July 2, 2020

COVID -19 local information and support

COVID-19

These are difficult and unusual times. Amid the welter of information ‘out there’ some is confusing and some is not up to date. For up to date information go to: 

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Local information and advice is available too.

Exmoor National Park Authority is working on a strategy to keep Exmoor safe and support tourism and access as Covid – 19 restrictions are lifted. read more by clicking on the link below.

COVID19 Exmoor Tourism Recovery Plan – Update and Briefing June 2020

Somerset County Council has a dedicated webpage with information on local issues:

Latest Coronavirus updates

A county wide helpline, open from 8am to 6pm weekdays, is available for anyone needing assistance from the county or district councils during the Covid-19 situation. Phone 0300 790 6275 and read more about this service here:

Somerset Coronavirus Support Helpline launched

Somerset Village Agents can provide information and signposts to services. Click on the links here for information for our parish: Village Agent march 2020 and Covid-19 village agents march 2020

Coronavirus is still circulating in Somerset so it is vital that people stay alert and self-isolate – with their household – if they develop symptoms.

The Government recently added a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste as a symptom. Therefore, the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are now:

  • High temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • New, continuous cough – you’re coughing a lot for more than an hour, (or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours)
  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – you’ve noticed that you can’t smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different from normal.

Most people with coronavirus (COVID-19) have at least one of these symptoms.

For advice about what to do if you have any of these symptoms, ring 111, or use the 111 online coronavirus (COVID-19) service.

If you have the symptoms and you want to get tested, go through the new NHS portal to arrange a test. Please click here to go to the website

For businesses:

Heart of the SW Growth Hub (https://www.heartofswgrowthhub.co.uk/) is the main source of advice and guidance. Alternatively, email info@heartofswgrowthhub.co.uk or phone – 03456 047 047.

There is also a support phone number for anyone self-employed available at 0300 456 3565.

Information about government support for businesses is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

The retail, hospitality and leisure business grant

Somerset West and Taunton Council has processed the first requests under this scheme, amounting to £3.04m. Requests are being processed in the order in which they are received to eligible businesses that have provided the necessary information. For eligible businesses that have not yet provided the necessary information to obtain a grant you can find out more and upload your details on the SWT Business Grants webpage.

Somerset West and Taunton ‘Help for Business’ newsletter

For more information and to sign up for the newsletter, please visit www.visitsomerset.co.uk/business

For our community:

The Community Council for Somerset (which supports the network of community / village agents) is working in communities with different groups and individuals to make sure the vulnerable are identified and supported. Local village agent details can be found at https://somersetagents.org/somerset-village-agents/

Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK is compiling a list of local groups set up on social media in an effort to share learning, resources and support.  To find out what groups may be in your area, or to register a group, go to: https://covidmutualaid.org/local-groups/

For all of us:

A new webpage has been set up at https://www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-mental-health-information/ which looks at the stress and worry of the current situation and provides advice on a range of matters including: healthy lifestyles and keeping in touch when isolated; advice for those of us who are self-isolating; supporting children. If you would like to talk to someone, Somerset Mindline is open seven days a week on 01823 276892.

The Somerset Community Council for Somerset are happy to take calls from vulnerable / self-isolating individuals. The number to call is 01823 331222.  People can also use the CCS website (https://somersetagents.org/) to ask for a call back. They will need to give their name, number, postcode and outline of need. The CCS will then look at how help may be provided via village agents and volunteers.

Council Tax Payers

Somerset West and Taunton Council  is inviting anyone struggling to pay their Council Tax due to the pressures of Coronavirus to get in contact. The Council has a range of measures in place to help.

Further information on the support available can be found on the SWAT  website https://www.somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-and-information/

Trading Standards  

It appears that scammers and doorstep traders are exploiting people’s fear and anxiety in the current situation with offers of false testing kits, also some people are posing as helpers or volunteers. Financial scams have included false donation schemes like a ‘COVID-19 vaccine’, fake holiday refunds and fake calls from people claiming to be your bank or other financial service. BEWARE.  If in doubt put the phone down, shut the door, dont respond. For advice contact the service the scammer was referring to or Trading Standards:  https://www.devonsomersettradingstandards.gov.uk/contacts/

or the Citizens Advice consumer helpline:   https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/if-you-need-more-help-about-a-consumer-issue/ or telephone:  0808 223 1133