We are constantly reviewing our services and events since the COVID-19 outbreak, including the setting up and delivery of a Community task force and helpline to help those in self isolation in our community.
The latest information and guidance to support you and our communities
30 October 2020
We are very sorry that in the original version of this newsletter we incorrectly referred to Devon as being in Tier 3. We are of course in Tier 1 and we are sorry for any concern that this has caused.
Covid! Let’s all do the right thing.
Living in an area where case numbers are increasing but are still comparatively low, some people argue that we give too much focus to the virus and are stopping people having fun by discouraging them from participating in seasonal and important events. Others fear the spread and welcome more restrictions.
But the threat is real. More than 45,000 people in the UK have died from coronavirus and routine treatments have had to be cancelled at hospitals across the country.
The public health message is to reduce unnecessary risks and play your part in preventing the spread of the virus by keeping space, covering your face, washing your hands regularly and observing the rule of six.
The need to clamp down on opportunities for the virus to spread means that it’s the right thing for us all to enjoy a different Halloween celebration tomorrow night, and avoid trick or treating or putting sweets outside, so as not to spread the virus between households.
Many fireworks displays have been cancelled and the fire service is urging people not to increase the risk of unnecessary accidents by using fireworks at home in the coming days.
By leaving them in the box, you will ensure the number of accidents is minimised and the NHS doesn’t need to spend time dealing with unnecessary injuries at a time of substantial additional pressure on our hospitals.
Even the traditional Remembrance Day events are being cancelled or held differently. Our former chair and Armed Forces Covenant Champion Cllr Richard Keeling is encouraging people to mark the event by following virtual events or observing a minute’s silence on your doorstep.
Teignbridge is still in Tier 1, but numbers in Plymouth and Torbay are increasing significantly making it even more important that we do not ignore the government advice.
Please do the right thing for yourself, for your loved ones, and for Devon: keep space, cover your face and wash your hands.
Join the 19 million playing their part in stopping the spread of coronavirus
Are you one of the 60 per cent of people in the UK who has a smart phone but hasn’t downloaded the NHS test and trace app?
The NHS app is one of the most effective ways of tracing those who have had contact with people who have had a positive test and therefore need to self-isolate.
Recent updates have made the app more effective, including a new function that reduces the chance of telling you to isolate if you’re at low risk. If you are concerned about privacy issues, the app does not hold personal data and cannot be used by agencies to identify who you are or where you have been.
Once you have downloaded the app, remember to take your phone with you when you go out and use it to ‘sign in’ using the QR code at the entrance to venues.
Funding ensures support for people struggling to make ends meet
The Marcus Rashford campaign to ensure children did not go hungry over half term is also a chance to highlight the support that our Covid Hardship Fund can provide to local people struggling to make ends meet.
Set up at the start of the pandemic, the fund assesses people’s needs and so far has helped to cover transport costs for children to get to school, paid gas, electric and water bills and provided groceries.
More than 25 households have been in touch with us to see if the fund can be used to prevent them becoming homeless.
The fund can help people whose income has been reduced by the impact of Covid to levels which do not cover their basic costs such as being made recently unemployed or furloughed, whose business can’t trade or who are self-employed and not covered by government support schemes, and who can demonstrate they have less than £500.
Devon County Council has also promoted the hardship fund option across the county and the support available via its website including how to apply for financial help, where to find foodbanks and community larders, free meals during the school holidays and what to do if you’re on a low income and need to self-isolate.
Not too late to protect yourself
The focus on this year’s campaign to vaccinate people against seasonal flu has been to make sure that groups most at risk are the first to get their jabs.
Pregnant women, parents of 2-3 year-olds and people with long term health conditions have been prioritised for protection against flu.
Anyone in these high risk categories can get in touch with their GP practice, local pharmacy (or if pregnant their midwifery service) and arrange to be vaccinated. The evidence shows that it will make a difference to their wellbeing.
The next priority group will be the over 65s followed by those aged 50 to 64 who have a health condition that puts them more at risk from seasonal flu, before rolling out to the wider population as the supply allows.
Successful bid aims to stop vulnerable young people being criminalised
A bid to fund ground-breaking work to prevent vulnerable adolescents becoming involved in criminal activity has been given almost £1million from the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Led by the South Devon and Dartmoor Community Safety Partnership, Turning Corners is a partnership approach to reduce the risk of young people in Devon becoming involved in violence, antisocial behaviour and crime through early intervention and prevention.
Councillor Martin Wrigley, Executive Lead for Community Support said: “We’re tremendously proud and pleased that this pioneering project has been funded for a further four years.
“The impact of this project is potentially huge; reducing the demand on hard pressed resources as well as the impact on the criminal justice system, and giving young people better life chances and prospects for their future”
Plea to local MPs to back bill
Executive member for climate change Cllr Jackie Hook has written to our MPs seeking their support for the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill.
This follows the Full Council’s September meeting where councillors voted unanimously to declare an Ecological Emergency alongside its Climate Emergency Declaration and committed to accelerate the pace of work we are doing to address biodiversity and habitat loss.
In her letter, Cllr Hook emphasises that the council cannot do this alone and without the Government’s commitment to pass legislation necessary to achieve change across our landscape in particular our agricultural landscape.
“At Teignbridge District Council we have demonstrated our commitment to address the Climate and Ecological emergencies and we would ask you to show your commitment also, alongside registering your support for the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill.” she concludes.
Avoid fireworks and don’t put the NHS under extra pressure!
Setting off fireworks in the coming days could result in accidents, that increase pressure on the NHS.
Each year the emergency services have to respond to incidents on and around bonfire night and given the pressure that health services are already experiencing, the clear safety message is to give fireworks a miss this year.
Dr Virginia Pearson, Director of Public Health Devon said: “The Fire and Rescue advice is against having bonfires and fireworks at home, because they can result in injuries, and closely supervise children with sparklers. However you celebrate the occasion, please remember the COVID-19 rules around the size of the group and social distancing.
“If you’re attending an organised display, please only do so if you do not have any of the symptoms of coronavirus – the high temperature, the new and continuous cough, or the loss or change in your usual sense of taste or smell.
“Be careful about how you travel to the event, and try to stay in the open air as much as possible, while being careful to socially distance and not meet in groups larger than six people.
“While we are living with coronavirus, we need it to become second nature that we remain on our guard all the time, and that’s especially true in crowded places or events.”
If you have already bought fireworks and despite the public health advice intend to use them, then please follow these basic safety tips so as to minimise risk of injury or the spread of the virus..
Remembering those who gave their lives
In a call to remember those who gave their lives in service, despite the Covid-19 restrictions preventing many Remembrance events taking place this year, Armed Forces Covenant Champion Cllr Richard Keeling is asking people to observe the Two Minute Silence in their homes or on their doorsteps.
And he highlighted the live joint streaming of the traditional Exeter and County Remembrance Sunday Services, from 11am on Sunday 8 November on the Facebook pages of Exeter Cathedral, Exeter City Council and Devon County Council.
Devon Interfaith Week 8 – 15 November
The Devon Faith and Belief Forum has published its programme. All events are on-line and open to the public.
Universal Peace Prayers: 5.00 – 6.00pm Sunday 8 November
Sharing faith and belief perspectives on racism and prejudice: 7.00-8.15pm Tuesday 10 November
Spirituality and Gen Y / Z: Activism, Guidance, Traditions: 2.00 – 3.00pm Wednesday 11 November
Bringing sacred texts to life: 4.00-5.15pm Wednesday 11 November
Interfaith prayers and reflections with the Baha’i community: 7.00-8.00pm Thursday 12 November
Find out more about these events and how to register.