North Curry Parish Council sends its deepest condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and The Royal Family on the passing of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.
Please be aware that we have received notification of an urgent road closure at Stathe Road, Burrowbridge, which will commence on 15th April 2021 and is expected to last until 16th April 2021 (the closure is between the hours of 08:30 – 16:30).
These works are for Adrian Morris & Partners to carry out the safe removal of dead and diseased trees, their works reference is LG06085637790.
The contractor has indicated that access for Emergency Services through the site is not permitted on this occasion.
For any further information about this closure please contact Somerset Highways (Highways Trees Team) on 0300 123 2228, quoting reference: Stathe Road, Burrowbridge.
As you will no doubt be aware it is now only two months to Somerset Day and time for everyone to get involved and Fly the Flag for Somerset!
There is now a downloadable ‘Get Involved’ pack which can be found on the Somerset Day website here DOWNLOAD THE SOMERSET DAY EVENT PACK
To ensure that the campaign flies with our hashtag: #FLYTHEFLAGFORSOMERSET you can find all the Social Media assets you’ll need to support the campaign here SOCIAL MEDIA ASSETS
If you have not yet had your vaccination, it might be worth preparing in advance how you will get there. If you are not able to drive yourself, but you have a family member or friend who might be able to support you – it’s always worth having that conversation now.
While many older and more vulnerable people will be able to attend a location close to their home, some will be relying on public transport.
We are working with bus operators and community transport providers to help vulnerable residents to get to their COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
- A free Somerset County Council Taunton town centre shuttle service has been launched to get people straight to their vital vaccination slot. The Covid vaccination shuttle bus service runs every 30 minutes from Castle Way in Taunton town centre to Taunton Racecourse. The seven-day a week service uses one of the Council’s fleet of minibuses and will help to support those who don’t drive and will link easily with other operators coming into the town centre. The shuttle service is set to run every day throughout March and April except for the following dates when the vaccination centre is closed for race days: 4, 15 and 23 March; 8 and 21 April. You can view the Taunton Racecourse Shuttle Timetable here.
The new Taunton service starts at 8:20am each day, and will also serve bus stops along South Road and Shoreditch Road on route to the Racecourse. The last bus each day is 6:05pm from the Racecourse. There will be capacity for a maximum of four passengers on each journey due to the need for social distancing. The service is reserved for those who have a pre-booked vaccination appointment at the Racecourse and this will be verified before passengers board the bus. It’s recommended those using the service catch a bus to arrive approximately 10 minutes before their vaccination slot.
- First West of England provides a bus service every 30 minutes from Wells Bus Station stopping at Shepton Mallet. The bus service terminates at the Bath and West Showground and operates seven days a week. You can view the Bath and West Showground Shuttle Timetable here. The service provides connections to and from other bus services at both Wells Bus Station and Shepton Mallet Cenotaph. This service is free for bus pass holders. If you plan to use this bus service, please make sure that you take your appointment letter with you and try to use the timetabled journey which arrives at the Bath and West Showground as close to your appointment time as possible. This will avoid waiting time on site. You can view their vaccination centre travel guide here
- Current concessionary bus pass rules have been suspended so that bus passes can be used on all public services before 9:30am. This came into effect from 1st February.
- We are working with Community Transport and Slinky Demand Responsive Services across Somerset to allow free travel for bus pass holders when attending vaccination appointments. You can find information and contact details for Community Transport Services on Travel Somerset
If you are concerned about getting to an appointment or need other help or support during the pandemic, please phone the Coronavirus helpline on 0300 790 6275. Lines are open from 8am to 6pm, seven days a week.
Please follow the link to view the above road closure; https://one.network/?tm=119764994 and the link for the Notice 2: https://one.network/downloads/tm/1111/3-notice-2_119764994_3292206_e8ff0a74ef.pdf
The order becomes effective on 25 February 2021 and will remain in force for eighteen months.
The works are expected to commence on 1st March 2021 and last for 12 days to enable Somerset Highways to carry out drainage works.
For any further information about this closure please contact Somerset Highways on 0300 123 2224, quoting reference: ttro414445TD – SH – Lower Knapp Lane, North Curry.
Please note that should you require to view a closure which is more than two weeks ahead you will need to Register for free with www.One.Network
Coronavirus update from Somerset County Council
Following an increasing number of reports around scams asking people to wrongly pay for COVID-19 vaccinations, Avon and Somerset Police are reminding people to be wary and to report any suspected cases to Action Fraud.
Action Fraud revealed last week it recorded more than 1,000 reports nationally of phishing emails and text messages connected to the vaccine roll-out in just one day.
