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Latest Covid-19 update for Leicestershire

Latest Covid-19 update for Leicestershire

Added at 22:26 on 15 January 2021

COVID-19 INFECTION RATES

 

Comments from the Director of Public Health (15th January 2021)

 

The last seven days have seen the Leicestershire rate increase to a peak at the weekend in excess of 400 cases per 100,000, higher than the previous record rate in mid-November of 396.8/100,000.

 

Since the weekend, rates have decreased although progress has been uneven across districts.  The Leicestershire rate has decreased to 364.4 per 100,000 population.  The percentage change for the previous seven day period for Leicestershire is a decrease of 3%.  Oadby & Wigston has the highest rate in the County (499.9 per 100,000 population) followed by Blaby (431.4), North West Leicestershire (353.2), Harborough (351.8), Hinckley & Bosworth (344.7), Charnwood (333.1), and Melton (283.2).  Compared to the previous week, rates for Harborough, Melton, North West Leicestershire and Oadby & Wigston have decreased, whilst Blaby, Charnwood and Hinckley & Bosworth have increased.  [The rate for the City of Leicester is 572.8/100,000 and for Rutland 248.0/1000.]

 

Planning is ongoing for the implementation of asymptomatic testing sites across Leicestershire.  This will enable the testing of key workers and large employer workforces with lateral flow devices in line with Government announcements.

 

COVID-19 DATA

 

From Monday 18th January, an additional Covid-19 data document will be made available on the County Council’s website every Monday afternoon, titled ‘Covid-19: Data Update for Leicestershire, Headline Summary’.  This will provide a high level summary of the latest Covid-19 data, covering the change and trends in weekly incidence rates, figures for the 60+ age group and a map showing the weekly cases by Middle Super Output Area (MSOA).  This summary will be in addition to the two more detailed weekly data reports mentioned in last week’s Update which will be made available on the website every Thursday.  The detailed weekly reports have the titles ‘Covid-19: Data Update for Leicestershire’ and ‘Weekly Covid-19 Surveillance Report in Leicestershire’.

 

All the reports can be accessed at:  https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/Coronavirus-data-for-cases-in-Leicestershire

 

Together, these three reports provide appropriate and detailed information for wide circulation ensuring transparency about infection rates and deaths in the County.  It is advised that where stakeholders and members of the public seek such information they are directed to these reports on the website.  Other information, which is confidential or more sensitive, is used for planning purposes and shared on an as-needed basis with key partners to ensure an effective response to the pandemic.

 

REGULATIONS

 

The national lockdown Regulations[1]  came into force on 6th January 2021 and the first mandatory review by the Secretary of State (of whether each area that is part of Tier 4 should continue to be so designated) must take place within 14 days, i.e. by no later than 20th January 2021.

 

The Regulations may be found here:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/8/pdfs/uksi_20210008_en.pdf

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1374/contents

 

FREE SCHOOL MEALS AND FOOD PARCELS

 

There has been widespread national coverage this week of the Government’s food parcels for children who are eligible for free school meals.  A major supplier, Chartwells, has been heavily criticised for inadequate parcels. 

 

Since the national media coverage, the Government confirmed that it would be switching to a voucher scheme, which is welcomed by the County Council as it will give the amount directly to parents to spend.  The voucher scheme should be operational by Monday, 18th January.  Food parcels will be available in certain circumstances if requested by a school.

 

The County Council will also be providing vouchers over February half-term using the Government’s Winter Grant Scheme.

 

IMPACT OF THE CURRENT LOCKDOWN ON SERVICES

 

Children and Family Services

 

Schools

 

  • On 13th January there were 13,513 children in attendance at schools across Leicestershire (18.9% of all pupils).  The average attendance in primary schools was 27%, secondary schools 4.7% and special schools 67%.  The majority of children in school are children of critical workers.

 

Early Years

 

  • On 14th January there were 651 early years settings open, with 8,701 children attending.
  • Following concerns raised around the impact on funding of reduced numbers of children attending Early Years settings, the Government have changed their position to enable a census to collect data to reflect both the provision made available to parents/guardians and a provider’s usual expected attendance in the week commencing 18th January 2021.  This changed position has reduced the financial risk for many Early Years providers across Leicestershire.

 

There have been no particular changes to County Council services in the last week except as below.

 

Registration Service

 

  • As previously advised, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are only taking place in exceptional circumstances with a maximum of six attendees and in Covid-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces.

 

  • Registration Offices have now been closed to public visitors until the end of January when the position will be reviewed.  Birth registrations have been paused until then except for urgent cases.  Death registration appointments continue to be offered remotely and staff have been redeployed from other registration functions to ensure there is no delay in the process.

 

VACCINATIONS

 

This Update does not provide information on vaccinations.  Communication in regard to vaccinations is the responsibility of the NHS, although the County Council supports the NHS locally in its advisory messaging.

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