HCC COVID-19 Weekly Stakeholder Bulletin

Welcome to this week’s edition of Hertfordshire County Council’s weekly stakeholder bulletin. This provides updates on the county council’s key priorities this week, as well as outlining preparations being made for the recovery of services.

 

Local Outbreak Plan

  • Hertfordshire’s COVID-19 Local Outbreak Plan was published on 30/06. There is both a short summary aimed at the public and stakeholders and a much more detailed plan. You can find both of these here.
  • The plans detail how we will seek to prevent and respond to outbreaks of COVID-19 across multiple settings including workplaces, care settings, schools, hospitals and more. It sets out the arrangements for surveillance of and response to local outbreaks and infection rates. The plan has been agreed by the Leaders of all eleven councils, the Police and Crime Commissioner and the NHS.
  • An elected Member Engagement Board and an officer-led Health Protection Board have been established. A communications programme will seek to reach residents, workplaces, schools, homes and many more.

 

Hertfordshire’s COVID-19 work highlighted as good practice

  • Hertfordshire’s work on safer public places has been highlighted as good practice in newly issued Government guidance.
  • Teams from the County Council, District and Borough Councils and University College London developed and rolled out a programme of information and tools to help people comply with safe social distancing and hygiene measures in public spaces.  You can read more on this here.

 

High Streets and Hospitality

  • We have implemented highways measures at fifteen high street locations across the county so that people can shop whilst being safely socially distanced. With the re-opening of many businesses on 15/06, we have kept the locations under review, taking on board stakeholder comments and where appropriate we have adapted the measures.
  • The next step will be the re-opening of hospitality businesses on 04/07. To help support the hospitality industry the Government has introduced The Business and Planning Bill, which will simplify the licencing process that allows businesses to put tables and chairs on the footway.

 

Support to Residential and Nursing Care Homes

  • As mentioned under Section 1, Hertfordshire’s Local Outbreak Plan sets out the arrangements for surveillance of and response to local outbreaks and infection rates. Some of these (specifically the multi-agency work in Care Homes) are already in place. We are working with Public Health England to understand how Track and Trace will work with care homes and what additional supports need to be put in place.
  • We are finalising with health colleagues the capacity required to be maintained and immediately available should we experience a second wave of infections in Hertfordshire. It is clear that the response in Hertfordshire from care and health partners has prevented the rate of infections spreading and a greater loss of life in our care homes.  We are committed to maintaining this support going forward.

 

Operation Shield

  • As of 25/06/20 there are currently 42,253 records of Hertfordshire residents on MHCLG’s shield list.
  • A number of activities are taking place to help reduce demand for the service as we work to exit from direct provision of food through July.
  • Since Operation Shield was mobilised, food deliveries have been made to nearly 6,000 residents across Hertfordshire.

 

Operation Sustain

  • In the light of the Government’s decision to pause shielding, we will continue to provide food parcel support until the end of July when this service will end nationally. Operation Sustain will work to provide food parcels for those in financial crisis after this point through existing contracts.

 

Young People asked to share their Covid-19 experiences

  • Young People in Hertfordshire are being asked how lockdown has affected their wellbeing in a survey which was launched this week.
  • The Survey by Hertfordshire County Council’s youth service, YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People asks young people how covid-19 has affected them and what their biggest concerns are.
  • The results will be used to help shape support and services available to young people over the coming months. More information and the link to the survey can be found here.

 

Testing

  • Testing is available for anyone who is in the first few days of having suspected coronavirus symptoms.
  • Drive through testing continues to operate on various days of the week in Hertford, Watford, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City.

 

More information

  • HCC website – containing coronavirus guidance and service updates
  • PPE online hub – providing guidance on PPE
  • Herts Help contactable on 0300 123 4044 – support for all Hertfordshire residents
  • Please contact our Corporate Policy team if there are other areas you would like more detail about.

 

We are continuing to work on our recovery plans and will share further information as plans develop.

 

Kind regards,

 

David Williams                  Owen Mapley

Leader                                 Chief Executive