COVID-19 Update from Leeds City Council – 29th June

See latest update below:

“Last week, once again, we saw a considerable amount of new and updated guidance following the Government’s announcement of easing of lockdown restrictions from 4 July and new advice for shielding individuals from 6 July. Links to relevant guidance documents are included in this briefing. The scenes we have seen recently in other parts of the country, including Bournemouth, highlight the continued challenge for local authorities to keep people safe as lockdown restrictions begin to be lifted from Saturday. It is more important than ever that we continue to remind residents of the ongoing threat posed by the virus.

 

Cases and Mortality

Nationally, as of 9am 28 June, there have been 9,195,132 tests and 311,151 people have tested positive. As of 5pm on 27 June, of those tested positive for coronavirus, across all settings, 43,550 have sadly died. As at 5pm on June 25th the number of confirmed cases within Leeds stood at 1,902. The total number of reported deaths of people who tested positive with COVID-19 in Leeds hospitals up to 5pm June 25th is 336. As you know, Leeds City Council death registrations includes all deaths where ‘COVID-19’ or ‘coronavirus’ is mentioned on the death certificate, whether the only or main cause of death or as a contributing factor. Of the 639 covid-19 related deaths registered so far, 627 (98%) were Leeds residents, 353 (55%) were in hospitals, 253 (40%) were in care homes, 12 (2%) in a hospice, and 21 (3%) in their own home.  To date, 27% of all deaths registered have been covid-19 related.

 

Outbreaks Update & Leeds Outbreak Plan

We are aware of a new outbreak at a care home that is being dealt with by the Infection Prevention Service, Health Protection Team and Adult Social Care. The overall number of care homes with outbreaks is still low. In addition there is one small work place outbreak that now feels contained, and school cases are down to 2 single cases. As mentioned last week, the draft Leeds Outbreak Plan will be published this week. A special update will follow on this later in the week. I am sure that we are all following the story in Leicester with interest.

 

National Developments

 

Schools

  • School attendance is rising, with around 16,000 pupils in school, equating to around 13%. Previous figures were significantly lower.
  • There has been some confusion following last Tuesday’s announcement about whether 2m or 1m+ physical distancing should be applied in schools. We have asked heads to continue to maintain 2m distancing in schools and not to reduce this to 1m+. The reason for this is that schools have already undertaken risk assessments based on 2m distancing, and reducing to 1m+ would require the use of other measures including wearing face coverings, which is not recommended in schools under current Government guidance.
  • The Government has issued guidance about how summer food vouchers will be issued to schools and we have communicated this information to schools. Schools can order a £105 voucher for each eligible child to cover the 7 week summer holiday- this must be ordered at least one week before the school term ends, and vouchers will be then issued to the family within 7 days.
  • Some good news- Leeds Community Foundation has been successful in its application for funding from the Government’s Holiday Activities and Food programme to provide healthy meals and activities for pupils in Leeds over the summer holidays.
  • Schools have been advised that they can submit claims for financial support to cover additional expenditure incurred during the pandemic, until 21 July.
  • We are aware of some instances of pupils going to school being refused half fare because they are not wearing school uniform. It is recommended that children get a free under-16 photocard (half fare pass). Information is available online here.

 

Local Developments

  • Last week’s delivery bulletin to residents includes advice about changes to lockdown restrictions and shielding, plus advice on how to tell the difference between Covid-19 and hayfever symptoms.
  • Parks: Lotherton Hall is due to reopen from 16th The re-opening of Tropical World and Home Farm at Temple Newsam are also planned, but without a confirmed date yet.
  • NHS colleagues have asked me to advise you that anyone accessing health services in Leeds will be expected to wear a face covering as part of the city’s effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  This message has also been shared in a press release and you are invited to share or use the content of this Facebook post to help get the message out. The advice issued by the NHS in Leeds builds on the Government’s announcement on 5 June telling people they must wear face coverings when accessing care in hospital. This means people in Leeds should wear a face covering when visiting GP practices, community health centres and hospitals in the city.  For some people, wearing a face covering may be difficult due to physical or mental health conditions. In these instances, other measures will be considered on a case by case basis, for example timed appointments and being seen immediately on arrival. The following groups do notneed to wear a face covering:
  • Young children under the age of three
  • Anyone with anatomical difficulties that would make wearing a face covering impossible or painful e.g. facial injuries
  • People with breathing difficulties
  • Anyone who experiences severe discomfort or distress while wearing a face covering such as those with severe claustrophobia

 

Refuse collection

  • The amount of kerbside waste presented by residents remains considerably high with little sign of a sustained reduction- in the past two weeks tonnage of waste collected was around 20% more in black bins, 10% more in green bins and 30% more in brown bins than in previous years.
  • The service still has about 10% of operational staff off work self-isolating or shielding.
  • As per the Service Business Continuity Plan, priority will continue to be given to black/green bin collections.
  • Despite these challenges, all black and green bin routes are completing with any missed streets being revisited within 48 hours as per the normal service commitment.
  • Gardens waste collections are also now completing most days and missed streets being recovered within 48 hours where at all possible.
  • It continues to be a challenge to crew up sufficient back-up vehicles every day and we cannot guarantee brown bins will be revisited if streets are missed as black/green bins take priority.
  • Please continue to share the message with residents that it remains hugely challenging times to keep up to bin collections- and please also continue to promote our tips on how to recycle and compost more –see zerowasteleeds.org.uk/tag/recycling/ and www.zerowasteleeds.org.uk/tag/garden-waste/