Coronavirus

This briefing focuses on local issues and updates from the County Council on topics including Hampshire’s Local Outbreak Control Plan, school attendance, Hampshire Highways, libraries and local Covid-19 data.

 

The briefing also provides an update on national guidance and announcements and the latest national data on cases and deaths.

 

Members are kindly reminded to direct any coronavirus related queries and comments to the dedicated inbox - coronavirus.memberqueries@hants.gov.uk 

Edition No. 75

1 July 2020

Local context

Local Outbreak Control Plan

The County Council has published its Covid-19 Local Outbreak Control Plan, alongside a summary of the plan. The Local Outbreak Control Plan sets out how, working closely with key partners including the NHS and district councils, it will identify and contain local outbreaks of Covid-19. In line with national guidance, the Hampshire Plan covers a number of priority areas, including:

 

Care Homes and schools - measures are already in place in care homes and schools across the county to prevent the risk of infection. However, ongoing monitoring is required to ensure any further action needed to manage an outbreak and protect lives is quickly identified and implemented. 

High risk places - working with partners including the NHS and district councils, a wide range of places such as sheltered housing, airports, transport hubs, prisons, hospitals, tourist venues and higher risk workplaces will be monitored. Action will be taken to manage any local outbreaks.

Vulnerable people – significant work has already been undertaken across the county to identify vulnerable groups of people, and to ensure they are supported by relevant community help groups and through services that meet the needs of Hampshire’s diverse communities. This work will continue.

 

In addition, a new Board which will be a sub-committee of the County Council’s Cabinet, will review recommendations made by the Director of Public Health, on any local action that may be required more broadly across the county to ensure:

  • the COVID-19 reproduction number (R) is controlled;
  • any spread of infection is reduced;
  • lives are saved

The Board is also responsible for overseeing timely communications and engagement with the public in relation to local outbreaks and any subsequent actions that may be required.

School attendance

The number of school aged children attending schools continues to rise in Hampshire. Yesterday (30 June), over 37,000 students were in attendance. Figures show that 50% of children open to social care and 23% of children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) are in school. The DfE’s predictive attendance data shows that Hampshire has a significantly higher percentage of students in school than is the case nationally.

Hampshire Highways

Hampshire’s roads have been improved, maintained and repaired, as Hampshire Highways teams have made the most of reduced traffic during the Covid-19 lockdown. Between March and May, Hampshire Highways completed:

  • 17,000 defect repairs
  • The clearance of 55,000 gullies, catch-pits, weir kerbs and grips
  • 280,000 sqm of surface treatment
  • Repainting 232,000 metres of lines
  • Cleaning 30,000 signs

For more information please see the County Council’s press release.

Hampshire Libraries

Hampshire County Council has outlined the measures that will be in place to keep library users and staff safe when customers are welcomed back from Monday 6 July. People will be asked to:

  • limit their visits to a maximum of 30 minutes and to keep browsing to an absolute minimum;
  • use self-service machines to borrow or return items where possible or download the new Spydus Mobile app to check out books on their mobile phone;
  • pay outstanding fines onlineor by using contactless kiosks inside the library. Late fees will remain frozen until the start of August;
  • book use of computers in advance by by calling 01962 454747;
  • secure a study session from 13 July by booking in advance through 01962 454747;
  • note that toilet facilities will remain closed to the public for the time being; and
  • be aware that events, activities and groups won’t be able to meet in libraries yet, however the online timetable of events and activities will continue.

Local Covid-19 data

The Local Government Association’s LG Inform produced the below Covid-19 tracker using Public Health England data. The LG Inform reports show both the current data for authorities, as well as data over time. The information has also been combined with population data, to create a rate per 100,000 people and demonstrate relative rates of infection between authorities.

Image

The figures relate to confirmed cases of Covid-19 following a positive test and do not cover all cases of Covid-19 which may exist – for more information on the methodology see LGA and Gov UK.  For more detail and to view other charts with Hampshire specific data see LGA LG Inform.

South East R Number range and growth rate

R: 0.7- 0.9

Growth rate range (per day): - 4% to -2%

The reproduction number (R) is the average number of secondary infections produced by 1 infected person. The growth rate reflects how quickly the number of infections are changing day by day It is an approximation of the change of number infections each day. View data online.

National context

Communities

Support for veterans

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs and the Ministry of Defence have announced that 100 Armed Forces charities will receive nearly £6million funding to support serving personnel, veterans and their families during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is part of a package of support announced by the Chancellor in April to ensure charities can continue their work.

Community facilities

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has issued guidance for those managing community centres, village halls and other community facilities on safely re-opening for further purposes from 4 July.

Council buildings

The MHCLG has published guidance for those managing council buildings; it signposts to relevant guidance on a range of different activities that can take place.

Recovery in courts and tribunals

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has issued a Covid-19 update on recovery in courts and tribunals setting out the work being undertaken by HMCTS in the short and medium terms to ensure the justice system continues to perform its role, while keeping people safe in line with public health guidelines. 

