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27 March 2020

COVID-19 Multi Agency Update - Friday 27 March

Cumbria County Council

Parking enforcement

In respect of parking services, the county council have restricted their on and off street parking enforcement. However, in accordance with government guidance, organised patrols and enforcement of particular areas may still take place as and when required if issues occur. As such, the council is reminding all drivers to ensure that their vehicle is parked safely and legally at all times.

The council has also suspended parking charges on their car parks, to reflect the Government guidance to enable key staff to park for free, also due to the significantly reduced numbers of users, and the lack of enforcement been carried out.

These decision have not been taken lightly given the importance of the services, however as this is an unprecedented situation and the health, safety and wellbeing of council staff, their families, customers, and local communities has to be the number one priority.

In the meantime, our parking enforcement team are assisting with the community hubs in transporting foods and equipment to vulnerable people in the community.

Volunteering in your community

Vulnerable people and elderly people in your community who are staying at home, self-isolating or shielding may need the support of volunteers - could you help?

SupportCumbria.org.uk is a collaboration of agencies and communities across Cumbria to offer volunteering support at a community level. They are looking for volunteers of all levels.

You might have specific skills to offer or may want to help with tasks like shopping, dog walking, collecting prescriptions and other help.

Go to SupportCumbria.org.uk to register as a volunteer or to register a volunteer group.

Cumbria Trading Standards

The Government has announced that from 24th March nearly all businesses and premises where people gather must close with immediate effect.

Guidance on the steps that businesses need to take, including a list of the businesses and premises affected is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close

There is also guidance here for tradespeople who visit customers in their homes.

All local authorities in England have been given the responsibility for ensuring that these requirements are complied with. Any non-essential businesses which remain open will be asked to close with immediate effect and prohibition notices can be served on non-compliant businesses which may be subject to unlimited fines.

Introduction of earlier travel times for concessionary passes

From today (Friday 27 March), older and disabled people will be able to use their bus passes before 9.30am on weekdays for free travel in Cumbria.

Cumbria County Council is changing the current rules on concessionary passes in the county to help older and vulnerable people access the early priority shopping hours provided by supermarkets. The change will initially apply until the end of July 2020.

We hope this gesture will enable pensioners and disabled people who have no other option but to go shopping, to do so at quieter times, reducing their risk of catching the coronavirus from larger groups.

People travelling on public transport are asked to follow Government guidance on social distancing to protect themselves.

The current rules, which have been waived, prevent concessionary passes being used before 9.30am on week days, so that older people don’t travel during the rush hour.

Fly tipping

Councils are receiving reports of increased fly tipping on streets outside homes. Please keep garden waste and other items at home until the Household Waste and Recycling Centre’s reopen. Household waste and recycling will still be collected from the kerb-side by district authorities.

Active Cumbria

This week we have launched a new campaign called Cumbria Together We Can, the aim of this campaign is to share positive stories and information from across the county, lifting morale and showcasing the efforts of people responding to the outbreak of #COVID19 #Coronavirus.

If you have any positive stories or anything you would like to share, please email TogetherWeCan@cumbria.gov.uk 

Follow 'Cumbria Together We Can' on social media and please get involved using the hashtags #TogetherWeCan and #TogetherCumbria 

Twitter: @TogetherCumbria https://twitter.com/TogetherCumbria

Instagram: @TogetherCumbria https://www.instagram.com/togethercumbria

Facebook: @TogetherCumbria https://www.facebook.com/TogetherCumbria

 

Carlisle City Council

Car Parking

All our car parks free to use from today (Friday 27 March) until further notice.

The impact of Coronavirus has resulted in low occupancy within our car parks as residents and visitors follow advice to stay at home. However, parking is still needed for NHS staff, key workers and volunteers supporting those affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.

We fully support the government’s efforts to prevent all unnecessary travel and this move is not designed to encourage shoppers or visitors to the area. We continue to ask people to stay at home, to help protect the local NHS services.

Our decision is in line with government advice and is supported by the British Parking Association.

Bereavement Services update

Our Bereavement Services is continuing to take both burial and cremation bookings.

However, to allow colleagues to concentrate on these bookings, we are not able to make any garden appointments or burials of cremated remains for the foreseeable future.

Following advice from the government and ICCM, the Cemetery and Crematorium office is now closed to the public. However, the Bereavement Services can still be contacted by 01228 817390 or email bereavement@carlisle.gov.uk

All mourners are being asked to stay outside the Crematorium building until just before a funeral starts

We are communicating daily with funeral directors and providing updated guidance regarding social distancing. Hand sanitiser is provided at both the entrance and exit to the chapel.

