SOMERSET CC CORONAVIRUS UPDATE FRIDAY 15TH MAY 2020

All SCC services are running well, and all staff are expected to continue to work from home where possible for the time being.

HIGHWAYS
An additional £15m. funding has been received for maintenance, pot-holes etc.
Other money has also been promised but it is unclear at present if this is ‘additional’ money, to help implement safe distancing measures on roads and in town centres.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Discussions are continuing with providers, who are expected to put measures in place, and for those who use public transport to be pro-active in protecting themselves.

CARE HOMES
More money is being made available to provide support for care homes, particularly in relation to infection control. £600m. in total but it is not yet clear how much will come to Somerset.

SCHOOLS
Primary schools to open, and from 1st June, reception, Year 1 and Year 6 are expected to return.
From mid-June all primary years are expected to be back in school.
Attendance is strongly advised but not compulsory at present, and parents will not be fined for non-attendance.
Parents with more than one child are expected to make their own arrangements for child-care, as at present.
Year 10 will be able to have more face-to-face contact with tutors.
Nurseries for all years are expected to open from 1st June, likewise alternative early years provision.
Support is to be provided by SCC, including PPE, HR support, risk assessments and H&S but the overall responsibility lies with individual schools.
Safe distancing is still expected to be observed and how this is to be done is at the discretion of local schools, including the positioning of desks etc.
How attendance is managed e.g. alternate day attendance or half days, is up to individual schools.

PUBLIC HEALTH
The dashboard is being updated weekly each Tuesday.
Locally, the Covid-19 peak was on 17th April and is now in decline.
Across the SW deaths per 100k. population remain very low, but this means that fewer people have had exposure which is of concern. There is a real risk of a second peak, especially likely over the winter.
The ‘R’ figure indicates how many people someone with Covid-19 is likely to infect, in the SW it is currently 0.76 (where nationally it was up to 3 at its height). Keeping this low is vital to recovery.
Outdoor exercise – there has been some confusion in relation to the relaxation of lockdown distancing, especially where people may wish to travel to do so. It is felt overall that choosing to exercise in a remote location is preferable to going to the local park where there may be more people.
At present people are NOT permitted to stay overnight away from home.
1/3 of deaths in Somerset have been in care homes, which mirrors the national picture.

ADULT SOCIAL CARE
SCC funded care providers are continuing to receive payment at present.
The need for 24/7 working has reduced. The situation in relation to PPE is under control.
There is now a focus on testing for care homes, which is now being co-ordinated locally, with further changes due next week to improve this.
Care packages are now able to be put in place within 24 hours.
Future social care provision is under consideration as the situation changes.
Plans are being made for this coming winter. The expectation is that Covid-19 will still be a consideration then.

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