The scams fraudulently claim to be from the NHS and ask the recipient to click on a link to accept or decline an invitation to receive the coronavirus vaccine. If they click accept, they are asked to input personal information and their bank card details.
In the UK, coronavirus vaccines will only be available via the National Health Services of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or pharmacy local to you, to receive your vaccine. How you will be contacted for your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
The vaccine is therefore free and at no point will people be asked to pay for one.
Please follow the link to view the above road closure:
https://one.network/?tm=119714134 and the link for the Notice 2: https://one.network/downloads/tm/1111/3-notice-2_119714134_3289939_d247f640cf.pdf
The order becomes effective on 18 February 2021 and will remain in force for eighteen months.
The works are expected to commence on 23rd February 2021 and last for 3 days (09:30 – 15:30) to enable Utilities Services Ltd to replace telecoms on behalf of BT Openreach.
For any further information about this closure please contact Utilities Services Ltd on 01884 763100, quoting reference: ttro414699TD – BT – Cheats Road, Ruishton.
Please note that should you require to view a closure which is more than two weeks ahead you will need to Register for free with www.One.Network
Thursday 28 January 2021
This update is provided by the Somerset Covid-19 Engagement Board and is designed to provide a weekly update on the current Covid-19 situation in Somerset.
This week, the second of Somerset’s large vaccination centres, based at the Bath and West Showground, has started to vaccinate local residents and frontline health and care workers from the highest priority groups. This is great news for the County, and for those who are being called to have their vaccination, please step forward for it; for those in the priority groups that haven’t yet heard, you will do very soon.
The vaccination is part of our toolkit; one tool won’t get the job done by itself, we need to use everything we’ve got and we can’t rely solely on the vaccine, the essential hands face space guidance really is so important, as is following the stay home guidance and isolating correctly if you display symptoms are test positive for the virus.
The vaccine designed to prevent serious illness and death from Covid-19, even if you have had the vaccine, you can still catch it and might still be able to pass it on to others so the hands face space guidance must still be followed to protect yourselves and others.
‘Remember, everyone can catch it, anyone can spread it’.
Along with the rest of the UK, locally we are seeing rates coming down, however figures are still high, and Covid-19 is still very much circulating in our communities.
Somerset’s seven-day infection rate has decreased considerably from last week’s rate of 305.4 and now stands at 255.2 new cases per 100,000.
Between 17 and 23 January, approximately 43,200 tests were carried out across the county and there have been 1,435 new confirmed cases. The number of tests has increased due to the ramp-up of testing (in particular, the rapid testing programme) but importantly, the number of positive cases has reduced since last week’s update.
The link below shows the Somerset Dashboard which tracks our local epidemic from the start in March, to the current time:
Workplaces: We continue to see outbreaks occurring as people socialise in and around the workplace (where people cannot work from home) and unfortunately, have seen a number of significant outbreaks in the food sector. Some common factors being seen in these situations include people car-sharing and the particular challenges posed by chilled indoor working environments. We are continuing to provide these settings with Public Health advice, support and guidance on prevention measures.
We have produced a number of communications materials that have been shared with businesses to reinforce the importance of keeping up infection control measures even in informal settings such as lunch breaks.
Care Sector: In the seven days between 17 and 23 January, there were 244 new cases at 50 care home settings. The positive cases identified were staff and residents; we continue to support these settings with support and guidance on prevention measures.
We are extremely pleased that the majority of care home residents have now received their first vaccination, helping to prevent serious illness from Covid-19 within this group.
Schools and Early Years settings: The national lockdown means that only vulnerable children and those of key workers can attend school, with all other learning being conducted online.
Somerset schools are working hard to implement the Department for Education mass testing programme. This means staff and pupils in secondary and special schools will have access to rapid testing kits if they are on site. As of Monday 25 January, all staff at primary schools and maintained nursery settings now have access to rapid testing kits.
Stay at home restrictions: We remain under a period of national lockdown, and as before, encourage you to share the following poster with your networks to help explain the restrictions:
England Lockdown: Stay At Home posters – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Covid-19 vaccine safety: Our Director of Public Health Trudi Grant’s own mother had her turn for her first dose of the vaccine this week – watch it here.
We are aware that there are myths circulating around the Covid-19 vaccine and a natural hesitancy amongst communities to receive the jab. It is important to remember that the NHS would not offer any Covid-19 vaccinations to the public until it was safe to do so. The MHRA – the official UK regulator authorising licensed use of medicines and vaccines by healthcare professionals, has made this decision, and we have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.
