How to avoid spreading the virus within the home
There may be an underlying assumption in some households that if one person has the virus, then the rest of the household will inevitably catch it. This isn’t necessarily the case, however, and there are measures people can take to prevent spreading the virus to loved ones.
If you have symptoms, you should stay away from other people you live with as much as possible. Try to:
stay on your own in one room as much as possible and keep the door closed
avoid using shared spaces at the same time as other people – eat your meals alone in your room
use the bathroom after everyone else has used it, and clean it afterwards, for example, by using a sanitising product on the surfaces you've touched
wash your hands often, or use hand sanitiser
clean objects and surfaces you touch often (such as door handles, kettles and phones) using your regular cleaning products
consider wearing a face covering when in shared spaces
keep windows open as much as possible, especially in the room you're staying in and shared spaces
If you are in touch with anyone who has been invited to have the vaccination, please remind them that the NHS is asking them not to arrive early for their appointment. This is both to avoid people having to wait outside in the cold and wet for any longer than is necessary, and to help to avoid long queues and the risk of mixing. Please also remind people to be vigilant against scams and remember that the NHS will never ask them to pay, or to use any financial details as ID. If they receive any suspicious phone calls or text messages, these can be reported. The presentation from last night’s meeting provides more information. Please help to amplify these reminders in your community by sharing our posts about vaccine scams on Facebook and Twitter.
St John’s Ambulance volunteer vaccinators
St John’s Ambulance is recruiting volunteers to help administer vaccines in the community. For further information and eligibility criteria visit the St John’s Ambulance website.
We are aware of some people who should be self-isolating (having tested positive or been in contact with someone who has tested positive) who are continuing to leave the house to run errands such as collecting prescriptions from the pharmacy. Could you share the message in your communities that volunteers could help people in this position so that they do not have to do this and put others at risk?
A reminder of support available
If anyone in your community needs practical support (such as shopping or dealing with prescriptions) or help to cover their costs, there are a couple of options available:
The small upfront grants of £100 to £400 we provided can be used for any one-off support for an individual or family that you come across
Residents can call the Countywide Covid hub directly on 03450 455 219, or you can call them of behalf of a resident, for help on things like food deliveries or regular phone calls to support residents’ mental wellbeing
Priority slots for supermarket deliveries for people who are shielding – individuals can register
Payments of £500 are available to support a loss of income during self-isolation, under a number of schemes with different eligibility requirements – please don’t assume people won’t be eligible
Anyone whose income has reduced should check the government website to see what benefits they may be entitled to, and then also contact us to apply for Council Tax Support and to find out about other help we may be able to offer, such as through a Hardship fund
Two hot food schemes are currently running, covering many villages in the district – please let us know of any residents who you think would particularly benefit from receiving a weekly meal and we can discuss whether any volunteer support would be needed to deliver these in your village
A reminder of some answers to Frequently Asked Questions from previous lockdowns – covering topics such as collecting prescriptions for vulnerable people, signposting to resources to help people with their mental wellbeing, and other practical information.
Reminder: Local Connections Fund opened on 5 January
The Local Connections Fund is a £4m fund looking to support charities and organisations which seek to reduce loneliness in their local communities.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and The National Lottery Community Fund are investing £2 million each. This will be used to fund hundreds of ‘microgrants’ between £300 and £2,500, so small, local organisations (with an annual income of £50,000 or less) can bring people and communities together.
The first round opened for applications on 5 January 2021 and will close on 26 January 2021, and successful applicants must have spent the money and finished their project by 31 March 2021.
Safely re-opening community centres, village halls and other community facilities
The guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities has been updated to reflect 4 January announcement of national lockdown for all England.
COVID information pathways
Our Sustainable Communities team is compiling a master document of the various countywide referral pathways we have shared with you over the last few months. Our aim is to help make it as simple as possible for community groups to source the information they need. This document will be with you shortly.
Mental Health training reminder – it's not too late
We have commissioned mental health training from MIND for councillors, parish councils and community groups. The training is free of charge and is in two parts. Please share this training link for the first part with everyone in your community group. It is a webinar they can view in their own time.
The second phase of training will allow up to two people from each parish to extend their knowledge of mental health by attending an online workshop with a coach from MIND. To book onto a future date simply email MIND and let them know you are getting in touch about the SCDC mental health training. They will contact you as soon as there are enough people to run another date. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Help to access home schooling tech
The Council has provided funding to Cambridge Online, to help provide devices and data to children who are particularly affected during the pandemic and need support to access online education. For more information, visit Cambridge Online, email email@example.com or call the Cambridge Online helpline on 01223 300407, quoting ‘South Cambs Winter Support Grant’. The Cambs Youth Panel is also working to help provide students with technology.