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Community Connectors 1 April 2021
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Residents reminded to stay outside when meeting others

The Government has updated its national lockdown guidance to reflect the new rules, which came into force on Monday (29 March) in order to stop the spread of the virus.

The rules say:

  • We can meet outdoors either in a group of six (from any number of households), or in a group of any size from up to two households (each household can include existing support bubbles, if eligible)
  • We can to take part in formally organised outdoor sports with any number of people (outdoor sports venues and facilities will be able to reopen)
  • Childcare and supervised activities are allowed outdoors for all children
  • Formally organised parent and child groups can take place outdoors for up to fifteen attendees. Children under five will not be counted in this number

To help us all understand the new rules, the Department for Health and Social Care has released a new film – narrated by the District’s very own GP Dr Hilary Jones MBE. The TV doctor, who lives in the Westerham area, reminds us we must stay outside when meeting others. The film form part of a bigger national media campaign.

There’s lot of new publicity materials available on the Public Health England website you can download and share with your contacts to reinforce the importance of the new rules.

Download the latest publicity materials

Changes to the Test and Trace support payments for parents

Parents and carers of children who have been advised to self-isolate by their education setting or by NHS Test and Trace can now apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or a discretionary payment if they meet the eligibility criteria.

The extension of the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme ensures parents receive the financial support they need if they are unable to attend work due to childcare responsibilities.

Nurseries, schools, colleges and further education providers are required to provide a letter to all parents or carers of children advised to self-isolate, to support their application to the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

The Government also announced earlier this year that the Test and Trace Support Payments scheme will be available until 30 June 2021.

Apply for a test and trace payment

Vaccination news

As of 25 March, 52,492 of Sevenoaks District's 101,629 residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This equates to a first dose vaccination rate of 51.65 per cent of residents.

Across Kent and Medway, 986,486 doses of the vaccine were given up to 28 March 2021.

COVID-19 infection data

The latest data from the Government and Public Health England is dated 25 March.

The case rate in the Sevenoaks District to 24 March was 15.7, down from 26.5 per 100,000 the previous week. This is significantly lower than that of the England rate, at 55.4, which is continuing to fall each week. 
 
There are currently 26 active cases in the District, compared to 45 cases recorded at 18 March.  The cases are associated with household clusters and single cases within residential dwellings.

 

View the latest national COVID-19 data.

Shielding comes to an end

From today (1 April), clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield.
 
Earlier this month, letters were sent to people on the shielded patient list with updated guidance. The letters set out the practical steps they can follow to reduce their risk of catching the virus, including continuing to maintain strict social distancing and keeping their overall social contacts at low levels, such as through working from home where possible.
 
People should continue to follow the national rules and take the additional precautions set out in the guidance to keep themselves as protected as possible.
 
Even though shielding has ended, Care for our Community continues to support anyone who needs help picking up shopping and prescriptions and other small tasks.

Register with Care for our Community

New guidance for care home visitors

The Better Care Fund has created two new animations, explaining how current Coronavirus care home visiting arrangements work, the benefits they bring for all parties and what to do when visitors or staff test positive.

View the care home video

Studies on immune response after Coronavirus vaccines

The Government has published a new study, led by Sheffield and Oxford Universities, which has found that 99% of people generate a robust immune response against Coronavirus after one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

The Government also published an analysis by Public Health England (PHE) indicating that the Coronavirus vaccination programme prevented 6,100 deaths in those aged 70 and older in England up to the end of February.

Coronavirus immune response study

Coronavirus vaccination study

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