Agenda item

Covid 19 Update - Cath Bedford and Kay Tinkler (Sac.12.02.2021/7)


Cath Bedford, Public Health Principal, and Kay Tinkler, Neighbourhood Engagement Officer, were welcomed to the meeting.


Members heard that there were signs of a decline in cases both in Barnsley, and nationally, but that there was still a need to remain vigilant and follow the guidance.


It was noted that case rates were most prevalent in working age adults, and that case rates were similar in all neighbourhoods, with all stable or declining.


Members noted the Covid Marshals and Neighbourhood Engagements Officers in place for advice and support.  It was noted that issues of non-compliance had been identified in shops with both staff and customers not wearing face coverings, and support had been given to address this issue. Work to provide community insights had recently concluded and analysis was being undertaken to understand why some residents did not comply with regulations.


It was noted that work had been undertaken to support vulnerable communities and which included disseminating information. Members heard how there was a weekly meeting to discuss outbreaks across Barnsley including in schools, care homes and workplaces.


Noted was the work to support asymptomatic community testing at the Metrodome, and to encourage those with symptoms to get tested at the various testing sites throughout the borough.


The NHS was leading vaccination efforts, but feedback had been positive with most aged 70+ now vaccinated and those aged over 65 being called to make appointments.  Members discussed issues with queueing at vaccination venues, and it was noted that efforts were being made to overcome these, including encouraging those attending not to come early.


Members heard about the work of Neighbourhood Engagement Officers (NEOs) working as part of a team to support individuals, community groups and businesses. 


Community groups had been supported with advice regarding safe working. Businesses had also been supported with Covid safety information and signposted to financial support through Enterprising Barnsley.  It was noted NEOs had also supported the Covid Responder service, Covid Support Service and worked alongside Covid Marshals.


NEOs had gathered intelligence on high streets and parks and monitored adherence to guidance.  It was noted that residents largely adhered to guidelines but encouraged Members to feed in intelligence.


Members heard how the numbers requesting support from Community Responders had declined.  Those requesting befriending support had been referred to Age UK Barnsley, and those requiring support with shopping had been supported to order direct, which was suggested more sustainable in the longer term.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.

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