Key Messages and FAQ’s from the Herefordshire COVID-19 Engagement Working Group

Relevant to all

The Herefordshire Outbreak Control Plan is available on Herefordshire Council website within the Coronavirus pages –  please encourage residents to read it to better understand the local plan to support the quick and effective management of Covid-19 outbreaks. Covid-19 outbreak control plan | Emergency planning in Herefordshire | Herefordshire Council

As lockdown measures are eased, and we all learn to live with Covid-19, it is important for all residents to understand how we all play a role in tackling the spread of infection and controlling outbreaks. Government coronavirus outbreak FAQ’s provide up to date information on staying safe outside of your home these can be found at Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do – GOV.UK

Encouraging residents to access testing if symptomatic by referring to the Herefordshire Council Website Testing for Covid-19 | Stay home stay safe | Herefordshire Council
For those residents who have no internet access testing can be arranged by calling 119.

The Herefordshire Council Talk Community COVID response will continue to support vulnerable individuals throughout this time and can be contacted via email at Talkcommunitycovidresponse@herefordshire.gov.uk or telephone 01432 260027

Farm setting specific

National guidance specific to farm settings can be found at:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses – GOV.UK

Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board 2020 have issued guidance for farms and measures to put in place for seasonal workers living on-site.
https://ahdb.org.uk/coronavirus-advice-on-seasonal-labour

HSE risk assessment guidance is beneficial for risk-assessing work and living activities and ensure your workplace is COVID-secure
https://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/

You can also visit Herefordshire Councils dedicated farming page
www.herefordshire.gov.uk/covid19farms

Business Specific

As businesses re-open and residents return to work, it is important that workplaces follow government guidance on how to remain ‘COVID-secure’ and maintain safe working environments for employees.
This can be found at Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) – Guidance – GOV.UK  –  This can help to ensure business continuity in the event of an outbreak.

Herefordshire Council have also set up an Outbreak Control Hub as a single point of contact.  We want to raise the profile of this function with businesses to ensure:

  •  If they have a positive case within their workforce they inform the Outbreak Control Hub by emailing OutbreakControlHub@herefordshire.gov.uk  –  This will help us support businesses and also understand – and contain – any spread of the virus across Herefordshire.

The Herefordshire Outbreak Control Group are experienced Public Health, Health, Emergency Planning, Social Care and Environmental Health professionals. This team will work to prevent infection, contain outbreaks and implement protective measures. Their entire focus will be to keep people who live and work in Herefordshire safe. Businesses are also able to contact the hub if they have any queries around the guidance and infection prevention and control measures on the above email address or by calling 01432 383799.

Schools

The Herefordshire website on school closures also has information that can be searched for by individual school
https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/info/200144/schools_and_education/255/school_closures

  • Is it safe for my child to go back to school?

Schools have taken advice from experts in public health, health and safety as well as council staff, other school leaders, unions and the Government.  Schools have safely remained open throughout the lockdown period for children of key workers and other children. The numbers of children attending have grown over the past month and this has been done safely.

Each school is completing a risk assessment that shows the steps being taken to promote the safety of pupils and staff and to limit the risk of transmission of coronavirus, taking into account the latest Government guidance and advice from public health.  Everyone is asked to follow strict hygiene guidelines.  Washing hands regular throughout the day will be a key part of this, as will the cleaning of equipment and pupils working in “bubbles”, minimising the contact with other children

If a child or someone they live with becomes sick they will not be able to continue to attend school. If a staff member is unwell they will not be in school. If anyone shows symptoms of coronavirus they will need to self-isolate in line with government guidelines.

Your child’s school will have more details and be able to tell you about what is being put in place for September.  Please follow the guidance that your school provides.

  • Does my child have to go back to school?

Unless there is a clear medical reason for your child not to attend school or…then your child is expected to attend in September.

  • What should I do if my child is worrying about going back to school?

Talk to your child in a positive way about school, seeing friends, teachers and staff again. Help them understand that some other children may be anxious and to talk about this with their friends. Help them to understand how their school will work and how social distancing and washing hands properly will really help.  Let them know that school may seem a bit different, but that the teachers and staff are doing everything to make sure that it is safe. If you would like to discuss any issues with a school nurse please phone: 01432 363 940 or email schoolnurse.service@nhs.net

  • What’s taking place over the summer in Herefordshire?

There are many different activities that are taking place across Herefordshire over the summer.  For the latest information please visit the Herefordshire WISH website.   www.wisherefordshire.org/summeractivities