Liverpool City Region COVID-19 Updates - 2020-09-17

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Liverpool City Region COVID19 Updates
... and Important Emergency Notices ...

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This page last updated on 17 September 2020


Residents can turn to ELAS scheme after Furlough ends

SEFTON residents who find themselves in financial difficulty following the end of the Government's furlough scheme may be able to seek support from Sefton Council. The Local Authority's Emergency Limited Assistance Scheme (ELAS) is available to support local residents who are experiencing severe hardship, a disaster or emergency. Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said:- "We understand that when this scheme comes to an end there will be a number of people who will feel directly impacted and in need of temporary support. If you need urgent help with the costs of food, winter coats, gas, electricity or emergency travel and do not have money to get them we may be able to help through ELAS. We may also be able to assist If you need essential domestic appliances because you are setting up home, moving from care, have suffered a disaster or have had to move due to violence or fear of violence."

To find out more about ELAS or to apply visit:- Sefton.Gov.UK.


MP urges Chancellor to help businesses and workers facing a furlough "cliff edge"

A Merseyside MP has called for more targeted support for workers impacted by the end of the Government's Coronavirus income support schemes, saying many businesses and staff face "a cliff edge." Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson said the Chancellor was pulling the plug on support schemes for the employed and self employed:- "at the worst possible time."

With many industries still negatively affected by Coronavirus restrictions, and further restrictions possible in local lockdowns, Mr Esterson said it was time for the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to announce measures to support jobs and the economy beyond the end of the current schemes, in October 2020. Mr Esterson, who has been a vocal campaigner for the "excluded" workers who have so far been offered no support, said:- "The Chancellor said he wouldn't pick winner and losers in this crisis, but by refusing to make simple creative amendments to plug the gaps in his job and income support schemes, he really has created winners and losers. Now with the job retention scheme and the self employed income support scheme coming to an end, millions more workers risk seeing their income reduced to zero through no fault of their own. Support is still needed in many industries and the Chancellor should be looking at how he can offer this targeted support, rather than simply withdrawing it completely in what amounts to a cliff edge for businesses and workers. This will add to the jobs crisis facing the country."

The Chancellor's self employment income support scheme (SEISS), along with the Coronavirus job retention scheme, will end next month. The SEISS paid some self employed workers 80% of their average earnings for three months, and 70% of average earnings for the following three months. But many self employed people were excluded, including company Directors who pay themselves through dividends, anyone with average earnings over ₤51,000, and the self employed who earn less than half their income through self employment.  Mr Esterson said:- "There are an estimated three million workers who have had no support at all during the crisis, many of them self employed, and the end of the furlough and self employed schemes risks adding millions more to those struggling to pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads. Dynamic, innovative businesses are the backbone of the British economy. We can't let them go to the wall due to this crisis when what they need is support during this time that they cannot operate fully so that they can be part of the economic recovery in the future. The Chancellor has failed to put in place any support for the self employed who have been excluded from the current schemes, and now he plans to cut off support for every other worker, whether they are back at work or not, whether the area they work in is continuing to suffer from restrictions, and whether they work in an area under local lockdown. With this 1 size fits all wind down, he's pulling the plug at the worst possible time. Britain's entrepreneurs, innovators and freelancers don't need a permanent helping hand, just targeted support to see them through the crisis until they get back on their feet. There is also a huge issue about sick pay for the self employed who may be unable to work due to being in quarantine either with symptoms or because they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive. Without support in place, it makes it difficult for some workers to follow the restrictions properly, which we need people to do to stop this virus. What the Government is doing is pushing people towards a financial cliff edge."

Businesses who put staff on furlough during the crisis were able to claim back 80% of workers' salaries, up to ₤2,500 per month per worker. From 1 July 2020, some workers were put on "flexible furlough," working some of their usual hours and receiving furlough pay for the rest. From 1 August 2020, employers were asked to pay National Insurance and pension contributions for workers on furlough. From 1 September 2020, the employer was asked to pay 10% of wages, rising to 20% in October. A ₤1,000 "job retention bonus" will be available to businesses for each worker they bring back from furlough.

In total, 9.6 million jobs were furloughed, a third of all employed staff. It is thought that around 13% of jobs were still furloughed at the beginning of August. In some sectors the percentage was higher, including the:- media, arts, entertainment and recreation (51%), accommodation and food services (27%) and transport and storage (19%).  Mr Esterson said:- "4 million workers are still on furlough and they risk becoming unemployed at the end of October 2020. It is alarming that this week the deadline passed for beginning consultation on redundancy if a business is looking to cut more than 100 staff. The Chancellor needs to assess what impact the end of the furlough scheme is going to have on the unemployment figures and act now to save jobs and livelihoods. The Government needs to target wage support where it is needed most: in the arts, hospitality and tourism industries as well as others."

In a speech on Tuesday, 15 September 2020, the Labour leader Keir Starmer suggested measures to address the impact of the furlough scheme ending, including rewarding employers who give people hours rather than cut jobs; providing training and support for those who can't come back full time; and targeting sectors most in need; including retail, aviation and those hit by local lockdowns.