Following the government's announcement on Monday 23 March, we are working with Funeral Directors to put in place further safeguards at funeral services at the Crematorium.

These include limiting the maximum attendance at funerals (cremations and burials) to up to 12 mourners (excluding clergy/celebrants/funeral director’s staff) and putting extra social distancing and cleaning operations in place at the Crematorium. It may be possible to have the service streamed or recorded(via the funeral director) in order to allow more people to participate.

The office remains closed to face to face visits (the telephone and email service continues as normal). Funeral Directors will arrange collection of cremated remains. The crematorium building will be closed to visitors at weekends (the grounds will remain open).

From Monday 6 April, all funerals services will be limited to 20 minutes ensuring that time is available for the chapel to be cleaned and prepared between funerals. This will reduce the risk of cross contamination protecting all that come into the building and all who work ensuring service continuity.

The cemetery chapels will no longer be available for funeral services, all burial services will take place at the graveside and are subject to the maximum attendance of 12 mourners.

Environmental Health advice

We all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The government has given clear guidance on self-isolation and staying at home.

Additional measures are now in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives. Some businesses must close. Takeaway and delivery services may remain open. Online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal.

Information is available at https://bit.ly/2QJFy7R

Please note these measures are for public safety and can be enforced.

Coronavirus support for businesses

We have put in place a series of financial measures to help businesses impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak. We are also supporting access to government support.

The UK Government has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

An online guide is available at www.businesssupport.gov.uk/

Businesses can also get advice and assistance from Cumbria Tourism, the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce and the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership.

We can support businesses with the following schemes:

If businesses qualify for the business rate conditions, they may also be eligible for grant funding. Eligible business will receive one grant, per hereditament. We will contact the eligible business that may qualify for payments from the grant funding.

Find out more about these schemes and other funding support at https://www.carlisle.gov.uk/news-and-events/coronavirus-9

 

Allerdale Borough Council

Lockdown enforcement 

The Government has made it clear that only essential businesses should now remain open. 

Residents and business owners can report any business they think shouldn’t be trading but remains open to the public to Allerdale Borough Council. Further details are on the council’s website at: https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/coronavirus/coronavirus-lockdown-enforcement/ 

The council is determined to help reduce the spread of coronavirus by monitoring business closures. 

Website updates 

The council is constantly updating its website as advice and information changes. The council therefore encourages all residents and business owners to check the latest at www.allerdale.gov.uk/coronavirus  

Bins and potentially contaminated waste 

The council’s bin crews are working hard to carry out the waste collections in these challenging times. We ask the public to help to protect them by cleaning bin handles. And to wash their hands after touching the bins too.  

If you have coronavirus symptoms, advice on disposing of any waste is here: https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/coronavirus/coronavirus-waste-services/ 

Cemeteries 

The council have had reports of people using the cemeteries as an alternative to parks to get round the social distancing measures and are gathering in groups. This is not acceptable and could compromise the aims of the Government’s measures to slow the spread of the virus, and could put the workers at risk. The Government gave very clear guidance about the reasons that people can leave their homes - visiting a cemetery or crematorium other than for a funeral, and then in limited circumstances is not one of them. 

Changes to car parking charges and restrictions 

Following government advice to provide free parking to NHS staff and others who are leading efforts to tackle the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, Allerdale Borough Council will not be charging to use its car parks. This is with immediate effect. The car parks will also remain open for use by local residents such as those who have permits. 

The council fully supports the government’s efforts to prevent all unnecessary travel and this move is not designed to encourage shoppers or visitors to the area. The council continues to ask people to stay at home, to help protect the local NHS services.   

The car parks which are now free are:  

  • Workington: Ladies Walk, Udale Street, Elizabeth Street, Brow Top, Brow Top Annexe, Central Station, Allerdale House  
  • Cockermouth: Fairfield, Bitterbeck, Memorial Gardens, Sullart Street and Riverside  
  • Keswick: Bell Close, Otley Road, Central and Lakeside  
  • Wigton: Water Street  

The following car parks have always been free, but the time restriction will no longer apply:  

  • Maryport: Mill Street  
  • Cockermouth: All Saints  
  • Workington: Horse Close  
  • Wigton: Council Centre and Market Hill  

No charges will also apply in car parks which we manage on behalf of other organisations. These are:  

  • Keswick: Booths (Tithebarn Street), Derwent Mill and Rawnsley Hall  
  • Maryport: South Quay and Irish Street.  

