I had hoped not to have to write another newsletter, let alone so soon after my last! But coronavirus cases continue to rise and the NHS is very stretched. Some people have asked me why we can’t simply open more Nightingale hospitals. We could, of course, but they have to be staffed and NHS staff are like the rest of us; they get ill, they come into contact with coronavirus and have to self-isolate for a period and they have positive tests, albeit with no symptoms, so again have to self-isolate. This all reduces the number of people available to be deployed and whilst we might be able to put up a new building almost overnight it takes a few years to train medical staff! Add to that the increased number of people requiring intensive care –and the additional staff levels associated with that—it is not surprising the system is under strain and the Government’s full lockdown response.
I am also being asked about vaccines, and why some people who have had their first vaccine are having their appointments for the second, follow up, vaccination cancelled. You can find the answer here https://www.rutlandhealth.co.uk/covid-19-vaccination-programme-rutland-patient-update/
I am sure we are all worried about businesses locally. The Government has recognised the strain on businesses and is introducing additional help. If you are a business your first port of call is RCC as many of the grants are administered by the Council https://www.rutland.gov.uk/my-services/health-and-family/health-and-nhs/health-and-support-services/coronavirus/covid-business-grants/ . And do support your local pub if it is offering a take-away service.
If you have children and don’t have access to the resources you need to access your child’s school’s home learning offer contact the school who should help. Children without IT or a space to learn are entitled to be in school. If you have any problems regarding your children’s education at this time let me know.
Lockdown is difficult for everyone. But, as I write, there are almost 300 positive coronavirus cases per 100,000 population in Rutland and the increase is in all age groups, including the over 60s. It is important we all abide by the law to get the case numbers down. Full details can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home but in brief:
- Stay at home unless you have absolutely no choice but to go out to work
- Stay at home unless you need to go out for essential shopping such as food and then shop as infrequently as possible and on your own
- Stay at home unless you have to go out for a medical appointment/to collect a prescription
- Stay at home unless you are taking your once a day exercise when you should “stay local” (see below for the Government’s definition of “stay local”)
“If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local – unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work. Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.”
The only people you should be mixing with are the people you live with or the people you have contact with through work. There are exceptions, the “bubbles” we have all heard about, but these have legal definitions and the definition changed on 2 December 2020. You can find out the current law here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/making-a-support-bubble-with-another-household#what-a-support-bubble-is
Local advice and sources of help, whether you are an individual or a family, can be found here https://www.rutland.gov.uk/my-services/health-and-family/health-and-nhs/health-and-support-services/coronavirus/
Remember HANDS FACE SPACE!
County Councillor, Normanton Ward