As people look ahead to the long weekend, we hope the weather will make it easier for people to enjoy spending time outdoors. Please help us to remind others that even if the weather isn’t great, it’s really important that people aren’t tempted to move a garden gathering into the living room. We still all need to be vigilant against the virus to protect each other and to be able to stick to the timings of the roadmap out of lockdown. Please feel free to share our messages on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram over the weekend.
Please also help to remind people about the need to plan ahead for the long weekend in terms of prescriptions. NHS 111 in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough had 555 patients contact them requesting a repeat prescription over the long weekend at Easter. They are asking people to help ease demand on services by being prepared and ensuring you have enough prescription medicines to see you through the Bank Holiday weekend. You can share our Facebook post if helpful.
As next Thursday will be Election Day, we won’t be distributing the usual weekly email next week – but we will be back in contact week commencing 10 May. In the meantime, please do look out for a separate email from us with details about our next virtual community briefing, which we hope to run on Thursday 13 May, from 6pm. The timing will tie in with the Government’s roadmap which could see the next restrictions lifted on 17 May.
Vaccination programme updates
Inviting people over 42
The vaccination programme is currently inviting anyone over the age of 42 to make an appointment. Anyone turning 42 before 1 July can also make an appointment now. It’s worth bearing in mind too that anyone who has previously been invited but hasn’t yet had the vaccine can still book an appointment at any time – for instance anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable or clinically vulnerable; has a learning disability; is an eligible frontline health or social care worker; receives Carer’s Allowance. Find out how to book.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) confirmed that there have been no specific safety concerns identified with any Covid-19 vaccine in relation to pregnancy. The JCVI is therefore advising that pregnant women should be offered the vaccine at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group. Our post on Facebook can be shared if helpful.
Women who are breastfeeding can also now receive the vaccine when it is offered to them. If women have concerns about having the vaccine whether because of fertility, pregnancy or breastfeeding, they should speak to a healthcare professional for further guidance or visit nhs.uk/CovidVaccine. If you’d like to share this message in your community, please share the NHS’s post on Facebook.
Vaccinations during Ramadan
There is also some information from Public Health England (PHE) relating to Covid-19 vaccinations during Ramadan. Feel free to use the attached image, or to share our posts on Facebook in your communities.
Visiting care homes
Latest Government guidance says care homes should enable residents to nominate two ‘regular’ visitors, as well as one nominated ‘care giver’. Both indoor and outdoor visiting should be supported unless there is an active coronavirus outbreak. The Care Quality Commission has published a statement on visiting in care homes, emphasising the rights of individuals when setting visiting policies and Government has published summary of the visiting guidance.
The Government has also updated the guidance for people working in adult social care on managing their mental health and taking care of the wellbeing of their staff.
Hospitality: outdoor shelters and marquees
There has been some conversation in the media over the past couple of weeks regarding the use of shelters for use in outdoor areas at hospitality venues. Our Covid Team would like to highlight that acceptable outdoor shelters (any shelter, marquee or other structure) can have a roof but need to have at least 50% of the area of their walls open at all times whilst in use. No account is to be taken of openings in which there are doors, windows or other fittings that can be opened or shut. If you have any concerns about Covid safety measures in your area please contact our Covid Team so that we can offer support (or, as a last resort, enforcement action).
Eid al-Fitr (Eid) is the first day after Ramadan (12 May –13 May) and is celebrated by Muslims performing a mid-morning prayer either at the Mosque or as a communal gathering in parks. This is allowed under the Covid restrictions, but the Government has provided some advice for faith leaders around minimising the risks around large events, if they choose to go ahead.
Winter Support Grant: family fund
Our team is now able to access two schemes which can be used to refer residents in need of urgent food or fuel. The vouchers are worth up to £49 (per scheme) for a family, or £29 (per scheme) for an individual. The first scheme allows a voucher for food or fuel, and the second scheme is for a fuel voucher only. The schemes are funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the national Winter Support Grant. The vouchers can help residents who find themselves in a desperate situation to address their immediate need. We then work with the resident and other agencies to provide longer term advice and support. If you come across a resident in need of urgent food or fuel, please consider referring them into this scheme by emailing email@example.com (we will then send you a simple form to complete).
Local knowledge – request for help
The Council needs your help. We want to improve our ability to communicate urgent, local messages in our communities, by creating a directory of community and village contacts – and platforms used in different communities – to help spread appropriate local messages. This would not be for regular promotion of information – but to access in times such as flooding, village-wide missed bin collections, or other time-sensitive communications to a small area within the District.
If you are, or know of, someone in your town or village who has an effective way of sharing news with others, or if you have a local Facebook group, email group or WhatsApp group, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Similarly if you run a local Facebook noticeboard group or email group and would like to be involved, please email email@example.com. The idea is not to hand over any contact details of people in your community, but for us to create a list of the key individuals and groups in each community who may be able to help us.