Latest update during the COVID-19 health emergency

FRAMEWORK FOR EASING LOCKDOWN

The Scottish Government is currently preparing a revised strategic framework for easing the lockdown.  It will be published on Tuesday.

SCHOOLS

The majority of primary and secondary school pupils will continue with remote learning until at least mid-March while children in early learning and childcare and primaries 1 to 3 will return full-time to classrooms from Monday 22nd February.

Very limited numbers of S4 – S6 pupils who require to complete practical work in order to achieve an SQA certificate will also return from Monday. Pupils currently in classrooms – primarily the children of key workers and those considered vulnerable – will retain their places.

There will be twice weekly at-home testing offered to people who work in schools, early learning and childcare settings attached to schools, and senior phase pupils.

All secondary pupils will be required to observe two metre physical distancing while in school and on school transport in the period immediately after the return. This is in addition to existing measures including the use of face coverings.

Further detail on the next phase of school return could be provided on the 2nd March.

The National Qualifications 2021 Group will soon publish further details on how qualifications will be awarded this year.

https://www.gov.scot/news/remote-learning-to-continue-for-majority/

Dundee families are being urged to keep playing their part in the fight against coronavirus, as nursery children, Primary 1-3 classes and certain senior secondary pupils prepare to return on Monday.

Reminders are being issued about the steps that families and young people are being asked to take to keep everyone safe.

These include* :

• Families observing 2 metre physical distancing while dropping off and picking up outside nursery or school

• Face covering should be worn by anyone who is on nursery or school grounds, even if they don’t go into the building

• Senior secondary pupils should observe 2 metres physical distancing at all times in school 

• Those S4-6 pupils should also wear face coverings in communal areas of the school as well as the classroom

• They should also wear a face covering if travelling by bus or visiting local shops at lunchtimes

• Ensure that key worker spaces for children are requested as a last resort and only on days where no other option exists

(*The guidance on face coverings does not apply to those with exemptions).

Remote learning will continue for all pupils not returning to the classroom.

Senior pupils and all staff in primaries and secondaries who are regularly attending the premises have been contacted about a process of asymptomatic coronavirus tests which is beginning.

Dundee City Council schools will also still be open for the children of key workers and vulnerable children. 

However, with the return of more children to school it is essential that key workers requiring support ensure that requests for all places are a last resort and only requested for days where no other childcare options are available. 

Head teachers will be speaking to families directly about these arrangements and may require further information from parents continuing requesting spaces as more pupils prepare to return to the buildings.

Dundee City Council has produced a school Covid-19 information page on its website.

https://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/coronavirus/schools-information

VACCINE UPDATE

Group 1: Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers is complete for over 95% and scheduling of second dose underway.

Group 2: All those age 80+ and frontline health and social care workers is complete for over 95% and scheduling of second dose underway.

Group 3: Those aged 75+ were due to be completed by the middle of February.

Group 4: Those aged 70+ and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable were due to be completed by the middle of February.

Group 5: Those 65+ are due to be completed by 5th March

Group 6: this is for those aged 16-64 with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality.  It is also for unpaid carers, including all adult carers and young carers aged 16 to 18.  The definition of an unpaid carer is set out in the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016.

The first people invited will be those considered most at risk that the NHS can identify using a modified version of the annual cohort for flu (aged 18-64).

Letters were due to be sent Thursday 18th February, with appointments commencing on Tuesday 23rd February.

Groups 6 – 9: 50+ – TBC

Please wait until you receive a vaccination letter.

 Appointment letters not being received

Anyone who is currently eligible for vaccination but has not received a letter, or who has lost their letter, can arrange an appointment by providing some details using this link: https://invitations.vacs.nhs.scot/  or phone the  National Helpline on 0800 030 8013 and the operator will complete this form. It will likely take a few days for the national team to review the forms and issue letters.

Waits

If any clinic is running more than one hour behind, this triggers escalation. A review of pinch points through the day to ensure staffing is optimal also takes place.

Scottish supplies

On 15th February 1,618,320 doses of the vaccine were allocated to Scotland and the number delivered to Scotland was 1,520,690. Up until Friday 19th February at 8.30am 1,386,152 first doses had been administered and 29,015 second doses.

