Coronavirus and East Sussex - update

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Coronavirus alerts.

30 March 2020


This update is for members of East Sussex County Council and our partners

Community hubs go live

Community hubs have opened across East Sussex to bring extra help for people who need support in coping with the effects of coronavirus.

The hubs include online forms and phone lines which anyone can contact to seek help if they are isolated, anxious or unwell at home and do not have family or friends they can call on.

Volunteers and staff from local councils and the health service will then ensure they try to get the right assistance to the people who need it most, including arranging food deliveries, medical supplies or mental health support.

Community hubs have opened in every part of the county: in Eastbourne, Hastings, Lewes, Rother and Wealden.

The hubs are in addition to direct help which has already been arranged for people with urgent medical conditions who are being asked to shield themselves at home for 12 weeks. These people are being contacted directly by their GPs and can have food parcels delivered directly to their doors through the Sussex Resilience Forum which brings together emergency services, health services, local authorities and other partners across East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove.

The community hubs will focus their help on people who do not have an extreme medical condition but are vulnerable because they are isolated from help, too unwell to buy food or have other pressing difficulties. The hubs will also bring together volunteers, donations and projects to co-ordinate East Sussex’s community response to the virus.

Cllr Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council, said: ‘No one in East Sussex should feel they are on their own in these difficult times - community hubs will get help to our neighbours and friends when they need it most urgently. People in all our communities are already supporting each other and these hubs are a way for us help them with people, resources and organisation.’

Contact details for the community hubs are:

Eastbourne online: phone: 01323 679722 (option 1)

Hastings online: phone: 01424 451019

Lewes online: phone: 01273 099956 (option 1)

Rother online:      phone: 01424 787000 (option 4)

Wealden online: phone: 01323 443322

Schools rally round

SCHOOLS in East Sussex have been rallying round to ensure their doors remain open for children who need support during the coronavirus outbreak.

While most youngsters have been told to stay at home, around 1,000 vulnerable children and children of key workers are continuing to attend classes at 140 county schools.

Many have joined forces with neighbouring schools. For example Ringmer Primary and Nursery School is also hosting children from schools in Alfriston, Firle and Laughton.

Cavendish School in Eastbourne, is catering for its own primary and secondary children and those from Stafford, Roselands and West Rise junior and infant schools, and Roedean Moira House School. In the east of the county, Rye College and Rye Community Primary School are offering learning, creative and physical activities for children of key workers in the primary school building and remote study for those at home.

All schools are working together to ensure provision is available for children of key workers and vulnerable children over the Easter holidays, which start on Monday, April 6.

The latest health situation in East Sussex

National figures show there are now 44 cases of coronavirus in East Sussex confirmed by Public Health England. However, as testing has now been confined to those symptomatic in hospitals, and with some care home testing too, there will certainly be many more cases of the virus in the county than this number of confirmed cases. We should not be complacent that we are in a low prevalence area. We will not get a fuller picture of prevalence without significant community testing and this currently is not the national priority.

We should consider East Sussex to have as high a prevalence as other areas; and live life accordingly; minimising all but essential contact.

(For information: Across the UK there are now 19,522 confirmed cases. 338 in Surrey, 253 in Kent, 113 in West Sussex, 33 in Brighton & Hove)

Full NHS advice

ESCC help and advice webpage

A reminder that there is now a new web page on the East Sussex Council Council website that brings together a range of information and advice regarding the coronavirus. It includes sections on:

  • How to request and offer help
  • Latest NHS advice
  • Advice for key workers
  • Support for business
  • Employment and financial support
  • Updates on county council service disruptions

The new page is here

Registration service update

Last week we updated you on the partial closure of our register offices. Only deaths could be registered in person. Now, however, the offices are no longer open to the public and deaths must be registered by phone.

More information is available here Register Offices disruption

Handling intimidation and abuse

The Local Government Association (LGA) has updated its guidance for councillors and council officers who might be experiencing abuse as they go about their vital roles, Its guide on handling intimidation has information relevant for both councillors and officers.


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