Powys Coronavirus (COVID-19) Bulletin
March 24, 2020
The government has introduced the following instructions to the UK population with immediate effect:
- People required to stay at home
- People can only leave their homes to shop for basic necessities; for one form of exercise a day; for any medical need; and to travel to and from work when “absolutely necessary”
- People are warned not to meet friends or family members who they do not live with
- Shopping is only permitted for essentials like food and medicine, and people are advised to do it “as little as you can”
- Police have powers to enforce the rules, including through fines and dispersing gatherings
- All shops selling non-essential goods, such as clothing and electronic stores, have been ordered to close
- Libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship are to close
- All gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with – are banned
- All social events, including weddings and baptisms are banned
- Funerals are not included in the new restrictions but are limited to close family only
- Parks will remain open for exercise, but gatherings will be dispersed
- Restrictions “under constant review” and will be checked again in three weeks. They will be relaxed if the evidence shows they can be.
The Government expects every citizen to comply with these new measures. They are vital to saving lives and preventing the spread of the infection.
These measures are effective immediately.
Powys County Council
The Council has stopped all non-essential business to allow the redeployment of staff to the following business critical services:
Responding to Covid-19
Adult Services – Domiciliary Care and Residential Care, Safeguarding
Childcare for Key Workers and Vulnerable Children
Public Protection (enforcement and public health)
Keeping our communities safe and resilient
Support for Businesses
Emergency Housing repairs and maintenance
Highways – (Winter Maintenance and emergency response)
Children’s Services – including Safeguarding
Corporate – running the Council
Customer Services and Communications (to staff, Members and public)
Corporate Support Services (including Workforce and ICT)
Update on Council Services
- Libraries are closed
- Leisure centres are closed
- Day centres are closed
- Museums are closed
- Playgrounds are closed
- Household Waste and Recycling Centres are closed
- Weddings/civil ceremonies are cancelled
- Parks will remain open, but crowds of more than two will be dispersed
- Schools are open to provide childcare to key workers and vulnerable children
- Strategically located childcare hubs will be open from Friday 27 March
- Antur Gwy and Old College offices closed
- All Council employees who can work from home or remotely should now be doing so
- Employees should encourage residents/service users to contact council via email, website, apps or phone rather than face-to-face to reduce the risk of transmission.
- Meetings to be carried out using Skype/Teams where possible
Coordination of Volunteers to support those in need
Powys County Council, Powys Teaching Health Board and Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations (PAVO), as key partners of Powys Regional Partnership Board, have established a team to coordinate and support emergency response to people in our community who may be affected by COVID 19. The team, called Community Services Emergency Response Team (C-SERT). More information can be found on their website. www.pavo.org.uk/coronavirus.html
HR FAQs – Have you got a query about a Powys County Council staffing issue related to Coronavirus? HR have compiled and updated a comprehensive list of their frequently asked questions which is now available.
Current Advice to the Public: Symptoms
If you have to stay at home follow self-isolation advice on Public Health Wales.
You should only contact 111 if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Current Advice to the Public: Infection Control
To protect yourself and other people:
- wash your hands with soap and water more often, and do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
- If you have been asked to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, follow the self-isolation advice.
More information is available from https://phw.nhs.wales/coronavirus
Emergency childcare hubs – 24/03/20
Emergency childcare hubs will be operating from 13 locations across the county from this Friday (27 March), Powys County Council has said.
School sites in the county will remain open until Thursday, March 26 but only for children of critical workers and the most vulnerable children.
The hubs, which will provide childcare to support critical emergency workers, NHS staff and social care workers as well as the county’s most vulnerable children, will also operate at weekends. The hubs will operate from 8am to 6pm.
To access provision from Friday, March 27 to Friday, April 3, critical workers will need to register their child at their nearest emergency childcare hub by filling in an online form by 9pm on Wednesday, March 25.
As part of the arrangements, meals will be provided to children three times a day and transport will be arranged for children to get to the hubs and back home.
Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Property, said: “The advice to parents is clear – if your children can stay safely in their home, they should.
“However, critical workers will still need to have safe care arrangements for their children. These emergency childcare hubs will be providing a vital service to support critical workers and our most vulnerable children.
“Our school sites will remain open up until Thursday as emergency childcare facilities but then they will close and these hubs will become operational from Friday onwards.
“I want to thank all professionals at our schools for their commitment during this extremely difficult period.”
