Coronavirus - Support for people and communities - February 19 2021

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Coronavirus - Support for people & communities - February 19, 2021

Dear resident,

We hope you’re keeping safe and well. This week we are bringing you an update on infection rates, shielding and information about a new testing programme taking place in the city to track potential new variants.

An update on Leeds’ infection rates

The latest figures for infection rates in Leeds are currently down at 161.6K per 100,000 and the positivity rate is also down at 7.9%. Infection rates are now slowly decreasing but we need to continue doing all we can to help this trend continue by following key advice and guidance on handwashing, social distancing, self-isolation and wearing face-coverings.

The main way of spreading Covid-19 is through close contact with an infected person. When someone with Covid-19 breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release particles (droplets and aerosols) containing the virus that causes Covid-19 which can be breathed in by another person. Surfaces and belongings can also be contaminated with the virus when people who are infected cough or sneeze near them or touch them.

It is possible to have Covid-19 with no symptoms – and you can still pass the virus on to others if you only have mild symptoms or even no symptoms at all.

The best way to keep yourself and others safe is therefore by acting as though you have the virus.

Act like you have the virus

Next Monday (22 February), the Prime Minister is expected to lay out plans for a ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown. Please keep an eye on our website and social media channels next week for more information on what this will mean for Leeds.


The Government has announced that 1.7 million people in England are being added to the Shielded Patient List and advised to shield with immediate effect until 31 March. Shielding is also extended until 31 March for all people who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV). People newly added to the list will be notified by email and letter. Updated guidance can be found on the Government’s website.

The advice means not attending work in person, not going to supermarkets or pharmacies and taking all precautions to avoid coming into close contact with anyone outside the home or support bubble. Even if you have had both doses of the vaccine, you are advised to follow the shielding guidance until the end of March whilst the rates of Covid-19 infection remain high.

Find the latest advice and local support available for clinically extremely vulnerable people on our website.

Tracking new variants

Residents in some parts of Leeds are being asked to take part in a new programme of testing designed to help national research into the potential spread of Covid-19 variants, in particular the South African variant.

Starting next week, people living in parts of the LS8 area, including parts of Harehills and the area just north of Easterly Road, will be encouraged to take a simple Covid-19 test which will help experts build a better picture of how different strains of the virus could be transmitted.

For more information about this testing programme and why these areas have been selected, read our press release here.

Business grants

We have grants available to help businesses in Leeds. You can apply for more than one grant, as long as you qualify for them.

Applications for the Discretionary Grant Fund for businesses with no or low cost fixed property costs of less than £4,000 a year have now closed.

The Discretionary Grant Fund for businesses with fixed property costs of at least £4,000 a year will re-open on Thursday 25 February for two weeks, closing at 5pm on Thursday 11 March - please do not apply again if you have already applied in the December round; we are still working through a backlog of applications and will process these as soon as we can.

The following funding opportunities are still available for businesses that are registered for business rates:

  • November national restrictions grant – for businesses required to close due to the Government’s national lockdown restrictions from 5 November to 2 December 2020.
  • December Tier 3 restrictions grant – for business that had to stay closed between 2 December 2020 and 4 January 2021 due to the Tier 3 restrictions.
  • January national lockdown grant – for businesses required to close due to the Government’s national lockdown restrictions from 5 January onwards.

Full details of the support available to businesses can be found on our website.

Help raise pennies and pounds for the Lord Mayor's Charity Appeal

Due to COVID-19, fundraising events and activities have not been able to go ahead as usual over the past year. That’s why this year a virtual fundraising pack has been launched to enable people to safely fundraise for the Lord Mayor’s Charity Appeal from the comfort of their own homes.

The pack includes ten fun and exciting virtual fundraising ideas, ranging from putting on an online gig for friends and family to completing a fitness challenge every day for a month.

All proceeds from the fundraising activities that take place will be given to the Lord Mayor’s chosen charity, SARSVL (Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds).

If you’d like to get involved, download the fundraising pack here.

Thank you for your support!

Raise pennies and pounds for the Lord Mayor's charity