Members Update - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Members briefing

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Members Update

Your weekly round up of the latest coronavirus response updates in Cumbria.

In this briefing:

COVID-19 infections continue to rise in Cumbria

As England starts a new period of national lockdown, latest data for the week ending 30 October shows the number of new COVID-19 infections continuing to rise in Cumbria, but with variation across the county’s six districts.

While Barrow and Carlisle remained the districts with the highest infection rates, both saw their rates drop. Barrow remains above the England average and Carlisle just below.

By contrast Allerdale, Copeland and South Lakeland all saw significant increases in their rates, though all remain well below the England average.

The weekly COVID-19 situation report can be found at

For the 3rd week in a row, the 45-59 age group accounted for the greatest number of new cases in Cumbria. Cases among the over 60s also continued to rise, with the infection rate for this age group now just below the England average (155/100,000 v 161/100,000).

The number of patients with COVID-19 in hospitals beds across Cumbria’s two NHS Trusts rose to 159 on the 2nd of November (this includes the Royal Lancaster Infirmary which also takes patients from South Cumbria).

Registrars data shows a further 11 people died as a result of COVID-19.

Colin Cox, Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, said:

“As we start this new period of national restrictions there are indications the infection rates may be stabilising in some areas of the county, but there are concerning increases in others. What is clear however is that the number of people in hospital is increasing and the health system is under real pressure. We have also sadly seen further deaths.

“If everyone sticks to the rules, the lockdown gives us the chance to significantly reduce infections, reducing pressure on the NHS, preventing more deaths and giving more time for vaccines to be developed. Although we must be prepared for further increases over the new two weeks before the effect of the lockdown in felt.

“We know these new restrictions will have a significant impact on our economy and on people’s well-being, there is help and support available and I would urge anyone having difficulty to contact the council’s COVID helpline.”

The council’s COVID helpline can be contacted on 0800 783 1966 (Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm, Friday 9am to 4.30pm). Information is also available at

Full details of new national restrictions are available at GOV.UK, including new information for people who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable. Whilst this is not a return to the very restrictive shielding advice from the previous lockdown, people on the shielding list are strongly advised to follow extra precautionary shielding measures to help keep themselves safe.

People are also being reminded to get tested if they have symptoms and self-isolate until they get a result. Go to

CCC Service Updates

Care Homes

As per the updated national guidance, essential visits to loved ones in care homes in Cumbria will be allowed during this lockdown, so long as visits are fully COVID-secure and meet all IPC requirements and the homes are not in an outbreak position. It is for individual Care homes to establish safe visiting and put in appropriate arrangements. Cumbria County Council’s in house provider Cumbria Care already have robust systems in place and therefore will support visits from individuals – in line with the national social distancing and safety guidance.

For full details go to

Libraries and Archives

Following a detailed assessment and taking into account the latest guidance from Government regarding the national lockdown, Cumbria Libraries will continue to provide a selection of essential services during lockdown.

Key services will still be available including Select & Collect, online services and home delivery services. For digital access to services we are also asking customers to book in advance for access to computers to ensure the best and safest service possible. Book browsing will not be available during lockdown. Other essential services can also be accessed at your library, such as adult education courses and registrars.

Libraries offer a vital service to many people and to their local community and even with the new national restrictions it is vital that we continue to provide essential services to support our residents health and wellbeing, and to provide a local point of access to key services and support. Libraries are key in helping to achieve this.

More information about Cumbria Libraries is available online at

Registration Services

With the exception of ceremonies and civil partnership formation which aren’t currently permitted, all other registration services will continue.

More information about weddings is available at

Household Waste Recycling Centres

DEFRA has confirmed that household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) “should remain open” during the lockdown, after a visit to a recycling centre was again listed as an ‘exception’ to the restrictions on leaving home.  Under The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 the following exceptions apply:

Exceptions: leaving home - Exception 1: leaving home necessary for certain purposes

  • to visit a waste disposal or recycling centre

The 14 Cumbria HWRCs are currently open, and under the above regulations Cumbria County Council has no intention of closing the sites during lockdown.

Members of the public are asked to continue to visit but to be aware that although we are operating a full service, there are still COVID-19 related restrictions in operation for safety of site users and the safety of site staff.  There is also a booking system in place at Bousteads Grassing, Carlise and Grange-over-Sands HWRC.

More information is available at

New National Restrictions

COVID-19 case numbers are rising rapidly across the whole of the UK and in other countries. We must act now to control the spread of the virus. The single most important action we can all take to fight coronavirus is to stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives.

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we reduce the spread of the infection. That is why, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, you must:

  1. Stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  2. Avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  3. Close certain businesses and venues.

These new measures will reduce the growth rate of the virus, which will:

  • prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed
  • ensure schools, colleges and universities can stay open
  • ensure that as many people as possible can continue to work

The new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December. At the end of the period, we are expected to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.

