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The latest Coronavirus (Covid-19) update from Southampton City Council

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: The latest data on COVID cases in Southampton | Over 50? Get a free flu jab | Help if you’re struggling with money | New funding to support greener travel and more

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Welcome to this week’s COVID-19 update for Southampton


Your local COVID-19 data update

covid data 14 november 2020

Our local data suggests COVID-19 infections continue to rise in our community and we have not yet experienced a slowing down of infection. It’s too early to see the effect of the new national restrictions on our case numbers.

Infection rates are particularly high among younger people, though it is also increasing in older age groups who we know are more clinically vulnerable to its effects.

There is a very real risk the local NHS could become overwhelmed and we could see many more deaths over the winter, so we all need to take responsibility for Keeping Southampton Safe. It’s crucial we continue to follow the national restrictions so that we prevent more infections in Southampton and reduce the number of cases.

The promise of two effective vaccines and the national rollout of new rapid testing services give us hope for the future, but it remains vital for everyone to continue to follow the HANDS-FACE-SPACE guidance.

If you have symptoms, you must isolate at home, register to get tested, get tested and continue to isolate until you get the results and further advice from NHS.

For more details, take a look at our full local COVID-19 data dashboard

Mental health support

Many local mental health organisations are offering support during the second lockdown: Solent Mind (023 8017 9049) and, for young people, No Limits (023 8022 4224) are just two which are running a service.

There’s also list of other local organisations on our website.

If you’re 18 and older, we also now offer a free and confidential service to help you if you’re worried about how much or how often you’re drinking. Just call the Southampton Alcohol Advice line on 023 8200 2764.

New guidance

New government guidance has been issued:


Announced today – free flu jabs for over 50s

Flu jabs

If you’re over the age of 50, you’ll be able to get your free flu vaccine from 1 December. If you’re 50-64 years old, you’ll be able to get a vaccine from your GP or pharmacy (they will contact you).

Flu can be serious and even deadly for older adults, very young children, and people with underlying health conditions. This year, with both the flu virus and COVID-19 circulating, getting a flu jab is more important than ever to reduce your chance of catching it. The flu vaccine is the best protection for you and those around you.

Visit the NHS website for more information about getting your jab.


Get help if you’re struggling with money

Citizens Advice

If the coronavirus pandemic has caused you to struggle financially, and you’re worried about how you’ll pay the bills (or you’re already behind), the Citizens Advice team are on hand to help.

Trained money and debt advisers can help you put together a budget, prioritise your bills and expenditure, and look for additional sources of support. They will explain your options for dealing with your debts and help you make a decision on how to move forward.

Many people may feel anxious or ashamed about being in debt, but most say that the first step is the hardest and they feel better knowing they’re getting help.

The sooner you get help, the better the team can support you.

So don’t wait. Get help now. Contact Citizens Advice Southampton on 0300 330 2166 (or freephone 0808 27 87 863 from 1 December) or via email


Mayor of Southampton helps 99-year-old resident in ‘virtual’ act of remembrance

Bob Hucklesby Southampton Remembers

Bob Hucklesby is nearly 100 years old and the President of the National Far East Prisoners of War Fellowship Welfare Remembrance Association.

Bob normally lays a wreath at the Far East Prisoners of War Repatriation Memorial at Town Quay Park on 18 November every year. That’s the day he returned to Southampton in 1945 from the Far East, on a hospital ship called Principessa Giovanna, after being held captive for a number of years.

This Wednesday marked the 75th anniversary of his return to home soil, but sadly, due to lockdown restrictions, Bob wasn’t able to lay his wreath this year. Instead, we arranged for Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Sue Blatchford, to lay the wreath on his behalf, with Bob watching from home via video call.

You can still watch our virtual Remembrance Service, which was filmed in advance due to COVID-19 restrictions, on our website.


New funding to support greener travel in the city

cycling

Earlier this week, we announced some great news – we’ve won £1.225m from the Government’s Active Travel Fund, which will boost our ongoing work to make walking and cycling in the city safer, easier and more attractive.

The amount of funding awarded is 125% of what the Government originally estimated for us. This is the maximum percentage on offer, making us one of the most successful councils nationally to bid for the funding.

We plan to use this funding on a range of permanent schemes to create better spaces for people walking and cycling. We’ve already taken great steps to make this happen and this latest funding will now take us even further as we continue working towards a fairer, greener and healthier city for all.

We’ll be consulting on all of our plans with local residents, businesses, emergency services and others to gather feedback and work together to shape schemes before they are put in place.

For more information, including details of the proposed schemes to be delivered with this funding, please visit our website.


Help us crack down on illegal council home fraud

Tenancy fraud awareness week

This week is Tenancy Fraud Awareness Week, when we’ve been shining a light on an issue that prevents thousands of people with genuine need from accessing social housing.

In Southampton, the average waiting time for a three-bedroom council home is currently six years, and according to Government estimates, approximately 310 council properties were illegally occupied in the city in 2018.

Housing fraud takes a number of forms usually carries series penalties, including a fine or even a prison sentence. But to coincide with Tenancy Fraud Awareness Week, we are allowing fraudsters to return their keys anonymously during our November Key Amnesty. It’s easy to take part and we won’t ask any questions or prosecute.

You may be committing housing fraud because of financial hardship, bereavement or ill health, possibly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. If this is the case, please seek help straight away from Advice in Southampton.


Spot the signs of abuse and speak out

Speak out against abuse

This week is also National Safeguarding Adults Week. Abuse takes different forms, including financial abuse, discrimination, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional, domestic abuse and neglect.

The stress and anxiety brought on by the pandemic, and especially the associated restrictions, has meant many people in abusive situations have struggled to get the help they desperately need.

If you spot something that doesn’t look right and you are worried an adult may be at risk of abuse or harm, don’t be frightened to spot the signs and speak out. Please contact us using our anonymous form.

Always remember, if an adult is in immediate danger call the police on 999.


Are you an unpaid carer? Find out how you can access help and support

Carers Rights Day

Carers UK is holding Carers Rights Day on Thursday 26 November to help unpaid carers know their rights and find out how to access help and support. Southampton has an estimated 32,057 residents who are unpaid carers – looking after family members or friends who are ill, frail or disabled.

On Carers Rights Day, we will be hosting the third meeting of the Carer Friendly Southampton Scrutiny Inquiry which aims to identify opportunities to improve support for carers in Southampton. This meeting will be focused on the theme of carer identification, rights and recognition. You can read more information here.

To provide evidence for this meeting our carer support partner, Carers in Southampton, is gathering stories via video, audio or post and inviting carers to give their feedback via an online questionnaire.

Not sure what rights carers have? Here is a handy guide from Carers UK explaining practical and financial support available to carers.

Identifying yourself as a carer can be a challenge. Carers in Southampton encourage carers to apply for a Carers Card and also to register their caring responsibilities at their GP surgery.


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