Residents Urged to Stay at Home
Wigan Council issued a renewed call for residents to follow our Stay Home, Be Kind message following the rise in the North West’s R number, which stood at 1.01 on Friday. Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, and Liverpool City Mayor, Steve Rotherham, issued a joint letter to the Prime Minister to share their concerns. Although some lockdown measures have been eased in the last few weeks, the council is still be encouraging our borough to stay at home as much as possible, only traveling for essential journeys and to follow health advice around handwashing. Professor Kate Ardern also spoke live on BBC Radio Manchester this morning about why we are following this latest advice and what it means for our borough. You can more here https://wigan.gov.uk/News/Articles/2020/June/Rise-in-R-number-prompts-call-to-Stay-Home-Be-Kind.aspx
New Task Force to Protect Care Homes
A social care task force has been launched to reduce Covid-19 infections in care homes and protect them as lockdown is eased. All care home residents and staff are now eligible for testing. The Care Quality Commission figures show that deaths in care homes have fallen by 79 percent since the peak of the outbreak. We are continuing to support our homes across the borough with many staff still redeployed to help those who need extra support
Council buildings, including the life centres and town halls, are still currently closed to members of the public. We are looking at how we can safely reopen and will keep you updated
Covid-19 Impact Survey
A reminder that new Covid-19 impact survey is now live, which will be promoted this week – and throughout the next two months – to residents and staff to encourage as many people as possible to have their say on how their priorities and behaviour have changed: www.wigan.gov.uk/covidsurvey
UK Travel Quarantine Rules
New rules come into effect today requiring all people arriving in the UK to self-isolate for 14 days. People arriving by plane, ferry or train – including UK nationals – will have to provide an address where they will self-isolate and face fines of up to £1,000 if they breach the rules
Treatment for Coronavirus Patients Approved for NHS use
Following clinical trials, an anti-inflammatory drug – dexamethasone – has been approved for use in UK hospitals for COVID-19 patients who require oxygen, including those on ventilators. The trial showed the drug significantly reduced the risk of death for patients who required oxygen as a result of COVID-19. Funded by the UK government, via the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Oxford University UK RECOVERY trial is the first clinical trial anywhere in the world to show a treatment provides significant impact in reducing patient mortality.
Sick Pay for Care Workers
Local care workers who test positive with COVID-19 will receive full sick pay while they self-isolate. As part of the initiative from the council, care workers will also receive backdated sick pay for COVID-19 related sickness absences. Previously, carers were only entitled to the government statutory sick pay, but thanks to careful financial planning and utilising the government’s infection control fund, the council has developed a scheme to ensure this funding shortfall is met.
Free School Meals
The Government has announced a new £120 million voucher scheme- the ‘Covid summer food fund’- so children eligible for free school meals in term-time in England will now get a six-week voucher to support them during the summer holidays. The decision follows a campaign from Manchester United player Marcus Rashford, who had called on the government to extend the scheme through the summer holidays.
Wigan council have regularly undertaken and reviewed risk assessments across all of our parks, greenspaces and buildings to ensure the appropriate measures are in place to keep our residents and workforce safe before fully opening to the public again. Following the risk assessment reviews, all council-owned golf courses, bowling greens, playing fields, tennis courts and car parks within parks have now re-opened with relevant safety protocols in place. Play areas, outdoor gyms, multi-use games areas and basketball courts remain closed. Toilets at our parks and local nature reserves, bowling greens and playing fields have also remained closed, together with changing rooms and pavilions. The council will be reminding residents to follow government guidelines on social distancing and social interaction. Greater Manchester Police will be carrying out patrols across parks and green spaces and issuing fines for breaking government restrictions. The maintenance of non-essential grass cutting in parks and open spaces, bowling greens, football pitches and roadside grass verges has resumed with a limited service, as many staff are still redeployed to support critical services. The bird hides both at Pennington Flash and the Three Sisters Recreation Area will also not be open. I will keep updating residents, but for now these arrangements will stay in place while we review the latest guidelines alongside our priority to keep residents safe.
Our COVID-19 Impact Survey is now into its second week of being live and we will be encouraging as many residents as possible to take part and have their say over the next two months. Latest figures show we’ve had around 1,700 responses so far, which is a great start. The survey can be found here: https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Crime-Emergencies/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Impact-Survey.aspx and will also be distributed to every household as part of the next edition of Borough Life magazine.
Thanks to Councillor Paul Collins for the information www.myshevington.co.uk