Over 80s

Apart from some who are housebound, you should have already received your vaccination.  If not, please call your GP.

Independent health and social care workers

Independently employed health and social care workers should have received a letter inviting you for a vaccine appointment. If you have not, please reply to this email and we will contact the local vaccination team to make arrangements.

Transport

For those who do not have their own transport or support networks, please contact the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 400 (Monday to Friday – office hours) to arrange transport to get to their vaccination appointment.

BUSINESS RATES RELIEF

Retail, hospitality, leisure and aviation businesses will pay no rates during 2021-22.  Newspapers will also continue to benefit from 100% relief for a further 12 months, while charitable rates relief will not be removed from mainstream independent schools until 1st April 2022.

https://www.gov.scot/news/non-domestic-rates-relief-extended/

MORE BUSINESS SUPPORT

Two funds are now open to applications. 

• mobile and home-based close contact service businesses – such as make-up artists and hairdressers – as well as registered driving instructors.

• the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund will also re-open for a second round.

Both funds will provide £4,000 grants to successful applicants.

Since opening some applications were rejected because of an IT glitch. Others have been rejected because of problems with authenticating bank details due to errors by the applicants so please make sure you complete this part correctly.  All rejected applications are being rechecked manually. 

https://www.gov.scot/news/more-business-support-now-live/

https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/browse-support#!Products=/last-modified/show+25/page+1

FAMILY FUNDS

There will be a new £100 COVID Hardship Payment for qualifying low-income families whose children receive free meals in schools and early learning and childcare settings.

https://www.gov.scot/news/funding-to-tackle-poverty-and-inequality/

DENTAL STUDENTS

A bursary of up to £6,750 will be offered to dental students who will have to repeat a year.

https://www.gov.scot/news/support-for-dental-students/

CLOSE CONTACT TESTING

Anyone who is identified as a close contact of somebody who has tested positive will be asked to get tested. Previously, outbreak Incident Management Teams (IMTs) have had the ability to order testing of close contacts on a case-by-case basis. Now everyone who has been identified as a close contact via the Protect Scotland app, or through manual contact tracing, will be provided with instructions on how to book a PCR test.  This has no impact on the self-isolation rules.

https://www.gov.scot/news/close-contacts-to-be-offered-testing/

SHORT TERM LETS

This order has been delayed.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/short-term-lets-letter-from-housing-minister-to-committee/

LOCAL CASES

You can access local information on the spread of the virus in our council area then choose Dundee City from the menu in local neighbourhoods.

https://public.tableau.com/profile/phs.covid.19?fbclid=IwAR1IzNvu3sjbCI6NCjU7mY-Pebmk7eWkh0P0ijzpPs-pdQll6YllQDQ_wpY#!/vizhome/COVID-19DailyDashboard_15960160643010/Overview

REVISED VITAMIN D GUIDANCE

https://www.gov.scot/publications/vitamin-d-advice-for-all-age-groups/

IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS

If you have symptoms of the virus check out this link.  

https://www.nhsinform.scot/self-help-guides/self-help-guide-coronavirus-covid-19

POLICE CONTACT FORM

https://www.scotland.police.uk/secureforms/covid19/

INFORMATION

UK Government news: www.gov.uk/search/news-and-communications

Scottish Government Updates: www.gov.scot/news

Dundee City Council updates: www.dundeecity.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19

NHS Inform – https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19

NHS Tayside website: www.nhstayside.scot.nhs.uk

Helpline for those who do not have symptoms but are looking for general health advice Tel: 0800 028 2816

Health Protection Scotland Guidance – www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/covid-19

Federation of Small Businesses: www.fsb.org.uk/coronavirus

Helpline for small businesses, Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm. Tel: 0300 303 0660

Ready Scotland Information – www.readyscotland.org/coronavirus

Tayside Cares – www.taysidecares.co.uk

SUPPORT AND ADVICE

This has been an anxious and uncertain time but we want you to know that we are here to try to help constituents in whatever way that we can.

CONTACT DETAILS

WEST END WARD – Bailie Fraser Macpherson

Phone – Dundee 459378 (home)

E-mail – fraser.macpherson@dundeecity.gov.uk

Facebook updates : www.facebook.com/dundeewestend