Economy and business

Prime Minister: A New Deal for Britain
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, yesterday (30 June) outlined the first steps in the strategy to rebuild Britain and fuel economic recovery across the UK. The Government want to: “build back better, build back greener, build back faster”. Read the Prime Minister’s full speech on the economy online. Key announcements include:

  • £5 billion of capital investment projects will be brought forward
  • £1.5 billion for hospital maintenance, eradicating mental health dormitories, enabling hospital building and improving A&E capacity
  • £560m and £200m for repairs and upgrades to schools and FE colleges respectively
  • £100m for 29 road network projects
  • £900m for "shovel ready" local projects in 2020 and 2021
  • Between £500,000 and £1 million for each area in the towns fund to spend on improvements to parks, high street and transport, £83 million for maintenance of prisons and youth offender facilities, and £60 million for temporary prison places.
  • £40m Green Recovery Challenge Fund to help halt biodiversity loss and tackle climate change
  • £12 billion affordable homes programme
  • New regulations to give greater freedom for buildings and land in town centres to change use without planning permission and create new homes from the regeneration of vacant and redundant buildings.

Future Fund
The Treasury has confirmed that due to the popularity of the Future Fund, more funding has been made available. The Future Fund is backing high-growth, innovative firms across the country through Covid-19.

Flexible furlough scheme

The Treasury has confirmed that businesses will have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part time from today (1 July). Firms will be given the flexibility to decide the hours and shift patterns of their employees, with the Government continuing to pay 80% of salaries for the hours they do not work.

Children and education

Holiday clubs

The Department for Education (DfE) has issued guidance for providers of community activities, holiday or after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings offering provision to children during the Covid-19 outbreak. This follows the announcement by the Prime Minister on 23 June that providers may continue to operate over the summer holiday, subject to scientific guidance and with safety measures in place. Adjustments to the current measures for these providers will be part of Step 3 of the recovery strategy (from 4 July).

In addition, guidance for parents and carers of children attending community activities, holiday or after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings has also been published.

Autumn exam arrangements and appeals

Ofqual has published further details on appeals and confirmed autumn exam arrangements. Students will be awarded calculated grades in GCSEs, AS and A levels this summer. Students will be able to appeal if they believe the process this summer was not followed correctly in their case; and centres themselves can appeal if they believe something systemic has gone wrong in relation to their results. Any student unable to receive a calculated result, and others who would like to improve their grades, will have an opportunity to take the full suite of GCSE, AS and A level exams in the autumn.

Information for parents and carers

The DfE has updated the guidance for parents and carers with content on summer provision, school uniform, school meals and the package of support worth £1billion to support pupils to catch up.  

Children’s social care

The DfE has updated the guidance for children's social care services to clarify that all primary and most secondary legislation remains unchanged and that only temporary and time-limited amendments have been made to secondary legislation. The DfE has added content on missing children, testing, technology initiatives and social care services for disabled children and young people and their families. In addition, they also revised the sections on court, fostering and adoption to provide further information.

Adults' social care and public health

Leicestershire lockdown

On 29 June, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock outlined the local action being taken in Leicester following a surge in Covid-19 cases in the area. The Department of Health and Social Care has also published information on the areas of Leicestershire that are included in the localised lockdown and what it means for them. Within the boundary, restrictions will be in place pending a review on or after 18 July.

Weekly death figures

The Office for National Statistics has released the weekly death figures related to Covid-19 in England and Wales. The number of weekly deaths has fallen below the five-year average for the first time since March. The number of deaths attributable to the virus in care homes continues to fall, with deaths involving Covid-19 as a percentage of all deaths in care homes having decreased to 12.9% in the week to 19 June, compared with 17.3% in the previous week.

Vitamin D

Public Health England has announced that NICE and SACN have found that there is insufficient evidence on the impact of vitamin D on lowering the risk of respiratory tract infections and Covid-19. They will continue to monitor and assess emerging evidence in this field. The current government advice to take a daily 10 microgram vitamin D supplement to protect musculoskeletal health still applies.

PPE deliveries

The Department of Health and Social Care has published experimental statistics showing the latest number of personal protective equipment (PPE) items distributed for use by health and social care services in England for 22 to 28 June.

Environment, place and travel

Transport use
The Department for Education has published the latest statistics on transport use by mode.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
MHCLG has updated the CIL guidance to explain the operation of the Community Infrastructure Levy (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 which were laid on 30 June and will come into force later in the summer. This guidance will be finalised when the regulations come into force.

National Covid-19 data

Latest R number range

The R number range for the UK is 0.7-0.9 and the growth rate range is -4% to -2% as of 25 June 2020. The data is available to view online.

Cases

As of 4pm on 1 July, the total number of lab-confirmed cases was 313,483. The daily number of lab-confirmed cases was 829. The total number of Covid-19 associated deaths was 43,906, with 176 new deaths reported on the day. The data is available to view online.

Additional links

Deborah Harkin

Assistant Chief Executive

 

For any queries, please contact coronavirus.memberqueries@hants.gov.uk

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