The position in Gloucestershire
- The Strategic Coordination Group (SCG), chaired by Sarah Scott, Director of Public Health at the county council is the multi-agency group consisting of partners from across the county who is leading Gloucestershire’s response to Covid-19. The group is currently meeting weekly. It is supported by a “Tactical Coordination Group” (TCG) that is responsible for delivering the actions from the SCG.
- Public Health England (PHE) has formally confirmed 15 cases in the county.
- Total Deaths in Gloucestershire: 0
- Total Confirmed Cases in South West: 140
- We are following national advice on all staffing matters, encouraging staff to work at home wherever possible and providing ICT equipment to enable this. Some staff are already self isolating either because of long term medical conditions or because they or their families are experiencing symptoms. Where staff are able to work whilst self isolating, we are asking them to do so where we are able. All of our staff will be paid when self isolating whether they are able to work or not
- For many of our essential frontline staff working for home isn’t possible. Managers in these areas continue to work through how best to deliver our services for vulnerable residents while minimising risk to these staff
- We are having conversations with many contractors and providers regarding their staff and are considering the particular circumstances. The support that we are able to provide will vary
- Each service has a business continuity plan in place to proactively respond to the current situation. We understand which services are critical, what staff they need to deliver effectively and what additional pressures they are likely to experience over the coming weeks
- Council staff will be asked to complete a survey today so that we can understand who is working from home, who is unable to work, who would have access to childcare and who may be able to divert from their current role to keeping essential services running or supporting our communities.
- Schools will remain open for children of ‘key workers’ and vulnerable students. Guidance for schools, including who is a key worker has now been published.
- Free school meals will continue to be provided through vouchers or meals New guidance published
- Work is ongoing to identify how schools will continue to operate to support key workers and vulnerable groups of children from Monday (23 March) and during the Easter Holidays
- An email to schools has been issued by our Director of Education, Tim Browne, to clarify actions schools should be taking and GCC support
- Education staff are being organised to provide locality coordination of school and early years provision across the county and to support schools with the redeployment of staff if required
- As of 19 March there are two primary school closed, two early years providers closed, four primary schools partially closed and 15 secondary schools partially closed due to lack of available teaching staff, this is expected to get worse
- An independent special school with 18 Gloucestershire pupils closed from yesterday due to lack of staff. We are working to provide alternative options and support for these students
- National Star College looking for temporary accommodation to locate their day pupils.
- Guidance for parents has also been published here. Schools are urging parents who have children going into school today to take any medication they have there home with them
- £2.9 billion funding announced for adult social care, including £1.6 billion for local authorities
- Online isolation note system announced to assist employees with proving absences from work
- Posters showing guidance on social distancing and handwashing have been issued for schools, prisons, homeless hubs and other settings.
- There is now a latest service updates page on the website: https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/council-services-affected-by-covid- Latest information includes Heritage Hub to close from Monday until further notice, restrictions on concessionary travel passes have been suspended and a highways update
- Gloucestershire Constabulary has issued a statement about their working arrangements. Officers will still be visible across Gloucestershire and will be ready to respond when needed, although they may have to adapt the way they work in line with public health advice. They are encouraging police staff to work from home where possible, splitting up teams to work in tactical locations across the county, and limiting face-to-face contact with officers to ensure we can protect the frontline. Neighbourhood policing teams will continue looking after older and more vulnerable members of our communities
- The NHS in Gloucestershire is taking responsible steps to plan ahead and respond to the unfolding Covid-19 situation. Here is a link to the latest information from the NHS on service advice and developments: NHS update
Total UK Tests: 64,621
Total UK Cases: 3,269
Total UK Deaths: 144
Updated guidance called ‘Staying at Home’ is now available.
In case you have not yet seen it, here is the latest guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults, which was published on 16 March 2020. This guidance also includes a note on the group of vulnerable people who are at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and who should therefore expect to be contacted directly with advice on the more stringent measures they should take in order to keep themselves and others safe
A summary of advice is below:
- social distancing now in multiple languages
- employers and businesses
- Mass gatherings
- residential care provision, supported living provision and home care provision
- local government including new public procurement guidance
- The Department for Education has set up a helpline offering guidance for anyone with education related questions
Other information and guidance is available here