Care home visits on council's six-point Covid plan
By Rob Freeman | 20th October 2020
Gloucestershire County Council is advising care homes to suspend visiting as part of a six-step plan designed to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Director of public health Sarah Scott is writing to care homes to advise on a suspension as the council looks to protect vulnerable residents and increase enforcement action.
Sarah Scott said: "We recognise that some of these steps will be difficult for our community, especially where it affects people being able to be with loved ones, but they are crucial to minimise the risk of Covid-19 in our community.
"It is especially important as we head into the winter months, where demand for health and social care services is at its highest.
"We know everyone has already been working hard to keep to the guidance, but it is more important that ever that we don't give up."
The six steps are:
- Increased enforcement - The council will continue to work with and support businesses and individuals, but take action where there is a lack of cooperation. This could mean closure if they are not Covid safe and fixed penalty fines where necessary.
- Welfare checks - People known to need help and reassurance to self isolate will be contacted directly to check they have access to food, medicines and other support while they stay at home. Gloucestershire firefighters will be on stand by to carry out homes visits.
- Suspend care home visits - The council will work with care homes to make sure there are safe ways for residents and their loved ones stay in touch, with exceptions for those who have to say goodbye.
- Covid-19 Gloucestershire Protection Representatives - Known as marshals, the district officers will be on the streets across the county from next week, not enforcing but advising, helping and supporting us all to understand and follow the guidance.
- Letters to those in shielding group to remind and reassure - While there is currently no need to shield, the council will write to those on the shielded list advising them to reduce social contacts, reminding of the support and advice available and steps to keep themselves safe, such as getting the seasonal flu jab.
- Do it for yourselves. Do it for each other - We must continue to follow the public health guidance, including washing hands regularly, keeping a safe distance from others, wearing a face covering and not mixing in groups of more than six.
Council leader Councillor Mark Hawthorne said: "I want to thank our residents, businesses and partners for everything they are already doing to prevent the spread of Covid cases in the county- but we must keep this up.
"While, thankfully, cases of Covid remain lower than many other parts of the country, they are rising.
"Further action is necessary to prevent the need for restrictions which we can't control. Let's do it for each other - let's slow the spread of Covid-19."
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