Closure of the multi-storey car park in Workington  

The council closed the multi-storey car park in Workington earlier this week, to help reduce the risk of infection from the coronavirus.  

It was considered that with its stairways, doors, lifts and other communal areas, users of the car park were more at risk of spreading and contracting the virus.  

The move, taken as part of the council's business continuity plans, also frees up staff to help with maintaining core services and assisting with any other tasks required to help those affected by the impact of coronavirus. 

 

Copeland Borough Council

Copeland Borough Council is asking for the public’s support to take pressure off Waste teams.

Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said:

“To help reduce the pressure on our already stretched resources, please think carefully about whether your bins need to go out for collection every two weeks. If they’re only half-full, could they wait for another two weeks?

“We know this isn’t ideal - and won’t be possible in many households - but to put it into context, our Waste team has seen its numbers fall by 35% over the past week, so our frontline services are incredibly stretched.

“Clearly, if your bin is left out, we will continue to collect it as normal - but anything you can do take some pressure off would be hugely appreciated. Thank you for your consideration.”

 

South Lakeland District Council

Businesses impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak can now apply to South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) to access government support grants - the cash grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses (a one-off cash grant of £25,000 to eligible businesses with rateable values greater than £15,000 and less than £51,000), and small business grant funding (a one-off £10,000 grant to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief).

The funding from government was expected to arrive today (Friday) and SLDC is aiming to turn around the first applications and begin distributing payments from Monday (30 March).

Those eligible should receive the payment within seven working days from receipt of a valid application.

The application form can be accessed here: www.southlakeland.gov.uk/Covid-19BusinessGrants.

The grant schemes are separate to the business rates relief schemes also announced by government.

These reliefs apply to eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses (including those that have closed temporarily due to the Government advice on Coronavirus) and 100 per cent rate relief is available for a period of 12 months.

SLDC will apply this relief automatically to business rates bills for 2020/21 and businesses do not need to apply for this. New bills with applied relief will be reissued in the coming weeks. SLDC has also taken the decision not to collect business rates direct debits in April to allow the new reliefs to be applied before any payments are due.

SLDC has been receiving queries about our suspension of green bin garden waste collections from Monday (March 30).

We would like to remind people the suspension is to ensure that we can target all our efforts on maintaining grey bin and recycling collections during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. This includes making sure our crews can continue to work while observing social distancing guidelines.

We have had to split crews and more vehicles have needed to be diverted to the grey bin collections.

We have a statutory responsibility to collect residual waste (grey bin) so that is the service that we are working hard to protect under very difficult circumstances.

We realise this isn’t great timing for the many gardeners out there following the 'stay at home' advice but ask for some support and understanding in these unprecedented times.

SLDC is supporting the call for people to stay at home and not travel for their daily exercise.

Car parks operated by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) have been made free but only to ensure key workers and volunteers involved in the Coronavirus response can access parking and to minimise the risk of virus transmission.

 

Cumbria Police

The Lake District is closed

As we approach the weekend, police in Cumbria have a clear message for anyone considering travelling to the county to spend the weekend - the Lake District is closed.

The message follows scenes last weekend which saw thousands of tourists descend on the Lake District.  This weekend we do not want to see the same.

Temporary Chief Superintendent Rob O’Connor said:

“Last weekend we saw significant amounts of tourists travel to the Lake District, and my message is really simple, the Lake District is closed.

“Pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed, and we do not want to see people travelling to the Lakes in caravans and camper vans or driving many miles in their cars to go walking on the fells.

“The Government guidance is really clear in relation to personal movements to limit the spread of coronavirus.”

Under the restrictions, people must stay at home and only leave for the following reasons:

  • to exercise once a day - either alone or with members of your household
  • shopping for basic necessities, although this should be done as little as possible
  • medical need or to provide care for a vulnerable person
  • travel to or from work but only where this is absolutely necessary                                           

Temporary Chief Superintendent Rob O’Connor said:

“It is really clear that people should not be travelling unless there is an essential reason to do so. It does not mean on nice days you can drive into the Lakes and go walking, or ride your motorbike to Devils Bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale

“I still want my officers to engage, explain and encourage the public in relation to the restrictions that are in place. There is now legislation that means people can be fined for breaching the restrictions, but my preference is that my officers do not need to resort to doing so, and that the public show common sense and do not travel into the Lakes.

“Over the weekend people will see my officers in the Lakes and the Kirkby Lonsdale areas, and they can expect to be stopped and asked whether their travel is essential.