Find out about the new restrictions and what you can and cannot do.

Poster to download.

stay home

Updated - Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19

The Government is issuing new guidance to clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people. Whilst it is not a return to the very restrictive shielding advice from the previous lockdown, people on the shielding list are strongly advised to follow extra precautionary shielding measures to help keep themselves safe. The guidance remains advice, not the law.

A letter is also being sent to people on the shielding list to explain all of the details.

Key messages for clinically extremely vulnerable people include:

  • You should stay at home as much as possible but are encouraged to go outdoors for
    exercising and attending health appointments. You are strongly advised to work from
    home. If you cannot work from home, then you should not attend work. You may be
    eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough).
  • Please remember that the NHS is open, and we urge you to continue to access all
    the NHS services that you need. It is safer for you to use the NHS than to try to
    manage alone.
  • You may wish to meet up with one other person from outside your
    household or support bubble to exercise outdoors, for example in an outdoor public
    place, but we suggest that you always try to do so as safely as possible.
  • Try to keep all contact with others to a minimum and avoid busy areas. Whenever
    you go out continue to maintain strict social distancing, wash your hands regularly
    and avoid touching your face.
  • You should also try to stay 2 metres away from other people within your household,
    especially if they display symptoms of the virus or have been advised to self-isolate.
  • More evidence has emerged that shows there is a very low risk of children becoming
    very unwell from COVID-19, even for children with existing health conditions. Most
    children originally identified as clinically extremely vulnerable no longer need to
    follow this advice. Speak to your GP or specialist clinician if you have not already
    done so, to understand whether your child should still be classed as clinically
    extremely vulnerable.
  • Those children whose doctors have confirmed they are still clinically extremely
    vulnerable are advised not to attend school whilst this advice is in place. Your school
    will make appropriate arrangements for you to be able to continue your education at
    home. Children who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, but
    who are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, should still attend school.
  • If you are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on your health, speak to your
    GP, hospital clinician or use NHS111.
  • Registering for support - A new online service can be found at for CEV people to register for support. 
  • The county council's Emergency Support Helpline can provide urgent help and emergency support, including basic food and essential items, or if you are struggling to cope with your current situation for whatever reason. Call the county council's Support Helpline on 0800 783 1966 (Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm, Friday 9am to 4.30pm).
  • These new shielding measures apply nationally for 4 weeks up to 2 December. At the end of the period, the government will look to return to a regional approach and will issue further guidance at the time.

Read the updated shielding guidance in full.

Residents encouraged to take part in Remembrance activity from home

Local councils are urging people who will be eager to take part in this year’s Remembrance commemorations to pay their respects in a safe and responsible way.

As this year’s Remembrance will now take place during the national lockdown in England, commemorations across the county will be different than usual and residents are being urged by all agencies in Cumbria to be mindful of the new restrictions and to remember at home.

There are several ways residents can show their support, whether that be displaying poppy posters in their home windows, sharing stories, photos and drawings online using the hashtag #CumbriaRemembers, watching the Service on television, or pausing for the Two Minute Silence in their home or on their doorsteps.

Other ways to support this year’s Poppy Appeal include donating online at and taking part in the 11/11 challenge and virtual poppy runs.

Welfare support for our communities

Next week, every household in Cumbria will receive a support booklet which covers a wide range of help for people who may be struggling.

Anyone in Cumbria who is struggling is urged to seek help sooner rather than later.

We’ve improved our website and we hope people can easily find support with food, benefits, mental health and more. We can also put people in touch with local community groups and volunteers who continue to do an amazing job in our local communities.

Emergency Support Helpline

Cumbria County Council can provide urgent help and emergency support, including basic food and essential items, or if you are struggling to cope with your current situation for whatever reason.

Call the county council's Support Helpline on 0800 783 1966 (Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm, Friday 9am to 4.30pm). Our supportive staff will talk to you and suggest ways to help.

You can also email and you will receive a response within one working day.

Useful links:


The NHS is here for you in ‘lockdown’

Local health services are reminding patients that services will still be here for them during lockdown, and are sharing some helpful advice to ensure people continue to manage health conditions and seek assistance when needed.  

Health services never stopped helping people during the previous lockdown, and they will continue to be here when patients need them this time too.

Advice includes:

  • NHS services are here for you
  • If you have an appointment – please keep it
  • Services may look and feel different – please be patient with staff
  • Please wear a face covering, wash your hands regularly and follow social distancing guidelines in health premises
  • Please seek help early if you are worried
  • If you have the symptoms of coronavirus please don’t attend in person but contact NHS 111 for advice

Read more.


Useful links

Please share our social media updates

Agencies across Cumbria are continuing to share trusted information, advice and guidance and you can help by sharing this on your own social media accounts.

Every share or retweet means we reach more people and spread important messages wider across our communities.

@Cumbria Twitter

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