Are you playing your part to stop transmissions of COVID-19 in Wrexham, and avoid the county going into a local lockdown?
Now is the time for everyone to take responsibility for ourselves and our community. By abiding by social distancing regulations, wearing a face-covering where necessary, and paying attention to the types of activities we’re participating in, we can all do our bit to slow the transmission of COVID-19. Whether you at home, school, college, at the shops, or in a work environment, we must all take our responsibility seriously. These rules apply to everyone, from any age range.
There are local lockdowns in effect in three counties in South Wales, as the R rate rises across Wales. No-one should underestimate the potential problems and hazards we will be faced with over the Autumn and Winter periods.
The Infection rate in Wrexham
In Wrexham, there have been 1,475 people who have tested positive, with 22 of those in the last week. Wrexham has risen to 1084.9 from 1068.7 – the highest level in Wales.
Between 11th September and 18th September, Gwynedd’s infection rate increased from 517.8 infected per 100,000 people to 533.1.
In Anglesey, the number rose from 676.7 to 701, while Conwy increased from 645 to 681.7. Denbighshire stands at 895.5, having risen from 877.8.
The danger of increased infection is still present in our community. We can not afford to become complacent.
Recent Regulation Changes
What restrictions are in place?
There are four main regulations to keep in mind:
- people should not gather indoors in groups larger than 6, or with anyone who is not a member of their household (or extended household) unless they have a good reason,
- people must not gather outdoors in groups of more than 30,
- face coverings are mandatory in indoor public spaces (subject to certain exemptions and exceptions),
- a small number of businesses remain closed
Who am I allowed to meet up with socially indoors?
You can only meet socially indoors with people who you live with (your household) and members of your extended household if you have formed one.
As of 14th September, meetings or gatherings indoors even within your extended household must be limited to 6 people (not including any children aged under 11).
This applies to places like community buildings, pubs, and restaurants, as well as in people’s homes.
You can read the full guidance on the Welsh Government website.
Missing Symptoms of Coronavirus
There is a symptom of Coronavirus that is not being reported directly by Public Health Wales, the loss of common sense. This phenomenon is appearing with many people as they are oblivious of risks and concerns as they try and return rapidly to pre COVID-19 days.
COVID-19 Testing Failure
One of the most significant issues affecting people at present is the lack of access to testing for people who have been showing symptoms or for children being sent home from school. These issues have been raised by AVOW since the community testing took place in Caia and Hightown some weeks ago. There are many people who are very anxious that they can’t access a test – when the online system does offer a test local people are finding they are being directed to Oldham, Nelson, Aberystwyth and even as far as Aberdeen. Many people are being faced with a ‘sorry no tests available’ both for drive-through, walk-in and postal.
Clearly a system that is failing to meet the demand cannot be fixed overnight and everyone will have to be persistent and keep trying although currently there is no testing provision at all in Wrexham.
Due to pressures on availability, you should only be applying if you have symptoms or told to obtain a test by a clinician.
Local Lockdown Support
If a local or national lockdown becomes necessary across Wrexham County Borough, the support services for people shielding or self-isolating to facilitate essential food shopping, prescription collection, and other essential services will be mobilised again.
It is important that people begin to plan for the eventuality of a second lockdown and have discussions between their friends, families, and neighbours.
Looking after vulnerable neighbours
During the last national lockdown, AVOW observed a wealth of support in the local community, with a number of people coming forward to volunteer their time. This is a great support to local infrastructure, however, it is vital that we keep an eye on our vulnerable neighbours and support residents in our communities.
If you or someone you know needs support, you can get in touch with Wrexham County Borough Council’s Contact Centre for Social Care and Housing, via phone on 01978 292000.
For informal volunteer support please contact AVOW by phone on 01978 312556 or email COVID19@avow.org.
A number of schemes that have operated during the last six months have either ceased or are winding down. The Welsh Government Shielding Parcels have ceased, and the early indication is that this will not restart even if there is another lockdown – likewise, the scheme run by the Council Children’s Services has also ceased at the beginning of the school term.