It was very clear that this was a global public health emergency from the word go and governments were prepared to put in lots of funding to manufacturers, without any guarantee of success, but hoping that they would find a solution
Manufacturers knew this had to be a straight run-through, they didn’t have time for investment decisions and pausing or thinking about a commercial market at the end of it. It had to happen with real urgency.
The vaccine trials have been just the same as normal vaccine trials. Phase one, phase two and phase three. Where time has been saved is by recruiting participants in advance, so at the moment the study protocol was in place, the Ethics Committee was in place, so were the vaccine trial participants – which sped up the process. This happened at phase one, phase two and phase three and therefore things ran very fast.
Is your household Covid-19 safe? When you’re at home with people you know well, we know that it feels strange to do the things needed to keep the virus out, but with one in three people carrying the virus without having symptoms, doing these things every day will really help:
- Regularly wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
- Wipe down surfaces that are touched a lot, such as phones, remote controls, door handles and bannisters
- Kept at least two metres apart from others where possible when outdoors on essential trips or exercise
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Regularly let fresh air into the home – open windows a few times a day
- If away from home, carry hand sanitiser and wear a face-covering*
*This doesn’t apply to anyone who is medically exempt
- If you cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue (or your elbow if no tissue is available) and dispose of the tissue.
- Avoided sharing things like towels, cutlery and crockery
Advisory Network survey: Thank you to those of you that have signed up to be part of our Health and Wellbeing Advisory Network. We have today, launched a survey that has been designed specifically for members of the Network to help us deepen our understanding of the local picture across the county. We have already undertaken wide-reaching communications and consultations to understand barriers and issues people may be facing in relation to Covid-19, but the Network’s insights on the groups that they work with/support will put us in a better position to address issues in different areas of the community.
If you are a member of the network, please do take part in the survey (you will have received an email). It should just take a few minutes of your time, if you haven’t yet joined the Network but would like to do so, please sign up here.
As always, please do keep an eye our Healthy Somerset website, which has a huge amount of information and resources to help keep everyone healthy happy and safe at this time: https://www.healthysomerset.co.uk/covid-19/
Finally, please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and share our posts with your networks to help us in communicating these important messages. Follow our Director of Public Health account too here.
Resources and further information: For the latest local information as well as digital resources, posters and flyers please visit: https://www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus/
The Somerset Local Outbreak Management Plan outlines how we, the council, will work with the NHS Test and Trace Service, PHE, the NHS and other partners to ensure a whole system approach to preventing and managing local outbreaks. This can be found here.
All our help and information is now available in a single place on the SCC website https://www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-latest-advice/
This page is refreshed through the day so please check in regularly to keep across developments and news.
Public Health dashboard: Detailed Public Health information dashboards are available on our website www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus just scroll down to ‘Covid-19 dashboard’. These are updated daily.
National HIV Testing Week runs from Monday 1 February to Sunday 7 February with a focus on HIV testing at home, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Eddystone Trust, county council and NHS are encouraging people to find out their HIV status by ordering a free finger prick test through the post, which is quick and easy to use.
Kat Briggs, an assistant practitioner at the Somerset-wide integrated sexual health service (SWISH), which is run by Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“There are almost 300 people living with HIV in Somerset, 97 per cent of whom take medication to control the virus and prevent them from passing it on to anyone else.
“Testing for HIV puts you in control and, thanks to treatment, will stop you from getting seriously ill and enable you to live a normal lifespan.
“Lockdown has meant that most people have had fewer sexual partners, if any at all, and now is the perfect time to be sure you know your HIV status.
“This national testing week encourages people to have a free, quick and confidential HIV test, particularly those in groups most affected by HIV, including men who have sex with men and black African men and women.”
James Mead, Development Lead for HIV Prevention at The Eddystone Trust, said: “This National HIV Testing Week, we’re encouraging our supporters to get tested for HIV from the comfort of their own homes.
“Testing from home is the safest option for us all. You can order a free HIV self-test kit straight to your door, equipped with detailed instructions on how to do your test. Getting tested regularly should be something we’re all doing in order to protect ourselves.
“If you test positive, effective treatment means you can live as long as anyone else, and when the amount of the virus in your blood is reduced to undetectable levels, this means you cannot pass on HIV. Testing puts you in control and isn’t something to be afraid of.”
Self-test kits can be ordered here: https://www.freetest.me/landing/swish/swishservice
For more information about Somerset’s sexual health services, including SWISH and The Eddystone Trust visit:
For more information on the national campaign, go to: https://www.startswithme.org.uk