COVID-19 Message for parents of school children

(The following is an abbreviation of letter circulated in schools on March 29th,
signed by Deborah Harkins, Director of Public Health and Julie Jenkins, Director of Children and Young People’s Services)

With schools open more widely and education returning to something a bit more normal, we want to take the opportunity to thank those of you whose children were at home during the last lockdown, for your hard work, supporting your children with home learning.

It’s wonderful to see children and young people back at school and able to see their friends classmates and school staff once again. Social interacton is an important part of learning for young people.

Schools continue to do everything they can to keep children safe from COVID-19 . Please do continue to be polite to school staff. They don’t make the rules, they’re following public health advice, acting on professional advice and trying to keep everyone safe.

The wider opening of schools was the first step on the Government’s roadmap and as we look forward to the coming weeks and months, further restirctions will be lifted if all goes to plan. We’re on the right path but it’s really important we all do what we can to keep moving in the right direction. The more we can do to stop the spread the safer everyone will be and the less disruption there will be to education.

Please do keep your child at home if they have any symptoms of COVID-19:

  • A high temperature
  • A new and continuous cough
  • A loss or change to the sense of sell or taste

When a child with symptoms attends school, it doesn’t just create the risk of transmission but also interrupts the education of all involved and creates challenges for all as everyone the child had contact with may require to self isolate.

From March 29th we’re back to the Rule of 6, where up to 6 people can meet up, or two households if between them there are more than 6 household members. This applies for outdoors meetings, there will still be no indoors mixing, unless it is between members of a support bubble.

Please  think carefully about what you do at the school gate and the way back from school. Please do keep up the good work by avoiding mixing with other households indoors. This applies to your children too – no sleep overs or after school meet ups, please.

Finally, please wear face coverings at drop-off and pick-up while you’re on foot. It is an easy protective measure and can make a real difference. School staff wear them wherever is feasible to do so and it will really support them in their efforts to keep your children safe.

We’re really proud of the efforts our schools and families have taken in Calderdale to help reduce COVID-19 infection. Over 330 people in Calderdale have died of COVID-19. The roll out of the vaccination programme is a vital step towards reducing the impact of the infection but all other measures we have used over the last year are still really important too.

 

If you or your child have concerns about COVID-19, contact the Healthy Futures Calderdale school nursing team
by phone on 0303 330 9974
by text on 07480 635297 (young people)
or 07507 332157 (parents/carers).

Calderdale COVID-19 vaccination engagement

NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group is working in partnership with Calderdale Council, Healthwatch Calderdale and VSI Alliance, and would like to know your views and experiences of the Covid-19 vaccines.

If you have received a COVID-19 vaccination already, you can feedback about your experience of the vaccination process here:

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/CaldVacFeedback/

Alternatively, you can scan the QR code on the below poster.

If you have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccination, we would like to hear your views on the vaccine and how well informed you feel about it. Please complete the following survey to let us know:  https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/5OWUYE/

               

Be a Covid Champion and help keep your community safe

Can you help keep your community / organisation safe as we move towards restrictions easing, and the possibility of meeting face-to-face?

Join our Covid Champions programme!

A 1 hour online training session gives clear insight into how coronavirus works, how to stop the spread, the ins and outs of vaccination and the reasons behind the government guidance on how to stay safe.

With plenty of opportunity to ask questions in the session, there are also optional fortnightly catch-up sessions with our fantastic local retired medical professionals. This means you can ask about best practice to keep your organisation or community safe, get local updates on the situation, and most importantly, feedback to us any concerns you are hearing in your communities, tell us what is and isn’t working. This helps us to adapt information and respond to community concern.

For more information on the scheme and to register:  www.communityresponsecalderdale.org.uk/covid-champions/

GPs offering pulse oximeters to those vulnerable to COVID-19

Devices to monitor oxygen levels and pulse rate are being offered to those patients in Calderdale that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 and suffer from breathlessness or other associated symptoms.

Patients or their carers can use these devices, called pulse oximeters, at home and if the readings show oxygen levels are starting to fall, the patient can be referred to hospital to get the necessary treatment.

Dr Farrukh Javid, GP at Rastrick Health Centre and Calderdale’s clinical lead for Calderdale’s oximetry service said: “If you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 and are over 65 years old or in a clinically at-risk group, your GP may provide you with a pulse oximeter.

“These devices are very easy to use and allow us to monitor oxygen levels in a person’s blood. If the levels start to drop below safe levels, you can be referred to the hospital earlier to get the treatment you need as soon as possible. So far, GP practices and care homes in Calderdale have received over 1,300 oximeters to be made available to local people.

“This is important because seeking medical attention early in the course of the disease means there is much less chance of them becoming severely unwell and needing treatment in an intensive care unit.”

