thank everyone for your amazing support in responding to our requests for help with supporting our older and more vulnerable residents in our village. The Parish Council has been delighted at such a huge response.
We have a list of those who have reached out for help and Alison, our clerk, has already begun to match up our volunteers to those who require help. Please continue to let us know if you are in need of any practical help or support. We are issuing lanyards with name tags to each volunteer so that you know that they have been approved by the Parish Council.
As I am sure you will appreciate, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Alison, our clerk has been inundated with telephone calls and emails. Please be mindful of this as Alison may not be able to respond or reply to you straight away. Whilst we appreciate the amount of calls simply to say 'thank you' it adds to the time taken to respond to other more urgent matters.
Unfortunately, some of the calls coming in are to express concern about neighbours/other residents not adhering to the government's advice to 'stay at home', for example, this is where some children either on their own or with parents are playing in the play areas that have been closed on government instructions. Again, I would ask that everyone respects this decision and therefore not allow their children to use the play areas – (rec, churchcroft, village hall or Chaplin's play areas) until we are able to reopen them. This will only be when the government advises us that it is safe to do so. We have also had reports of a large group of older teenage boys walking together around the village and in the rec. I know both primary and secondary schools are providing work for our children and are being supported through various online platforms by their teachers to help them.
I have spoken to the police and they have informed me that they will be patrolling in Roade with particular visits to our play areas. The police now have the power to issue a £30 fine to anyone out and about who cannot justify or give a reason for doing so.
We are also receiving calls about people not complying with the social distancing rule. The Parish Council cannot enforce this rule and whilst we share your concerns, it is up to us all to ensure we keep ourselves and our families safe.
Thankfully, so far, we have had no reported cases of anyone in Roade who has contracted the virus, which is why it is even more important to be pulling together, to ensure the village remains virus free.
We are an amazing community, let's all continue to work together in a positive way by supporting each other and following the government's advice.
On behalf of my fellow councillors,
Cllr Lorne Murray
Chairman, Roade Parish Council.
Thank you for all offers of help
The Parish Council have received emails, phone calls by an overwhelming amount of people offering their services to volunteer, whether it be to be a friendly voice at the end of a phone, help with food shopping, posting letters or collecting perscriptions. The response has been amazing and we've received more offers to help than people asking for help. This shows what a fantastic community Roade really is.
Some volunteers have already received their Identification, and are asked to wear this when supporting vulnerable residents within the community. If you haven't received your identification yet, we'd like to say thank you for your kind offer of support and will contact you and provide the identification should your help be required in the future.
Bus passes now valid 24 hours a day
In conjunction with most local bus operators, Northamptonshire County Council have agreed to extend bus concessions, making bus passes valid for 24 hours a day.
This will enable our elderly and most vulnerable residents to get to where they need to be including the supermarket for essential supplies. Further information is available on their website:https://www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/councilservices/northamptonshire-highways/buses/bus-passes/Pages/default.aspx
Coronavirus Support line Launched
Northamptonshire County Council have also launched a new support line to support the most vulnerable members of our community. The new support line - which can be reached on 0300 126 1000 (Option 5) - allows those who cannot leave their homes under current restrictions and those who have nobody to call upon for help, to request support in getting access to food, prescriptions and other vital services that they require. There are a large number of people across Northamptonshire who are currently in isolation for various reasons. These include individuals displaying symptoms of Coronavirus and those with existing health conditions, those who are pregnant or those aged 70 and above.
The Customer Service Centre at Northamptonshire County Council will be managing the helpline, ensuring that each call is appropriately triaged so that individuals receive the care and support that is appropriate to their needs. The Community Resilience Service will co-ordinate requests for help in conjunction with the District and Borough Councils, mapping those requests by area and linking them up with local community groups, volunteers and voluntary organisations who have pledged their support
Those requiring help are asked to call the support line on the following number: 0300 126 1000 (option 5)
For more information on Northants County Council Website click here
Home Support App To Help Victims of Crime During Social Distancing
Voice for Victims and Witnesses - the free, confidential support service for victims and witnesses of crime in Northamptonshire - is today releasing the Voice Home Support Hub app, to help people cope and recover from the effects of crime during social distancing.
The app is available for download now, for free, here…
The lockdown measures imposed to help stop the spread of Covid-19 have, for many, resulted in a loss of routine structure and traditional social networks that people rely on for support following traumatic experiences. This can have a profound effect on an individual's ability to recover from crime, especially at a time when latent anxiety is prevalent in many regarding the health of themselves, friends and family.
Voice - which is still operational and supporting people by phone and online during social distancing - has therefore created its Home Support Hub application to help breakdown these barriers to recovery by providing practical information on how to stay physically and mentally healthy during social distancing. The app details elements such as how people can improve their sleep pattern or harness their creativity to help their recovery journey.
Although created for those recovering from trauma, the Voice Home Support Hub contains practical advice for anyone struggling with their mental health during this period of isolation.
Anyone who has been a victim or witness of crime in Northamptonshire can access Voice, regardless of when the crime took place, and regardless of whether they have reported anything to the police or not. Support is free and confidential. Call 0300 303 1965 or visit voicenorthants.org.
Find out more about Voice here…
Online Safety For Young People
As the vast majority of young people are being schooled online, they are spending a significant amount of time on the internet. The internet is amazing tool but it does expose young people to some risk.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Agency's (CEOP) education team have designed some amazing resources, designed at helping parents and carers have conversation about internet safety, suitable for a range of ages.
The resources can be found here…
Volunteer to help those in need
Are you free to volunteer to help someone in need due to the coronavirus pandemic? Perhaps you're part of a group that already provides help in the community?
In addition to the Government's volunteer scheme for people to help the NHS, NCC is co-ordinating a local effort along with other councils and partner organisations for people to help their community.
They want to hear from you if you can volunteer or if you represent a community group that needs extra volunteers in the coming weeks and months.
Details on the NCC website here…
Please ensure that social distancing of 2 meters is adhered to when walking around the village, visiting the open spaces, post office and village shops.
Further information/advice can be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus