Message from the Leader of Waltham Forest Council Clare Coghill on Coronavirus

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Leader of the Council Clare Coghill green background

COVID-19 Update 

Walthom Forest
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In times of difficulty, we can take great reassurance in the knowledge that communities throughout Waltham Forest are coming together to support each other during the widespread outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

During this period, the Council is working hard to ensure our most vital services remain resilient and vulnerable residents are prioritised. I am pleased to say that as of today most Council services were running as normal, however, we do know closures are coming.

You can watch my latest statement here.

Last night the Prime Minister announced the closure of schools across the country from tomorrow afternoon in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. We know this will have significant impact on our borough. Schools are exploring ways to support key workers and the Council is looking at ways to ensure parents and carers are supported through this challenging time. We will be sharing the most up to date information on our webpage dedicated to the latest COVID-19 information so do make sure you visit. 

Protecting our most vulnerable residents is our top priority. We have appointed a Community Resilience Task Group, which will lead on setting up a range of support for our residents over 70 and those in hardship, and will work with community groups to ensure the information reaches the right people.

We are working hard to make sure businesses know where they can go to get more advice and information about how we can help them through this difficult time. Businesses can visit our webpage here to see what support is available at present. We are expecting more advice and guidance from Government next week.

This is a fast moving situation and you can sign up to our daily email newsletter with up-to-date information. If residents have questions please visit our website, and use live chat to talk to one of our team, it's quicker than phoning.

In recent days, the government advice around COVID-19 has changed:

  • If you have either a continuous cough or a temperature, please stay at home and self-isolate.
  • If you live alone, the advice is to isolate yourself for seven days. If you live with others, the whole household is advised to self-isolate for 14 days from when the first person develops symptoms.
  • To help prevent the spread, please do not go to a GP or A&E if you are feeling unwell.
  • You can use the NHS 111 service if you are worried about the severity of your symptoms or they have lasted longer than seven days.

Finally, please do be reassured that we are working incredibly hard to support you all through this. As we face this challenging time together, let’s remind ourselves of the pride and positive energy that make us unique and use those attributes to help each other through what we know will be a very difficult period.

Welfare support and information

Libraries open as usual

Discretionary housing payments may be available for anyone struggling to pay their rent and we can consider support to pay council tax for anyone experiencing significant financial hardship.

For anyone struggling to afford food, we can offer Local Welfare Assistance.

This is a difficult time for everyone and local businesses are no exception, so please think about shopping locally if you can. For daily essentials, your local corner shop or small business will really count on your support. Follow our shop local campaign #ShopLocalWF on our social media channels to see where and how you can show your support.

People are currently advised by the government to work from home where possible. We offer library services online, meaning you can access digital library resources from your own home. This includes newspapers, magazines, eBooks and audiobooks. You can find out more about the range of resources here. During this time, we will not be charging late fees.

Sign up and Stay Connected on COVID-19

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Information and advice regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing quickly and its important you keep up to date with those changes.

The Council will be using email newsletters to keep residents and businesses up to date.

Please encourage friends and family to sign up so they too can stay connected with what's happening in our borough.

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