The Government has argued that universal credit is available to all those who are looking for work, but figures from the Labour party show that the benefit on average covers only half of someone's income, and for single people it is less than a third. Mr Esterson said:- "The Government tells us that those who have fallen through the gaps in these schemes can claim universal credit, but we need a stronger safety net than that, or we could see many people losing their homes as well as their jobs."


Sefton Council working with HSE to make sure Borough's businesses are Covid Secure

SEFTON Council has joined forces with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to build upon the work that has already been done to make sure the Borough's businesses are Covid Secure.

From Monday, 21 September 2020. to help tackle the spread of Coronavirus, spot checks will be carried out on businesses in the Borough to ensure they are managing their Covid19 response and control measures in line with current Government guidelines.

The HSE will be supporting the Council's Environmental Health enforcement teams' local efforts to help protect staff, customers and visitors from infection. Checks, in the form of phone calls and follow up visits will focus on businesses in the hospitality, beauty & hairdressing and the warehousing sectors where the Council has responsibility for the enforcement of health and safety legislation.

During the checks, advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors will be provided. Where businesses are not managing, immediate action including enforcement notices and stopping certain work practices until they are made safe, could be taken. Businesses that fail or refuse to comply could face prosecution.

Cllr Paulette Lappin Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services said:- "We are talking to local businesses and inspecting sites across Sefton to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity. Becoming Covid Secure is a legal duty and needs to be the priority and we know the vast majority of our local businesses are trying hard to get this right by putting the necessary measure in place. We appreciate the efforts business owners and managers are making and have undertaken this work with the HSE to provide any further advice and support they may need."

HSE and Local Authority inspectors report they have been finding some common issues across a range of sectors. These include failing to provide arrangements for monitoring, supervising and maintaining social distancing, and failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime particularly at busy times of the day. Bosses are being encouraged to work with their employees when implementing changes, to help increase confidence with workers, customers and the local community.

Cllr Lappin continued:- "All businesses of any size, in any sector can receive an unannounced check to ensure they are Covid Secure although we will be focusing on the sectors we think will be most likely to benefit from this help. Making sure that businesses have measures in place to manage the risks and prevent the spread of Coronavirus will help reduce the chances of a second local lockdown and the harmful effect that will have on Sefton's economy."

The Government's latest information and guidance for business can be found at:- Gov.UK/Guidance/.


LGA responds to the extra ₤546m infection control social care funding

RESPONDING to the announcement of the Infection Control Fund being extended to March 2021 and an extra ₤546 million to be made available to care providers, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing Board, said:- "Social care has been on the frontline throughout this pandemic and we need to continue doing all we can to shield and protect older and disabled people living in Care Homes and those receiving care in their own homes. We are pleased the Government has accepted the calls from Councils and care providers for this funding to be extended, as we head into the winter period and face the possibility of a potential second wave of infections. This extra funding and regular testing of those who use and work in social care needs to be supported by addressing other important issues, such as ensuring everyone in the community who needs a test can receive one, together with a consistent, reliable supply of PPE for frontline staff. Taken together, this will help Councils' public health teams to reduce and prevent Coronavirus outbreaks in their areas. Cross party talks on finding a long term, sustainable funding settlement for social care also need to start urgently."
 


Sefton Council issues letters update on Care Sector Covid19 measures

SEFTON Council and Local Authorities across the Liverpool City Region have written to the care sector including residential Care Home owners and managers to update them on measures required by the significant increases in Covid19 confirmed cases across Merseyside.

Letters have also been sent to Schools setting out new requirements for visiting adults. The Government has placed the wider Merseyside area on the "area of concern watch list" meaning that our testing data is being reviewed daily by the Government and Public Health England and if increases continue, restrictions could be imposed.

Therefore, to protect their vulnerable residents, Merseyside's Councils are asking Care Homes to limit interactions with people from outside who may be carrying Coronavirus.

 

In a press release, Sefton Council said:- "Protecting our most vulnerable residents has been a priority for Sefton Council since the start of the pandemic, which is why, regrettably, we are instructing Care Homes to limit visits into Care Homes.

The following visits will continue, but we will be reviewing this position on a weekly basis:-

Essential visits by health professionals.

Visits from families and relatives to those residents who are receiving end of life care may continue subject to robust risk assessments.

Garden visits subject to risk assessments.

All other non-essential visits and visits by family members into Care Homes are suspended until further notice.

To maintain contact with family members the Council is encouraging people to keep in touch with their loved 1 through digital channels, such as Zoom or WhatsApp, and we will support Care Home staff to facilitate safe contact in this way."


Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said:- "We know this will be a disappointment for Care Home residents and their families across the City Region and we acknowledge the hard work our Sefton Care Homes have undertaken to manage the risks of an outbreak, but it's vital we take this action to prevent Covid19 getting into Care Homes and spreading among residents. Younger people are less likely to be affected seriously by Covid19 and are often asymptomatic and our concern is that when they visit they will unwittingly pass the virus on to their vulnerable relatives for whom Coronavirus could be very serious or even fatal."

