August 5, 2021

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. The  Government website is regularly updated to provide information on current regulations and any planned changes. The  Government ‘roadmap’ out of the 2021 lockdown sets out the rationale for changes in regulations.

For up to date information across the UK go to: 

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021

 

Regular, rapid, coronavirus tests if you do not have symptoms: free to all from 9th April 2021 to help stop the spread

About 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not have symptoms but can still infect others. Getting tested regularly is the only way to know if you have the virus. If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading. The test for people without coronavirus symptoms is called a rapid lateral flow test.You can do a rapid test at home or at a rapid lateral flow test site.
This usually involves rubbing a long cotton bud (swab) over your tonsils (or where they would have been) and inside your nose. The tests can give you a result in 30 minutes, using a device similar to a pregnancy test, and does not need to be sent to a lab.If you test positive, you and anyone you live with will need to self-isolate.

Find out here where and how to get rapid lateral flow tests for your household.

Local information and advice

A Somerset County Council online  service provides regularly updated local information.

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

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

Covid-19 is circulating in Somerset and it is vital that people actively reduce their risk of contracting and transmitting the virus. For advice about what to do if you have symptoms of Covid-19, ring 111, or use the 111 online coronavirus (COVID-19) service.

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

For the latest local information and digital resources, posters and flyers visit: https://www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus/

For information and resources on staying healthy happy and safe at the time visit: https://www.healthysomerset.co.uk/covid-19/

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

Our area Trading Standards team offers advice to businesses seeking to respond to the current situation. A dedicated information and advice page for businesses and consumers is available online.

When a case of Covid-19 is suspected or confirmed in a workplace, no matter where it is or what it does , a series of actions are required. Detailed guidance is available here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-workplace-guidance

Somerset West and Taunton ‘Help for Business’ 

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

To date, SWT has been able to issue Restart Grants totalling £9.1m to eligible businesses within the District. The Government requires the Council to undertake certain checks through 3rd Party companies in order to identify any potential fraud or irregularities before making payment. Staff are undertaking manual reviews on a large number of cases prior to approving payments hence the delay in some businesses receiving their grant.

Please click here for further information.

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:

The legal duty to self-isolate came into force on 28 September 2020 and requires people who test positive for Covid-19, or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, to self-isolate.

The NHS webpages for Covid-19 provide information including about tests and vaccines.

A webpage at https://www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-mental-health-information/ provides advice on a range of matters in the current situation 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 can 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 an outline of the person’s need. The CCS will then look at how help may be provided via village agents and volunteers.

Information for parents, carers and guardians:

Consumer advice 

Our area Trading Standards team offers a series of consumer guides on the following COVID-19 topics:

The Trading Standards  information and advice resource for businesses also includes consumer information available online.

Council Tax 

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 offers a range of information on this and other support available at: https://www.somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-and-information/

SCAMMERS ! 

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