The emergency childcare hubs are based in:
School cluster area – Emergency childcare hub
Brecon – Priory C. in W. School, Brecon
Builth Wells – Newbridge-on-Wye C. in W. School
Crickhowell – Crickhowell C.P. School
Gwernyfed – Archdeacon Griffiths C. in W. (A) School, Llyswen
Llandrindod Wells – Llandrindod Wells C.P. School Cefnllys
Llanfair Caereinion – Ysgol Gynradd Llanfair Caereinion
Llanfyllin – Ysgol Gynradd Llanfyllin
Llanidloes – Llanidloes C.P. School
Presteigne – Presteigne C.P. School
Machynlleth – Ysgol Bro Hyddgen – Primary Campus, Machynlleth
Newtown – Ysgol Dafydd Llwyd, Newtown
Welshpool – Welshpool C. in W. Primary School (Howell Road Site)
Ystradgynlais – Ysgol Dyffryn y Glowyr, Lower Cwmtwrch
To register your child, go to https://tinyurl.com/Emergency-childcare-hubs
Please see below the most recent advice given by the Welsh Government, especially that on key workers. We would really appreciate your cooperation on this matter as we currently have a considerable number of staff absent.
As you are aware your child’s class teacher will contact you weekly during closure, this will be either via phone or email. We will endeavour to support you to the best of our ability in these difficult times.
5 things you need to know before sending your children to school or childcare (coronavirus)
- The latest scientific advice
The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear.
Everyone must, as far as possible, minimise social contact and make sure that anyone who is particularly vulnerable to the virus is able to adopt strict social distancing.
- How does social distancing affect schools and childcare settings?
We have advised schools and childcare should only be open to a limited number of children.
We must keep the number of children in educational, childcare and play settings to the smallest number possible.
We also need to make sure children are not left with anyone who should be following strict social distancing guidance, such as anyone over 70 or anyone with the specified underlying health conditions.
Keeping children safely in their home should limit the chance of the virus spreading and protect those vulnerable to more serious illness as a result of the virus.
If your child receives free school meals, this will continue. But the way your child gets this food depends on your school. Please check with them.
- What is the latest advice on key workers?
A list of categories of critical workers has been published on the Welsh Government website.
Places in schools and childcare will be highly limited and only particularly vulnerable children and the children of critical workers whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response should be attending during this time.
If you are classed as a critical worker but are able to perform the critical parts of your job effectively when working from home, then you should do so.
Even for critical workers, provision will only be made in schools or other settings where there is no safe alternative for your family.
- I’m a key worker but my partner isn’t. What should we do?
If one parent is a critical worker but the other parent is not then the other parent should provide safe alternative arrangements at home when possible.
- I’ve seen different advice from different councils. How are local authorities working?
Local authorities are doing everything they can to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. They made and communicated plans based as part of an initial contingency to deal with the spread of coronavirus. Those plans will now adapt and change as they respond to the latest guidance available to the Welsh Government.
Coronavirus update 20/03/2020
On Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th March Ysgol Cedewain will only be open to the children of Key Workers (see definition below) who are unable to keep their children safely at home. Where there are two parents, only one parent will need to be employed in these areas to access the childcare. From Wednesday 25th we are not sure where this provision will be situated.
This care is only intended to be for a limited number of children as the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. The fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society. Many Key Workers may be able to ensure their children are kept at home and every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
If you think you fall within the critical categories listed below please confirm with your employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, your specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.
If you are listed as a Key Worker and will need your child (ren) to attend school please contact the school as soon as possible.
If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:
Health and social care
This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
Education and childcare
This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
Key public services
This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
Local and national government
This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.
Food and other necessary goods
This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).
Public safety and national security
This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.
This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
Utilities, communication and financial services
This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.
Many thanks for your support at this very difficult time
Coronavirus update 18/03/2020
Please see the announcement made by the Welsh Minister for Education this lunchtime. Ysgol Cedewain will remain open until 3.15pm on Friday 20th March unless we have further staff absences. There are still many points from the announcement that need clarifying such as examination arrangements, we will endeavour to keep you updated on any of these issues when we receive further information.
Thank you for your cooperation on this matter.
Coronavirus update 17/03/2020
Following new government guidelines released yesterday:
How long to stay at home
- if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
If school families are self-isolating, please do so for 14 days (10 school days). Please notify the school through the usual channels and we will amend the attendance register to reflect this.
If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home if you have either:
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.