Councillor Keith Mans: What we're doing to respond to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Everybody in Hampshire has been affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19). We have all been asked to play our part in slowing the spread of the disease to protect frontline services, shield the most vulnerable and ultimately save lives.
The County Council is no exception. We’ve been working around the clock, with our partners, to make sure Hampshire’s most vulnerable receive the care and support they need.
Today I want to tell you about some of the actions the County Council is taking to help you and how we’ve adapted some of our services.
We’ve created a dedicated section on our website for service updates regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic all in one place.
- How Coronavirus (COVID-19) affects the way we deliver some services
- The Hampshire response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Latest information from the Government
- Health advice from the NHS
Local authorities across Hampshire, including the County Council and all the districts and boroughs, have joined forces with the county’s community and voluntary sector, to ensure vulnerable people are able to access the support they need during the coming weeks.
A new helpline is up and running for frail or vulnerable residents who do not have support from families, friends or their local community, and who need urgent assistance with essential food or household supplies, collection of medication, or who are at risk of loneliness.
You can contact the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hampshire Helpline –Hantshelp4vulnerable – on 0333 370 4000. The helpline is available seven days a week, 9am-5pm.
Connect to Support Hampshire is the county’s one-stop-shop online directory of care and support for advice and information such as mental health and wellbeing resources specifically related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and self-isolation, and where to find support if you’re unable to look after your pets.
The website also provides listings for community groups and services across Hampshire. Get in touch with them to find out what support is available.
Hampshire schools, early years’ education settings, nurseries and childminders will be continuing to look after vulnerable children and children of key workers throughout the school Easter holidays (6 -17 April 2020). They are responding to the Department for Education’s request to keep the provision in place over the holiday fortnight, including Good Friday and Easter Monday.
Additionally, our Services for Young Children Team is on hand to help key workers requiring support, to identify care provision outside of usual business hours and/or at weekends. If you're a key worker and need this support please email firstname.lastname@example.org and include full contact details so that the team can assist parents and carers as quickly and efficiently as possible.
For exercise once a day, walking, cycling or running is great for your health and wellbeing but please stay in your local area and use public outdoor spaces sensibly. If the countryside is close to where you live, it is essential everyone respects private land and, when using public rights of way, stays on the paths and remembers to follow the Countryside Code while observing the Government’s social distancing guidelines.
Remember to keep at least two metres apart from each other at all times – including when out on rights of way, riverside paths and canal towpaths. If the path is particularly narrow or constrained, make other users aware of your presence, stand aside and wait for people to pass at a wider place.
We've been working with our contractors and supply chains to suspend all non-essential works on the highways. If you see any highways staff out across Hampshire they are dealing with emergency and safety related highways maintenance works only.
All Household Waste Recycling Centres are now closed until further notice.
For helpful ways to reduce household waste, visit Hampshire Smart Living for tips on reducing food waste, home composting and more.
Our Trading Standards Team is asking you to be extra vigilant as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could increase the risk of anyone, particularly vulnerable people, falling victims to scams and rogue traders.
Known Coronavirus (COVID-19) related scams include:
- People claiming to offer door-to-door or online testing kits. Residents are warned not to open the door or place an online order.
- Elderly residents who are self-isolating being targeted for help with shopping. Only use trusted sources such as friends and families.
- Emails claiming to be from the Government offering a tax rebate to support people through this challenging time. Online advice available.
- Retailers overcharging for staple items such as toilet rolls.
Finally, in this constantly developing situation I promise that we are doing everything we can to support our residents and our communities. I would like to personally thank you for your continued efforts to stay at home and keep to the social distancing measures – and I ask that you keep this up so we all help stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) together.
This unprecedented national crisis is going to demand the best of all of us, especially the staff in public sector and the thousands of volunteers on whom we rely to deliver essential services. I hope you’ll join me in expressing my sincere thanks and gratitude to those continuing to work on behalf of the residents of Hampshire.
I wish you all well for the weeks and months ahead.
Cllr Keith Mans
Leader of Hampshire County Council
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