COVID-19 UPDATE: Please continue to live safely with COVID-19

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21 March 2022

Resident Bulletin

Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are providing regular email updates to let you know about the latest information we have on local and national measures to contain the virus, any changes to local services and support that's available.

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Please continue to live safely with COVID-19

Covid case rates are rising rapidly at present with a significant increase in the number of people testing positive for Covid over the last few weeks.

The current 7-day case rate for Rotherham is 413.2 per 100,000 which is an increase from 204.2 per 100,000 on Friday 11 March 2022. Two weeks ago, the case rate was 179.3 per 100,000 (date from 4 March 2022). In the same time frame, we have also seen an increase in the number of people in hospital testing positive for Covid-19.

Covid is still in our communities. Although the response to the Covid-19 pandemic is scaling back, there are things we can all do to protect our loved ones from becoming seriously ill with the virus.

Here are a few things you can do to help you live safely with covid:

  • Let fresh air in if you are meeting indoors or meet outside when you can.
  • It is recommended that you wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces. You may be asked to wear a face covering in a GP, hospital and pharmacy setting.
  • Stay at home if you have any symptoms of Covid-19 or have had a positive tests.
  • Take lateral flow tests if you work with or are meeting with vulnerable people. This will be especially important in outbreak situations or when local case rates are high.

Further advice is available on GOV.UK

COVID-19 tests are still available

Lateral flow tests can help you to make decisions, especially when planning to meet with anyone who may be vulnerable. Until 1 April 2022, tests are free for everyone and, after this date, they will continue to be available at low cost from pharmacies and other retailers.

Free lateral flow tests will be available throughout March at pharmacies, leisure centres and Rotherham libraries. You can also order tests to your front door by going online or by calling 119.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you can also get a free PCR test by ordering them online.

COVID Test Comparison

The test centres across Rotherham will remain open until 30 March 2022, then they will be decommissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care. PCR tests will continue to be available through the NHS website or by calling 119.

Even though contact tracing has ended, testing is still important as it allows you to protect your more vulnerable loved ones as it will let you know if you have the virus and if there is a chance you can pass this on.

Further information about testing can be found on GOV.UK

Get your COVID-19 vaccine from a local pharmacy

Getting all doses of the COVID-19 vaccination is important to protect you from getting seriously ill with the virus. Even if you have had a Covid infection we know that vaccination will give you better and longer lasting immunity, and advise people to take up all vaccination doses offered to ensure long lasting protection.

Everyone aged 12 and over, and some children aged 5 to 11, can get a 1st and 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Boosters are also available for those over 16 91 days after their 2nd dose.

The Government has also announced further doses of the vaccine to be offered to the most vulnerable people in our communities over the upcoming months to continue to keep them safe from COVID.

If you are waiting to get your first, second or booster dose of the vaccine, there are several pharmacies across Rotherham that are offering the vaccine. You can book your appointment online via the National Booking System.

Further information about the vaccine is available on the Your Health Rotherham website.

Further advice and guidance about the vaccine for parents is also available to download.

Get Boostered Vaccine

Help to protect yourself from COVID by wearing your face covering

Face Covering March 22

Earlier this year, wearing a face covering in a public indoor area became a personal choice in most settings, however, it is still recommended that you continue to wear a face covering to help protect yourself from the virus.

Many people across the borough have decided to continue to wear their face coverings when they go to the shops or go on public transport. This could be for a range of reasons so please be respectful of their choice.

Will the legal requirements for people to self-isolate if they test positive being relaxed, it is important that if you have tested positive you take precautions to stop the spread of the virus if you are unable to self-isolate. This includes wearing a face covering when in public places and also keeping your distance from others.

Face coverings help to protect more vulnerable members of the community, so if you are out and about, take your face covering with you just in case you think you need to wear it.

Rotherham Hospital Update

Rotherham Hospital

As of 8am on Friday 18th March 2022, 54 inpatients in Rotherham Hospital were positive for COVID-19, of which 0 were in critical care.

This brings the total number of inpatients who have tested positive since the start of the pandemic to 4,272. A total of 3,269 patients have been safely discharged to their usual place of residence.

Plan for £150 Council Tax rebate and other energy bill support

£150 Council Tax rebate

The Council has set out how it intends to get the Government's energy bill support payments to every household in the borough.

The aim is to make it simple and easy for residents to access by providing the funds direct, without the need for a time-consuming application process. We want to assure residents that the money will be on its way within weeks and is ask that people don't make contact about the payments so we can focus on processing and getting them out.

Every household in the borough will receive some level of support.

People living in Council Tax property bands A to D (112,000 properties)

For people who pay Council Tax by Direct Debit, the Council will deposit the £150 directly into the bank account used to make your payments. This will be done at the end of April 2022 and eligible households will receive a letter to confirm when payment is on its way.
Around 34,000 households in Rotherham don’t use direct debit to pay their Council Tax, so the Council is making alternative arrangements to get the money to them in the fastest way possible.
Under proposals to be considered by Cabinet, this is set to be a payment by cheque, sent by post, which recipients can deposit or cash at banks or building societies. It is expected that the cheques will be issued at the end of May 2022.

Alternatively, if residents choose not to deposit or cash the cheque within three months, the cheque will be cancelled and the relevant Council Tax account credited with the £150.

People living in Council Tax property bands E to H (7,500 properties)

The Government has also provided additional funding of £616,000 to support residents living in properties which fall into Council Tax bands E to H.
It is proposed that this funding is distributed equally between the remaining households, which would mean they each receive a payment of approximately £82 per household. The same process will be used for making payments as for homes in bands A to D.

View the report to be considered by Cabinet here.

Keeping you up-to-date

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