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Community Connectors 12 March 2021
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Free rapid tests for all businesses

Earlier this week, the Government announced that all businesses in England, including those with fewer than 50 employees, are now able to sign up to the free Coronavirus workplace testing programme.
Businesses are encouraged to register their interest by 31 March to order free lateral flow tests for their employees.
Rapid testing detects cases in under 30 minutes, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately, breaking chains of transmission. Regular testing could be the difference between a workplace being able to stay open and operational, or needing to close due to a coronavirus outbreak.
View the announcement in full.

 

Lockdown roadmap resources

This week we took our first tentative steps on the road to easing the lockdown with schools reopening and limited social contact allowed outdoors and at care homes.
While many of us will welcome these freedoms, it’s important that we continue to social distance so we don’t undo all our hard work over recent months.
To ensure our friends, family and contacts continue to follow the rules; Public Health England has lots of marketing materials we can share on our social media feeds.
Feel free to download and share the latest publicity materials.

Coronavirus changes from this week

From last Monday (8 March), you must now complete a travel declaration form if you’re travelling abroad from England. You must state the reason for your travel on the form.
 
In England, all pupils returned to school and students return to Further Education. Some students on practical courses will return to university. After-school clubs and breakfast clubs begin again.

Outdoor recreation or exercise with your household or one other person is now allowed.

Find out more about the roadmap out of lockdown.

Vaccination news

A total of 38,302 people across the Sevenoaks District were vaccinated between 8 December 2020 and 28 February 2021.

Across Kent and Medway, 670,834 doses of the vaccine were given up to 7 March 2021.

COVID-19 infection data

The latest data we have from the Government and Public Health England is dated 4 March. COVID-19 rates are continuing to fall in most districts of Kent and Medway.
 
The case rate in the Sevenoaks District to 4 March was 26.5, down from 37.3 per 100,000 on 25 February. The current case rate in Sevenoaks District remains significantly lower than that of the England rate, at 62.7, which has in turn dropped by almost a third from 96.9 per 100,000.
 
There are currently 50 active cases in the District, a drop from 77 recorded previously. These are associated with clusters in residential dwellings and care settings.
 
Although the decrease in rates of infection is extremely welcome news, it still remains incredibly important that we follow the guidance and make use of symptom free testing at this critical period.

View the latest national COVID-19 data.

Updated guidance for care home visitors

New guidance on care home took effect from 8 March 2021 allowing visitors for the first time in many months. Under the new guidance:
  • Every care home resident will be able to nominate a single named visitor who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits
  • These visitors should be tested using rapid lateral flow tests before every visit, must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and follow all other infection control measures (which the care home will guide them on) during visits
  • Visitors and residents are advised to keep physical contact to a minimum
  • Visitors and residents may wish to hold hands, but should bear in mind that any contact increases the risk of transmission. There should not be close physical contact such as hugging
  • Residents with the highest care needs will also be able to nominate an essential caregiver who will be able to visit more often. They will have the same testing and PPE arrangements as care home staff so that they can provide extra support, like help with washing and dressing or eating well
  • Care homes can continue to offer visits to other friends or family members with arrangements such as outdoor visiting, substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows.
View the new care home guidance in full.

Asymptomatic testing

Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms.
If you leave the house for work or essential activities, it is important to book regular symptom-free Covid tests.
These tests will help to find people who don’t currently have symptoms and who may be unknowingly spreading the virus in the community.
You can book an appointment for the following locations:

  • Bat and Ball Centre, Cramptons Road, Sevenoaks TN14 5DN
  • Swanley Youth Club, St Mary's Road BR8 7BU

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Drop us a line at communications@sevenoaks.gov.uk

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