Many thanks to Kevin Foster for permitting us to use part of his weekly Residents’ Update.
This is an abridged version and the full version can be found on his website.
Latest on Covid-19
These figures for our region were published on Friday and showed a very small rise in the number of cases across Devon and Cornwall compared to last week.
32 new cases were confirmed across both testing pillars (Hospital and Community), compared to 29 the week before. Yet not all the newly confirmed cases relate to recent infections. Of the 31, 18 had been recorded in the previous 7 days, with 13 relating to tests between 11th and 16th July. Over the last seven days 3 cases were confirmed in Torbay, although 2 historical duplicate cases were removed from our overall numbers. To put these numbers into perspective nearly 2,000,000 people live in Devon and Cornwall.
Most encouragingly of all it has now been over 3 weeks since there was a Hospital Death related to Covid-19 in Devon and Cornwall. Given how low cases now are across our region the “r” number can vary significantly due to small differences in numbers, eg a large household or a small household catching it, hence it is quoted less as the focus is on tracking down cases.
Face Coverings When Shopping,
From Friday it was compulsory to wear a face covering when you visit business such as supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, transport hubs, banks and takeaways, unless one of the exemptions applies to you.
The covering can be as simple as a scarf or bandana secured over your mouth and nose, it does not need to be a purpose made mask. You can see a handy video on Youtube produced by the US Surgeon General showing how to make a covering out of an old t-shirt or item of cloth by clicking here. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPx1yqvJgf4)
You can find the full guidance on the new rules, including the exemptions, on the Government website.
Torquay Testing Station
The COVID-19 mobile testing centre will be in Torquay until at least Friday 31 July.
If you are eligible for a test you can go to the mobile testing site at Lymington Road in Torquay, TQ1 4BD, but you will need to book online first. You can apply for a Coronavirus test by clicking here (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested) . You will need to provide photo ID.
The eligibility criteria for a test now applies to anyone who may be displaying symptoms. You can check the symptoms on the NHS website.
Flu Vaccine Expanded,
A major extension to the Flu Vaccination programme was announced by the Government today as part of plans to help prepare the NHS for winter.
A significant new group will be eligible for the free flu vaccine as people aged 50 to 64 will be invited later in the season for a vaccination.
As part of an unprecedented drive, a free flu vaccine will also be available to:
* people who are on the shielded patient list and members of their household
* all school year groups up to year 7
* people aged over 65, pregnant women, those with pre-existing conditions including at-risk under 2s
Once vaccination of the most ‘at-risk’ groups is well underway, the Department of Health and Social Care will work with clinicians to decide when to open the programme to invite people aged 50 to 64, with further details to be announced. The NHS will contact people directly, including information about where to go to get the vaccine.
The expanded flu vaccination programme is part of plans to ready the NHS – both for the risk of a second peak of coronavirus cases, and to relieve winter pressures on A&E and emergency care. The vaccination will not be compulsory for the groups listed.
Contacting Your GP,
More people in Devon are seeing their GPs as services including routine vaccinations and smear tests are now being offered in addition to GP appointments.
GP services are fully available and to raise awareness of this the NHS is highlighting the following:
1. If you need to see a GP, contact them online via their website, or by phone
2. You will be offered a telephone, online or video consultation
3. Your GP may suggest you have a face-to-face appointment in the practice
4. If you do need to visit for an appointment, your practice will tell you everything you need to know when you come and what measures are in place to keep you safe
5. If your GP thinks you need to be referred to hospital for review or treatment, they will arrange this
6. If you are given an appointment, it’s really important to attend
For more information on how to get the best out of your NHS services just click here. (https://devonccg.nhs.uk/news/its-easy-to-see-your-gp-six-things-you-need-to-know)
Sign Up For Eat Out 2 Help Out,
If you run a hospitality business in the bay you can use the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out Scheme to offer a discount to diners and encourage them to eat at your restaurant, but must register to do so.
You can use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme:
· all day, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 to 31 August 2020
· to offer a 50% discount on food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in (up to a maximum of £10 discount per diner)
· to claim the money back from the government
There is no limit to the number of times customers can use the offer during the period of the scheme. Your customers cannot get a discount for someone who is not eating or drinking.
Alcohol and service charges are excluded from the offer. Registration will close on 31 August.
You can register online on the Government website.
Campaign Against Beach Litter Launched,
New signs and stickers will be appearing across Babbacombe Downs, Princess Gardens in Torquay, Preston beach promenade and Goodrington beach promenade in a drive to cut the amount of rubbish left by visitors.
Torbay Council is working in partnership with environment charity Keep Britain Tidy as part of a project funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation.
The new campaign, which was piloted by the environment charity during the summer of 2018, saw beach litter reduce by an average of 26% and by as much as 59% on one beach, will be appearing at the four key locations across Torbay and will be in place throughout the summer.
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