Warwickshire County Council: COVID-19 Statement

Warwickshire County Council reassures the public during coronavirus outbreak.

Warwickshire County Council's Chief Executive, Monica Fogarty would like to reassure residents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and give an update on the many actions the Council is taking to keep services running, and help residents stay safe during this difficult time.

Monica Fogarty says:

"I know many of us will be understandably worried about the coronavirus pandemic that is affecting our lives and communities, but rest assured Warwickshire County Council staff are working round the clock to keep our residents as safe as possible, and to ensure that essential council services continue during this challenging time. We are also taking all steps possible to prepare for the expected increase in confirmed cases.

“Below you’ll find some of the actions the County Council is taking, as well as ways we can all help keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.”

 Health advice for us all
We are in this together and we can all help limit the spread of COVID-19 by following the Government laws on social distancing, which mean:

  • Only leave the house in very limited circumstances - shopping for essentials, meeting urgent medical needs and taking part in one form of solo exercise per day.

  • Ensuring when you are out of the house that you maintain a distance of two metres from other people.

  • Take extra care if you are over 70 years of age, if you are pregnant or have underlying health conditions.

  • To find out more about social distancing visit: Government guidance on social distancing.  

To get the best advice about symptoms of COVID-19, how to prevent the spread, and who should stay at home, visit:  nhs.uk/coronavirus . For the most up-to-date information about Covid-19 in Warwickshire, please visit our dedicated webpages: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

Supporting our most vulnerable residents
As part of a county-wide effort to support the most vulnerable, Warwickshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service along with other services will be working to deliver care and food packages to those most in need.

No direct contact will be made with residents, as this will be a knock-door service, and all staff will maintain the social distances advised, to ensure they can deliver an essential service to those who can’t get out. As well as delivering food and essential requirements, our staff will also ensure that resident are safe, well and managing ok.

As a Council, it is essential that we play our part in supporting communities to help the most vulnerable. We would like to thank Ediblelinks for including us in the amazing work they are doing to support those in need. We are also supporting Boots in the Nuneaton and Bedworth area with the distribution of prescription medication for those who urgently need it.

In addition, the Warwickshire local welfare scheme helps our most vulnerable residents at times of unavoidable crisis such as this, when they have no other means of help. The scheme provides basic and essential help for food and energy. This is given either in emergency food parcels or with credit for energy. For more information and details on how to apply visit: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/localwelfarescheme

Vulnerable pupils
Action has been taken to support the county’s most vulnerable young people to get access to resources to support home learning during this time of school closures.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Careers Hubs, quickly joined by the County Council, has launched an appeal for businesses to donate any of their unused stationery which could then be delivered to schools and handed to pupils in need of support.

To support businesses in making donations, the County Council created a temporary point at their Business Centre in Nuneaton (Eliot Park Innovation Centre), which allowed a drop off location.  The teams at Eliot Park then arranged drop off boxes for the schools to take delivery of.

Beware of fraud and scams – at home and online
Many people are helping friends and neighbours, but others are using the crisis to take advantage of the vulnerable. To stay safe, don’t let anyone into your home, don’t give money to strangers, don’t respond to information requests via text or email from sources you don’t know and trust. Always check with a reliable source such as a family member, or friend if you're unsure.  More information can be found at https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams

Mental Health Services

Worry and anxiety are common problems, but the current situation is making this worse for some members of our community. To help with these pressures, the County Council has put together mental health advice and resources available to you and your loved ones during the coronavirus outbreak. These include: Wellbeing for Warwickshire Big White Wall and Warwickshire Safe Havens. Here you will find lots of tips and advice on coping during this uncertain time. You can also visit: Every Mind Matters where you will find more practical advice on how to look after your mental wellbeing while staying at home.

A full list of the services available can be found on the County Council website: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/mentalhealth

Businesses Support
 The County Council is working with the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub, which is co-ordinating all the support available to companies in the region during the COVID-19 crisis. The County Council is sharing guidance and support for businesses in Warwickshire online and via social media.

More details along with other news on support being offered to businesses across the county will be in Warwickshire Means Business next week.  Follow this link to subscribe and receive next week's ezine to make sure you have all the latest guidance and advice: https://mailchi.mp/warwickshire/meansbusiness

For daily updates, tips and best practice for businesses and employers visit: www.cwgrowthhub.co.uk  

 Libraries
While all Warwickshire Libraries are closed, the County Council is reassuring customers that they don't need to return their library books, and we have extended the loan period for all items currently on loan until the start of July. All fines will be waived so people can keep hold of their books and stay safe at home.

Meanwhile, Warwickshire libraries services are still very much open online, so you can continue to access eBooks, eAudio, eMagazines and eNewspapers completely free of charge. Visit:  https://library.warwickshire.gov.uk

Children and families
Families can stay up-to-date with the latest advice on coronavirus by signing up to Warwickshire Family Information Services (FIS) newsletter. The frequency of the newsletter has increased to twice weekly, (Tuesdays and Fridays), to keep families in Warwickshire informed throughout this uncertain time. Advice and support includes signposting to mental health services and other useful support services, such as activity and learning ideas for children while they’re off school, latest advice on coronavirus, updates about school and service closures, food banks and much more. You can sign up to FIS newsletter here.

The County Council has also created some helpful accident prevention tips to keep your kids safe in the home. You can find them here.

Fire stations share hope
Fire stations across Warwickshire have been passing on the joy this week by joining the national trend of sharing hope in Warwickshire communities. To achieve this, they asked some very special helpers to draw pictures of rainbows for them to put up in their station windows.

We hope that the rainbows will bring a little bit of happiness for children, especially when many are feeling a little worried or anxious about not being able to go to school and play with their friends. Don’t forget that we will also be looking out for rainbows in windows, so why not get your children involved and help spread the joy.

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