Sefton Council's letter also explains to care sector providers that it is working with Council colleagues across City Region to ensure a coordinated response to rising numbers of Covid19 cases. This work includes requirements around a consistent approach to the Government's recently introduced:- 'rule of 6.' This includes considering the benefits and risks of people returning to day services, their transport arrangements and the number of days they may be able to access services.

In the letter, Sefton Council expresses its ongoing appreciation that care providers are all doing their best to support people and keep them safe. It also highlights the need to be aware of the risks posed by groups of people coming together while also taking the needs of service uses and their families into account. Cllr Cummins added:- "With numbers of Coronavirus cases rising across the Region, it is important that we weigh up the significant benefits our day services can provide for users and their families with the risks of groups of them coming together to use them. We are working closely with our colleagues across the City Region to ensure we are taking a coordinated and proportional approach that ensures people can understand what is happening and what is not and that no 1 is missing out because they are a resident of a particular area."

Sefton Council has told care providers it will be arranging a meeting with them in the coming days to discuss the concerns and questions and they may have. Schools have been told that from now on, all adults will be required to wear face coverings when visiting or entering the School premises and just 1 adult will be able to enter the premises for drop off and pick up. Parents and carers dropping off or collecting their children are being asked to arrive and leave promptly and not to congregate at the School gate or in the playground. Also, School staff are being asked to wear face coverings when they come out onto the playground.

Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, Cllr John Joseph Kelly said:- "It is important that our children get back to School and resume their education and I would like to thank all of our teachers, Schools and education staff, parents and carers and the pupils themselves for working with us to achieve this as safely as possible. However, we know that since the Borough's Schools have re-opened, we have seen a number of class and year bubbles as well as School staff being sent home to isolate owing to positive test results or people showing Coronavirus symptoms. I'm pleased at the way each of these Schools has dealt with the circumstances by following Public Health England guidelines and liaising with the Council to manage the situation. With number of Covid19 cases rising across the Region and Merseyside having been identified by the Government as "area of concern" we now need to introduce these extra measures to help prevent the spread of the virus. We know that children and younger people are less likely to be affected seriously by Covid19 or may even be asymptomatic but the concern is that they could take the virus home to potentially vulnerable relatives for whom Coronavirus could be very serious or even fatal."

In the letter to Schools, the Council also says that further new measure maybe necessary in the future. Cllr Kelly added:- "I hope these extra measures will help reduce the virus spreading in our School community and prevent more pupils and staff being sent home, but if they don't, we may have to contact Schools about potential further measures."

 


Total UK cases COVID19 cases in and around Liverpool City Region

THE total number of UK Coronavirus (Covid19) infections that have been laboratory confirmed, within the UK, has risen by 3,395 cases and the total number now stand at 381,614, that includes tests carried out by commercial partners which are not included in the 4 National totals.

The number of Covid19 associated UK fatalities added to the total, was sadly reported to be 21 according to the Department of Health. The total number of deaths of people who have had a positive test result confirmed by a Public Health or NHS laboratory is 41,705.

The number of Covid19 patients currently in UK Hospitals:- 988. The current number of Covid19 patients currently in mechanical ventilation beds in UK Hospitals:- 124. Daily number of Covid19 patients admitted to UK Hospitals:- 134.

In England, there are a total of 329,213 confirmed cases. North West - total of 64,308 confirmed cases.

The number of laboratory confirmed cases within the Liverpool City Region are as follows:-
 

Area and number of confirmed cases:- Risen by:-  
Liverpool, 3,806 confirmed cases.

76

 
Halton, 916 confirmed cases.

56

 
Knowsley, 1,359 confirmed cases.

23

 
Sefton, 1,986 confirmed cases.

17

 
St. Helens, 1,597 confirmed cases

21

 

Wirral, 2,809 2,765 confirmed cases.

44

 
 
Colour Key:- 0  1 to 10 11 to 20 21 to 30  31 to 40 41 to 50 51 to100 100 over  



The number of laboratory confirmed cases within Local Authorities around the Liverpool City Region are as follows:-

Blackburn with Darwen, 2,194 confirmed cases.

Blackpool, 1,201 confirmed cases.

Bolton, 3,589 confirmed cases.

Bury, 1,953 confirmed cases.

Cheshire East, 2,609 confirmed cases.

Cheshire West and Chester, 2,338 confirmed cases.

Lancashire, 9,810 confirmed cases.

Manchester, 5,335 confirmed cases.

Oldham, 3,455 confirmed cases.

Preston, 1,792 confirmed cases.

Rochdale, 2,685 confirmed cases.

Salford, 2,353 confirmed cases.

Stockport, 2,267 confirmed cases.

Tameside, 2,411 confirmed cases.

Trafford, 1,924 confirmed cases.

Warrington, 1,819 confirmed cases

Wigan, 2,678 confirmed cases.

Daily reported Covid19 deaths are now measured across the UK as deaths that occurred within 28 days of the 1st laboratory confirmed positive Covid19 test.  

Daily and cumulative numbers of COVID19 patients admitted to Hospital. Data are not updated every day by all 4 nations and the figures are not comparable as Wales include suspected COVID19 patients while the other nations include only confirmed cases.


Previous 24hr Data


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