Subject: CORONAVIRUS UPDATE FROM WCC
Good morning everyone and hope you are staying safe and well.
I wanted to give you an update on the current situation with regard to case numbers and the trajectory for continued spread of the virus as received from WCC last night.
As of yesterday, 24th March, nationally, a total of 90,436 have been tested: 82,359 are negative and 8,077 positive. As of 1pm, 422 patients who tested positive for coronavirus have sadly died. WCC does not have information as to the numbers of these deaths which are of patients with underlying health conditions, so we need to treat these figures with caution and it would not be reliable to assume that Covid-19 is the direct or sole cause of death.
As you know, Public Health England is no longer reporting incidence of cases at a County level and so we cannot provide you with geographic levels as we do not have that information.
In terms of more positive news, WCC is now approaching the distribution point for the small business grants. The district and borough councils, as the business rate authorities, will be the distribution points for these grants and WCC is working with them to enable the process.
Within WCC, they are now needing to scale back further on the services that can no longer be sustained. Country Parks are closed to vehicular access; admitting pedestrians and cyclist only; and WCC is giving rental payment holidays to concessions within the parks; Household Waste Recycling Centres are closed as WCC cannot protect staff on social distancing; Libraries and Museums are closed; Schools remain open but WCC is seeing low levels of take-up on Education provision/care for children of Key Workers. WCC is working with the schools and patterns of attendance so that as we go forward t arrangements can be made to rationalise opening across the County.
Following the Prime Minister’s message to the nation, WCC also now has clarity as to which people and services can continue to serve the community. Volunteers for ensuring distribution of supplies; care advice and to help those vulnerable under the ‘Shielding’ Exercise are essential. Within and across the County, following your local drive, we have an army of local volunteers waiting to engage with the distribution of information, and supplies where necessary.
Distribution of food will be undertaken by the supermarkets under the direction of MHCLG. Medicines will be distributed by the NHS working through the network of community pharmacies. Volunteers across the County are being called upon to bolster the community pharmacy numbers.
WCC is awaiting receipt of the 1.5 most vulnerable list so that they can focus the efforts of the local volunteers and get that huge movement underway. WCC is also launching its own Helpline for residents in the next 24 hours and they will be publicising the contact number. The main Council contact number is already on the website and I will share the Helpline number as soon as I receive it.
Finally I can confirm that WCC’s Adult Social Care Service will be moving to a seven day a week operation with effect from this coming Sunday. This week, working through WCC’s Hospital to Home Service they have achieved 68 empty beds at Warwick Hospital – which is a huge achievement.
Take care and stay safe and please feel free to share on your websites etc.
Warwickshire County Councillor for Wellesbourne Division
Ward Member for Wellesbourne East