“As we saw on Thursday evening there was an outpouring of support nationally for the NHS, and people need to ensure they follow the Government guidance and restrictions in these unprecedented times to ensure we do not overburden the NHS.”

 

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

Changes to primary care in response to Covid-19 across north Cumbria

Across North Cumbria all our general practice teams are working together on rising to the challenge faced by Covid-19. This might mean you see a change in the way you access primary care.

We want to reassure you that your family doctor and their wider team are working hard to keep you as well as possible at this challenging time, and explain why things might be different.

There are two main changes that patients might experience.

They are:

* You won’t be able to have an appointment without a conversation on the phone or on-line - and your query might be dealt with on the phone or on-line. If you are invited for a face-to-face appointment you might be asked to attend a different surgery and see a different healthcare professional

* GPs in your local area are working together to make sure that patients who are likely to have Covid-19 can be seen in one location which will become your area’s hub - or red centre - solely for use by invited potential Covid-19 patients

 Dr Colin Patterson, clinical lead for NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

“The challenges facing the NHS are unprecedented, and we have been working on making sure our environment keeps patients and NHS teams as safe as possible by making use of telephone and online.

“It is important that our general practice teams remain resilient in the face of increasing pressures, and that GPs and their wider healthcare teams and our out of hour’s provider Cumbria Health On Call (CHOC) work together at a local level.

“Groups of practices - known as Primary Care Networks - are working together to make sure that they are reducing the risk of infection by consulting with patients as much as possible by phone and digital links.

“They are still seeing patients with health needs and are still offering essential routine appointments, but everyone will have a conversation on the phone before being invited for their appointment which in some cases might not be at your usual surgery.

“We are also planning those patients who need medical assessment and are poorly or potentially poorly with Covid-19 will be seen locally in one place with strict infection control measures in place.”

This will be in the local designated hub for symptomatic patients who have been invited by their GP for face to face assessment.

It is not a general public facility, and will only be accessed by appointment after referral from NHS 111 to a GP and telephone triage by a GP.

It will NOT offer community testing.

In Eden this will be at Penrith Hospital. In Copeland it will be Flatt Walks Surgery in Whitehaven. Other areas are developing their hubs.

Pharmacy

Our pharmacy teams are also doing their best during these difficult times to make sure that everyone gets the medicines they need. Help them to help you:

* Follow Government advice and do not visit a pharmacy if you or anyone in your household has a temperature or a new and continuous cough, even if mild.

* Plan ahead where possible. Pharmacies are working hard to provide prescriptions, but please try to order your next prescription seven days before it is due. This will help the pharmacist deal with urgent requests and queries.

If you are handing in your prescription, please put your contact details on it so pharmacies can let you know when your medicines are ready. That means you won’t need to be in the pharmacy for as long. Please don’t ring the pharmacy unless it’s urgent.

If you are self-isolating please ask family, friends or neighbours to arrange to pick up your medication for you. If you don’t have anyone who can collect your medicine, speak to your community pharmacy for advice about how they can help.

If you are well and can visit the pharmacy yourself, think about how you can help family, friends and neighbours who are self-isolating by collecting their medicines on their behalf (you may need to take ID with you and will need to know the name and address of the person you are collecting for).

Do not ask for extra medicine or an increase in prescription duration as this could lead to overall medicines shortages. Continue to request as normal and do not stockpile.

You may have to queue and respect social distancing at your pharmacy. Some pharmacies are closing for part of the day to enable them to respond to demand.

Our NHS teams across Cumbria are working really hard and need your patience and support to keep going.

Anyone who suspects they have Covid-19 is advised to follow this national guidance:

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms.

Stay at home if you have either:

* a high temperature - this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)

* a new, continuous cough - this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.

Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do at 111.nhs.uk

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

Only get in contact with NHS 111 if you feel you can’t cope or your symptoms are getting worse and they will give you advice and may refer you to a GP.

Other useful advice:

How long to stay at home?

* if you have symptoms of coronavirus, you'll need to stay at home for 7 days

* if you live with someone who has symptoms, you'll need to stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in the home started having symptoms

* if you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days

If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

New video message - what to do if you think you have Coronavirus

Link to new video message from Dr Craig Melrose, GP Clinical Lead Urgent & Emergency Care, North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.

What to do if you think you have Coronavirus: https://youtu.be/P4aJTXdIBa0


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Cumbria Council Council COVID-19 Multi-Agency Update Friday 27 March