This week’s Briefing is coming to you at one of the most crucial times in the fight against Coronavirus. There are now rising cases in many parts of Wales and in Wrexham, we have pockets that are showing case numbers equivalent to over 450 per 100,000. There will be a wide variety of reasons why certain communities are higher than others- the common factor however is that the spread is occurring from person to person, so everyone has a part to play.
The escalation of the figures is particularly worrying for the health service with a prediction of over 2500 COVID patients being in hospitals across Wales by Christmas Day. This level of COVID bed occupancy will dramatically reduce the ability of the Wales Health Service to deal with non-Covid health issues.
What can you do?
You must ensure that you reduce the number of people you have contact with by following the guidance. Ensure at all times you remain socially distant.
What can your organisation do?
DO NOT risk allowing events to take place where controls cannot be in place for social distancing and prevent mixing or against the current regulations.
Everyone has a part to play in reducing the spread across our communities by not taking chances or having a view that they will be safe as they do not know anyone affected so far so they must be living in a safe bubble!
The current information being provided by scientists and Politicians is clearly giving everyone a warning that the Christmas period will increase many people’s vulnerability as they try and have a normal Christmas period with family and friends. For many people who carry on meeting up with elderly relatives as if things are normal, they run the risk that this could be their last Christmas if they catch COVID.
Overall people need to restrict socialising this Christmas so that they will be able to look forward to everyone being together in 2021.
The new four-tier system will be based on:
The information on virus spread within Wales is an indication that a lockdown should be occurring in parts of the country. For more information please see the BBC website.
For more information on hospitality restrictions and the impact of Tier 4, please visit the Daily Post website.
Infection rates 14th December 2020
The Daily Post has issued their latest summary of the daily infection and death rates for Wrexham and the rest of Wales. Find out more on their website.
There is hope that the vaccine roll-out will help to bring some form of new normality to the way that we live our lives. There are however lots of hurdles to overcome before the volume of available vaccines is sufficient to start delivering across all our communities. The first batches are allocated and will be used for front line Health professionals, Care Home residents, and staff and then phased for those who are vulnerable. Unfortunately, problems have already arisen with supplies in North Wales having delays in the second batch due last week. It will be a significant number of months before the lower age groups have access to the vaccine and realistically will be the second quarter of 2021.
Differences in England and Wales: It is important to recognise that in Wales people should not turn up at a GP or other health facility as everyone will receive a letter giving details of when and where to get the vaccine when someone’s turn comes based on the rollout criteria. This article from the Daily Post produced in conjunction with the Health Board gives a response to many of the frequently asked questions.
A full version of the Public Health Wales (PHW) Frequently Asked Questions is available from AVOW.
It is understandable that some people will be apprehensive about the vaccine program due to the speed of development or ethical reasons. The FAQ information is intended to help people understand the background. It is however recognized that this is not a compulsory vaccine programme, and everyone will have their own views. The key to the vaccine is to remember it is intended to not only prevent the individuals from catching Covid but will also help with reducing the spread to others.
Vaccine information for organisations
There is information available to put up in community buildings are share with those attending your activities, Public Health Wales (PHW) has a specific site for information to download.
The Track Trace and Protect service across North Wales responding to tracing contacts for people who have been tested positive is increasing the number of links being established as the cases increase. It is important that when people are asked for contact details when they go to any locations or if they see the QR codes to scan when entering buildings these should be used. This is particularly important when you might be in locations and you do not know all the people around you.
If TTP makes contact the person will also be able to provide information on what support is available when you are told to isolate.
The latest situation is that all Secondary Schools and Further Education closed last Friday until the New Year and Primary Schools closing two days early on Wednesday this week. It is important to remember that the early closure is not an extra holiday but a time for pupils to move to do work online for this week.
Parents have a responsibility to ensure that they keep their children and young people in and not allow gatherings in the community. It is also expected that a number of parents will be keeping the Primary School children at home this week to create a family isolation period leading to Christmas.
There is no indication at present from the Welsh Government or Councils on what the position will be for reopening after the New Year. Parents will need to wait for information from their schools using normal communications methods.
Plans are being developed to test children and staff in schools that have been in contact with an infected person to potentially reduce the time that they need to be in isolation.
Comic Relief Funding
There is only a very small amount of funding left in the Comic Relief Fund- anyone interested in applying is urged to do so in the next 10 days. If any additional local funds are identified to be offered through AVOW details will be in these briefings.
If you are seeking funds you can contact Nigel.email@example.com who has details on a vast range of funders.
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 of July and the full application is available now 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.
There are a number of organisations that are providing practical support to people in need over the Christmas period. People are able to donate at various collection points in supermarkets and other locations across the town. It will be a particularly hard Christmas for everyone but within our communities, there are people who are less fortunate through various circumferences and it is so food that there are people who will be helping during this period.
A number of organisations have joined together to ensure they can collectively work together.
Further contact details and further details are included in this article from the Wrexham Leader.
Stress and anxiety in the workplace – FREE support
There is a FREE helpline service available for anyone who is in work with anxiety and mental health issues. The confidential service is provided by the DWP and is available online or by telephone and included access to counseling support for up to 9 months. Find out more about available support here.
Special Mention from AVOW
A special Thank You from all at AVOW to all the volunteers and staff across all of our Third Sector organisations who have been doing such a tremendous amount of good work over the Covid period and for all of those who will be working through the festive season.
Thanks to all of the local businesses that have provided support in so many ways with donations of goods and time for their staff to volunteers. Also, really big thanks to those in the Council and other Public Services.
Extra Special thanks to all NHS staff for the fantastic work that they have been doing in these totally unprecedented times.
The common wish for us all will be that 2021 will bring a safer and better year for everyone.
Stay safe over the festive season.
For more information
Wrexham County Borough Council is maintaining an information site where local and national information can be found. Find out more on their website.
Welsh Government advice for Voluntary Organisations is available on their website.
There is also a full comprehensive list of the various updates for Wales are available on the Welsh Government site.
Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) has a vast amount of information available but be selective or you will spend more time reading rather than providing the resource. Please visit the WCVA website.
AVOW hopes to keep this as a fortnightly briefing to share with our community’s support information and guidance – if there are issues you want information on email firstname.lastname@example.org. 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