 

This Newsflash provided by the VSI Alliance

Statement from Calderdale Council in response to Prime Minister’s announcement

The following is an excerpt from Calderdale Council’s website
Read The Full Article Here

Calderdale Council is working through the implications for its services following the announcement from the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, advising how lockdown will be eased across the country.

The Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift, said:
“Whilst the plan of action to enable a relaxation in COVID-19 lockdown restrictions is of course welcome news, it’s important we continue to approach the next phase in the response to the pandemic with care.

“COVID-19 rates in Calderdale are currently higher than the regional and national average and with high prevalence of the more contagious Kent variant in the borough, any relaxation of restrictions must be done so gradually and cautiously.

“The first phase in the plan to ease lockdown begins with the wider reopening of schools from Monday 8 March. […]

“We know how important education is for young people and we’ll continue to work with schools to ensure that this wider reopening can be done so as safely as possible. This will include the continued use of Lateral Flow Testing within schools to identify the 1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 but don’t show symptoms, so we can support them to isolate and prevent them spreading the virus without realising.

[…]

If you require additional advice on how we can support staff testing, please contact lftsupport@calderdale.gov.uk

“The news that groups of up to six, or two households, will be able to meet outside from Monday 29 March will be welcomed by those who are missing family and friends. However, it’s important to remember that we still need to be vigilant and to keep following social distancing rules to help save lives.

“We all need to continue to do everything we can to reduce the spread and keep the case rates as low as possible while we vaccinate the people that are most likely to have serious complications if they contract the virus. It’s important that when you are invited for your vaccine appointment you attend, to help protect yourself and others.

What are we doing to prevent and control COVID-19 in Calderdale?

We will continue to live with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future. In line with Calderdale’s Outbreak Prevention and Control Plan, the Council, local partner organisations and communities are working together to protect people from the virus and to prevent and manage outbreaks. This includes:

  • Engaging with and supporting communities, particularly in areas of high infection rates, and helping local businesses to be COVID-secure
  • Increasing and improving access to testing for residents
  • Carrying out local contact tracing to support the national Test and Trace service
  • Providing support to people to enable them to self-isolate
  • Enforcing COVID-19 restrictions.

For up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19, use trusted sources such as:

www.gov.uk/coronavirus

www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

www.calderdale.gov.uk/coronavirus

Covid19 vaccination appointments open to book for priority groups

Taken from Calderdale Council’s Twitter account

Great news! #COVID19 vaccination appointments can now be booked online for anyone who is:

💚 Aged 65 or over.
💚 Clinically extremely vulnerable.
💚 A frontline health or social care worker.

Find out more and book on the NHS website 👉 crowd.in/nycMBK

“Fantastic effort” sees over half a million vaccinated in West Yorkshire

The leader of the West Yorkshire Vaccination programme has paid tribute to the fantastic efforts of GPs, pharmacists and NHS staff, which have seen over half a million of the region’s adults vaccinated.

The latest figures show that 531,052 people have now been vaccinated, which is approximately a quarter of the adult population in West Yorkshire.

Dr Phil Wood, who heads the region’s programme, said he was delighted so many of those at greatest risk from Covid-19 had now been given a first dose of the vaccine and that this was a “remarkable achievement”.

“We have been working round the clock to get people in West Yorkshire vaccinated as quickly as possible and the success of this is clear when you see how many people we have managed to vaccinate in just 10 weeks. This really is a remarkable achievement, particularly when NHS colleagues have also been dealing with such high levels of Covid-19 patients requiring hospital care. We are also very grateful to our partners in the local authorities and voluntary sector who have been supporting the vaccination programme and helping us to ensure as many people as possible are protected.”

Dr Wood said the rollout is continuing at pace across West Yorkshire. Vaccinations are now being offered to people in the next cohorts  – over 65s and people aged 16 and over with underlying health conditions and carers. Eligible people will be contacted by their GP practice or the national booking system when it is their turn and are asked not to contact the NHS for an appointment

Dr Wood added: “Please can we ask people not to contact their GP practice for an appointment, unless they are over 70 or registered as extremely clinically vulnerable. Everyone else should wait to be contacted – services are extremely busy and GP practices will not be able to book vaccination appointments unless you have been contacted by the NHS.

“We are also asking people to attend for their booked appointments at exactly the time they’re asked to, so that we can avoid queues in this cold weather, and to continue to follow all the guidance in place to control the virus. This is important even if you’ve had the vaccine as you may still be able to spread the disease so please think of others and do your bit to help save lives.”

For media enquiries, please contact: Communications.lth@nhs.net or 0113 206 4625. 

Weekly vaccination figures are published each Thursday for the period ending 23.59 on the preceding Sunday.

For further information please see https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/