Latest Council Covid Update 8th July

The latest Council Covid update is below.

I’m pleased to report that Saturday’s reopening of parts of the hospitality sector went well. Footfall on Briggate was higher than previous weeks, but was still significantly lower than the same day last year.

Our NHS colleagues have asked me to share this important message across the city, to reach employers and employees, to let them know that people due to have an operation will need to self-isolate for two weeks in advance. 

[If you would like a copy of the pdf guidance on this please email me at barry.anderson@leeds.gov.uk]

Cases and Mortality

Nationally, as of 9am on 7 July, 286,349 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK. As of 5pm on 6 July, of those tested positive for coronavirus in the UK across all settings, 44,391 people have sadly died. As at 5pm on the 6th July the number of confirmed cases within Leeds stood at 3,610. Please note that the methodology for reporting positive cases changed on 2nd July and now includes pillar 2 testing as well as pillar 1 tests. This explains the significant increase in the figures- it does not represent a surge in positive cases. The total number of reported deaths of people who tested positive with COVID-19 in Leeds hospitals up to 5pm July 6th is 337. 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 644 covid-19 related deaths registered so far, 632 (98%) were Leeds residents, 354 (55%) were in hospitals, 256 (40%) were in care homes, 12 (2%) in a hospice, and 22 (3%) in their own home.  To date, 26% of all deaths registered have been covid-19 related.

National Developments

  • The Government has announced a £1.57 billion rescue package for arts, culture and heritage institutions through a combination of emergency grants and loans.
  • NHS Test and Trace service has now contacted 130,000 people– 75% of people who tested positive for coronavirus and were transferred to NHS Test and Trace were reached and asked to share details of their close contacts. 73% of close contacts were reached and advised to self-isolate.
  • On 6 July, the guidance for those who are shielding changed. By way of reminder, the following now applies:
  • Those shielding no longer need to socially distance from people they live with.
  • If they want to, they can meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from other households.
  • They may also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household if they want to, but one of the households in the ‘support bubble’ should be a single adult household (either an adult living alone or with children under 18 only).
  • Those shielding can still get a food box, care and/or medicine delivery via the national system until 31 July if they want them, and if they have registered online by 17 July.
  • Children and young people should continue to shield until 31 July, after which it is anticipated that the majority will no longer be advised to shield. This will be determined by a clinical discussion with a paediatric specialist or GP before any child or young person is removed from the shielded patient list. Specialists and GPs will be asked to contact children and their families to discuss this over the summer, so families do not need to take any immediate action.
  • Last week I updated you on the measures being taken in Leicester as the city undergoes a localised lockdown. On Friday the Prime Minister set out the five steps that would be taken to control any future local outbreaks:
  • Monitoring by PHE and the Joint Biosecurity Centre, to track the spread of the disease and people’s behaviour across the country.
  • Engagement: if monitoring identifies local problems, NHS Test and Trace and PHE will work with the relevant local authority to develop a deeper understanding of the problem and identify solutions.
  • Scaled-up testing at a local level, combined with contract tracing through NHS Test and Trace.
  • Targeted restrictions of activity at particular locations and close individual premises.
  • Local lockdown will be introduced if the previous measures do not prove to be enough, depending on the scientific and specific circumstances of each outbreak.

Local Developments

  • To support with the safe reopening of places of worship, Leeds Faith Hub are distributing free face coverings for faith groups. These were kindly donated by Morgan King, a local recruitment company. Most of the 1000 face coverings have already been distributed, but there are a small number left- faith groups can contact leedsfaith@leeds.gov.uk to put in a request. We are also offering PPE items for sale to faith groups at cost price- queries and orders can be placed via ppeorders@leeds.gov.uk.
  • Forum Central have updated me on some of the work they are doing to support communities through the pandemic, including circulating support information to people who are digitally excluded and those receiving community care parcels. The Shine Magazine is helping older people feel connected and is available online as well as a printed edition sent to older people who don’t have internet access. They are also working through a Communities of Interest Network with partner organisations to communicate COVID messages into communities, and a Health Inequalities Working Group has been established to focus on reducing inequalities aims to reset to a fairer and more equal Leeds.