Local Covid Update


Vaccination Update

Residents are reminded that even if they have had a vaccination, it is still possible for them to spread virus to others. It is important therefore that everyone continues to practice the 3Ws; wear a mask when out and about (unless exempt), watch your space between yourself and others and wash your hands frequently. If anyone is experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms such as a loss or change in your sense of smell or taste, a high temperature or a new, persistent cough, it’s really important that you self-isolate and request a test immediately.
Click Here To Request an Appointment at a Test Centre
If you cannot attend a test centre, call 119 to request a home test kit.
Click Here to Find Out More About Vaccinations

Attendance at Funeral Services
Please remember that restrictions remain in place regarding attendance at funeral services. Specifically, there is a 30-person limit on a burial at Wigan Council cemeteries, keeping to social distancing. For cremation services, the regulation is 20 in the chapel and 10 outside of the chapel, again with social distancing. All attendees count towards the limit, including young children.

Repairs at Wigan North Western Train Station
Update we have received from Network Rail: 
On Wednesday 20 January the lift shafts at Wigan North Western station were damaged due to storm Christoph causing heavy rain leaking into the lift mechanism and station subway. As a result of the damage, both of the station’s lifts are out of service which means that there is currently no step-free access to the platforms. Our engineers are working urgently to get the lifts back into use for passengers as soon as possible. While we do this, we are asking anyone who needs step-free access to speak to station staff or to contact the Passenger Assist team:
1.       Avanti West Coast’s Passenger Assist team – 08000 158 123
2.       Northern’s Passenger Assist team – 0800 138 5560

Until the lifts are brought back into action, tickets will be valid for passengers to travel via the nearest step-free stations, where onward travel can be arranged. For Avanti West Coast passengers this would be Warrington Bank Quay or Preston stations. We are working closely with Avanti West Coast and Northern to ensure that passengers who need to travel to and from Wigan North Western station are aware of the lift repairs and their alternative journey options.

Flooding Update
Last week Storm Christoph led to the evacuation of thousands of households as torrential rain hit the country and caused significant flooding. With weather-related alerts and warnings covering most of the borough, officers from Wigan Council, Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, and health services worked together to respond to hundreds of calls and mitigated dozens of flooding incidents.
While the responsibility to protect properties from flooding lies with the property owner not the council, our teams worked hard to assist wherever possible. The borough’s community spirit was also on display with neighbours, councillors and volunteers all pulling together to support their neighbourhoods. Pam Gilligan, CEO at Compassion in Action, provided clothes to one displaced family after their home was flooded, while local ward councillors helped to distribute sandbags. Acts of kindness like this could be seen across the borough. This week our recovery cell was initiated. The group is being led by Sonia Halliwell, director for customer services at Wigan Council, and is attended by the council’s civil contingencies team as well as key officers from across directorates and partners. The group is tasked with managing the borough’s recovery response

Wigan Council Report it App
Many residents are now using the report it app provided by wigan council to report problems.  If you have a smart phone you can download the app from your phone app store and once installed it provides a very easy way to report issues via your mobile device instantly without the need to make phone calls or other reports and you get updates on the progress of items, you have reported.  Please allow time for things to be fixed as it can take a little longer than usual to get things fixed as many staff are ill, self-isolating, or redeployed dealing with emergencies whilst we are in the COVID pandemic

Care Homes:
42 care homes are reporting no residents currently symptomatic in the home or hospital
10 care homes affected today as follows: 5 homes have symptomatic residents in the home and hospital – 5 homes have symptomatic residents in the home only;
78 care home residents currently either symptomatic or diagnosed with Covid-19 (decrease of 12 since last week); 69 in care homes, 9 in an acute setting.

External Supported Living:
Weekly testing of all staff in supported living across all external providers underway. We have rolled out vaccines to supported living staff this week.
Inhouse Services:
10 staff off isolating due to Covid – 322 staff have now been vaccinated. Respite remains closed and is under review on a regular basis
Pleased to report that Heathside have started to use the visitors’ pod this week and has now been fully booked up by families for the next few weeks

Testing, Contact Tracing:
The new appointment booking system and data capture tools for the test centres have been going under security testing and is hoped to go live next week. This will enable us to widen the scope of critical workers who can book appointments for tests. The data capture tool for and outreach testing is working well. The Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Testing at Leigh South Community Centre supported by the military is averaging 100 tests per day. The centre is working well and the operational hours of 09:00 to 16:00 Monday to Friday appear to be right. The support from the military has enabled the team to concentrate on other development work for the testing program. Our second LFD test centre will go live week commencing 1st February and setup work is underway with the build planned for 29th January. Plans are in place to open a third test centre week commencing 8th February. Scoping work is underway to establish two additional test centres which will operate two or three days a week. In addition to this, the team have been rolling out training to workplace locations to enable them to test critical staff in their work locations. Our recruitment drive for staff is working well. This linked with our training program will enable us to continue to operate all our test centres post 5th February without the need for military suppor

In support from the military for three weeks has enabled us to develop our strategy and start to implement it.

Wigan Borough has 4 major vaccination sites running in PCNs along with WWL and one Community Pharmacy. Current priority groups to vaccinate are the over 70s population, care home residents and staff, frontline Health and Social Care staff and the clinically extremely vulnerable. Robin Park, Leigh Sports Village, Hindley Pavilion and Parkside vaccination centres now all operational. 10,000 Health and Social Care staff have been vaccinated by WWL and PCNs in total.
Call out to staff for deployment to support with the rollout of the mass vaccination programme continues
Click Here for More Information

We have been informed by a provider contact that there are just 459 care home staff team members who want the vaccine but are yet to have it, this represents just 16% of the workforce and includes those who are booked in to have the first dose this week. There remain just 12% of care home residents awaiting their first jab, this is 237 people, with G.Ps scheduled to vaccinate a large proportion of these this week

There is still a secure stock of PPE in Wigan, there are no issues with our supply thanks to the Council procuring supplies, NWADAS and national supplies delivery. Now responding to requests from Primary care for emergency supplies and supported CCG with the delivery of FFP3 masks to CHC community

All the information in this article is kindly supplied by Councillor Paul Collins [email protected]