If people are needing food support, they should contact Wrexham Foodbank by phone on 07538 547971 or Salvation Army by phone on 01978 311076
AVOW has recently published a report covering the food provision over the past six months and other support that has operated. A meeting to discuss the findings and plan for the future is being held at 9.30 am on 30th September. Anyone who has an interest in food or providing broader support can sign up online.
Awaiting confirmation of representation from WLGA and Welsh Government.
With an increasing number of people being made redundant as the Furlough Scheme comes to an end, there is likely to be a new cohort of individuals needing support.
PPE Face Shields
The local scheme HwbWrecsam are providing Face Shields across the UK, to get in touch with the scheme please contact their Facebook page.
As part of the pre-winter flu that regularly has an impact on our health services, people are being urged to book a flu vaccination as soon as possible. There are unfortunately already significant issues about availability through GP surgeries and local Pharmacies with some not having availability until the end of November.
People in the vulnerable groups should contact their Doctor asap if they are unable to obtain a vaccination in a community pharmacy. For more information please visit the Public Health Wales website.
Opening of Community Buildings and Spaces
AVOW has been liaising directly with Welsh Government officials to gather appropriate information to support the management committees who are eager to reopen many community buildings and restart activities. A network has been established to share best practice and interpret the legislation.
Key issues that have already been identified include:
- What is the permitted activity?
- What is not permitted to take place?
- Frequent amendments to the Guidance issued.
With the increasing number of cases, it is important that management committees put Health and Safety first before income generation. Committees are ultimately responsible and not those running activities. Risk Assessments are essential and a notification to the relevant insurance company.
The restriction on the number of people in public spaces is in place unless an exempt activity. Management Committees need to recognise that there is a blanket ban on any Social Activities.
Wrexham County Borough Council is the relevant Enforcement Authority and any centers not complying with Section 12 and 14 (revised) of the regulations run the risk of action being taken for non-compliance.
If you would like to join the network, or if you would like a copy of the guidance from the Welsh Government or TSSW Guide please contact Community Development Rafat Arshad-Roberts firstname.lastname@example.org.
The number of unemployed people between 16 and 24 years old has begun to rise across the UK. The UK Government Kickstart Scheme is an initiative to address this cohort and those who are being affected by the consequences of COVID-19.
The work experience scheme has opened and businesses or Third Sector organisations who are able to create an opportunity for a minimum of 25 hours will be paid the equivalent of the minimum wage. A £1500 training/support payment is payable in addition to each person taken on through a created opportunity. To find out more information about the scheme please visit the Government website.
Volunteer Managers Network
Do you support volunteers in your organisation – the AVOW Volunteer Managers Network is the place for you to meet others doing a similar role, Come and share your experience and learn from each other how to support Volunteers. At the next meeting, you will be able to find out more about the Investors in the Volunteering quality mark that is being relaunched. 23rd September 10.00 am.
To join the meeting please register at the link provided or email VB@avow.org.
Looking After Your Assets
This training event is for anyone in the community responsible for any assets – whether physical such as buildings or financial this session is for you. Learn from experience about what can go wrong and how to prevent problems in the future. Unfortunately, this is a major area that can hit an organisation at any time but preventable if correct policies and processes are in place. Join the meeting using the link 19th October at 2.00 pm.
To register for the event please visit the link provided.
Comic Relief Voluntary Sector Emergency Fund
AVOW has received a £26,000 share of the funding from the Comic Relief A Big Night In- the fund was launched on the 13th July 2020. A full application is available from the AVOW website.
the criteria are that each project must meet at least one of these themes:
Children survive and thrive – Actions to give children the best start in life and access to opportunities to achieve their potential
Gender justice – Actions to improve equality for women and girls
A safe place to be – Actions to help vulnerable people improve their circumstances and safety
Mental health matters – Actions to enable access to support and increase awareness.
AVOW hopes to keep this as a weekly briefing to share with our community’s support information and guidance- if there are issues you want information on email email@example.com
The content of this briefing is provided for information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action based on the content. We do not accept responsibility for any errors, omissions, misleading statements, or the consequences thereof. https://avow.org/terms-and-conditions/