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  1. Wearing a face covering will be mandatory in shops and other public spaces across England from Friday to stop the spread of coronavirus. People will also have to wear a mask, scarf or bandana that covers the nose and mouth in shopping centres and indoor transport hubs, like bus and train stations. When it comes to buying food, the law will depend on where you're eating it. Face coverings will not be mandatory in pubs and restaurants. Announcing the latest guidance, the Department of Health and Social care said: Coffee shops and takeaways People will need to wear a face covering in coffee shops in England under new regulations due to come into effect on 24 July. The Department of Health and Social Care confirmed face coverings will be needed in shops such as Pret a Manger if people intend to take their food and coffee away. However, if they sit down to eat or drink, they will be able to remove their face covering in that area. Takeaway outlets will also fall under the same criteria. Those who fail to follow the new law could be fined up to £100 - brought down to £50 if paid within fortnight. Children under 11 and those with disabilities are exempt, and people can remove face coverings for valid reasons like being asked to do so in a bank or to prove their identity if buying age-restricted products. Who is exempt from wearing a face mask? The same exemptions as for public transport will apply under the updated guidelines, with children under 11 and people with breathing problems not required to wear a covering. Anyone who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment or disability is also exempt. Under the new rules, the below groups are not required to wear a mask: A child under the age of 11 An employee of the transport operator, when they are acting in the course of their employment A constable or police community support officer acting in the course of their duty An emergency response member of staff, such as a paramedic or fire officer acting in the course of their duty An official such as a border force officer, acting in the course of their duty If you are onboard public transport but remain in your own vehicle, such as a car ferry Other exemptions listed include those with a disability or a physical or mental illness, and anyone travelling with a deaf person who relies on lip-reading to communicate. Customers in shops will also be allowed to remove them if they are required to present identification for purchasing alcohol and other age-restricted products.
  2. Joint statement from Public Health Midlands (West) and Herefordshire Council Herefordshire Council is working with Public Health England (PHE) Midlands to support vegetable producers AS Green and Co, based in Mathon near Malvern, following an outbreak of COVID-19 among their workforce. Around 200 key workers are employed to carry out picking and packing work vital to the UK food supply chain and local economy. During the harvesting season, the workforce resides in mobile homes based on the farm, so as a precaution, the whole group are being treated as one extended bubble. Workers are being asked to remain on the farm during the period of isolation and stay within household groups, to reduce risk of spread within the workforce and into the wider community. Herefordshire Council is arranging food and essential supplies for residents on the site, while they self-isolate. Katie Spence, PHE Midlands Health Protection Director, said: A spokesperson for AS Green said: Karen Wright, Director of Public Health for Herefordshire, said:
  3. Wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets in England is to become mandatory from 24 July. Those who fail to comply with the new rules could face a fine of up to £100, the government has announced. The move will bring England into line with Scotland and other major European nations like Spain, Italy and Germany. Enforcement will be carried out by police - not retail staff - and anyone failing to wear a face covering while shopping will be subject to a fine of up to £100, or £50 if paid within 14 days. Can wearing face masks stop the virus? Face masks won't stop coronavirus from spreading so you still need to follow health officials' advice for social distancing and washing your hands regularly. What they can do is help reduce the likelihood that you pass it on if you are suffering from the virus – remember that there are also people who don't show symptoms of COVID-19. As Professor Chris Whitty, the government's Chief Medical Officer, puts it, wearing a face covering "is an added precaution that may have some benefit in reducing the likelihood that a person with the infection passes it on." Most retailers producing these commercially-available face masks state that the face masks they sell are not sold as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health and care workers to use in the work place. Who is exempt? Children under 11 and people with certain disabilities will be exempt as they already are on public transport. Other countries The World Health Organisation shifted towards recommending face coverings in June. Britons have been among the slowest to embrace mass mask-wearing. Many European countries, including Germany, Spain, Italy and Greece, have already made it compulsory to wear face coverings inside shops. A YouGov poll found that 36% of people in the UK wear a face mask in public places, compared with 86% in Spain, 83% in Italy, 78% in France and 65% in Germany. Tourists visiting the Costa del Sol must wear masks in public places from Wednesday, mirroring moves in Catalonia and the Balearics to fine people up to £90 for flouting the rules.
  4. The club confirmed the news in a statement explaining that both are asymptomatic but, as part of the procedures introduced by Premiership Rugby as part of Stage Two of the Return to Training Protocols, they will be re-tested. Both are currently self-isolating at home. Stage Two of the Return to Training Protocols require clubs to provide a written declaration to Premiership Rugby that they have met a number of key criteria alongside a full risk assessment informing the operational policy for their training facility. These include: All players and support staff must undertake an Education Module and sign a formal “opt in” process for moving to Stage 2. All players and designated support staff undergoing weekly COVID-19 testing, and maintaining the high standards of hygiene introduced at training facilities. All clubs in conjunction with Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Football Union undertaking a rugby risk assessment to support the mitigation of risk in training. The continuation of a daily medical screening for players and support staff, which involves the completion of a symptom checklist and temperature check before entering the training facility. A contact tracing protocol which will be supported by GPS data and the videoing of training sessions. The provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) appropriate for the setting.
  5. Riverside Primary School in Hereford is taking part in a new national government study to assess and monitor the prevalence of Covid-19 among pre-school, primary and secondary school pupils and teachers. On the launch of the study, which will initially collect data from up to 100 schools from across England, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: Pupils and staff at Riverside Primary School will be tested weekly until the end of the summer term for Covid-19. Results will be returned within 72 hours with plans in place if there are any positive test results. Emma Shearer, Headteacher of Riverside Primary School said: Herefordshire Council has been working closely with Public Health England to support the school to take part, and parents, staff and governors have been consulted as part of the process and preparation. Karen Wright, Director of Public Health in Herefordshire added:
  6. Hundreds of businesses across Herefordshire that did not meet the criteria for previous government Covid-19 grants could now benefit from a discretionary grant fund. To date, around £55.2m has been paid out to more than 4,700 businesses in the county in government grant funding support in response to the impact of Covid-19, however not all businesses have been eligible for these grants. The government has now introduced an additional discretionary grants fund which will help provide assistance to some of the businesses that have not had access to other support schemes. The discretionary grants fund managed by Herefordshire Council will award grants reflecting the size of business, level of fixed property costs and scale of impact experienced. The amount of funding the council has received is limited at £3.2m, so there is a set of eligibility criteria which each applicant will need to meet. Businesses eligible to receive this new funding must be a small or micro business, charity, or social enterprises with a turnover of not more than £10.2m and fewer than 50 staff. Applicants must be either a small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces; market traders with fixed building costs who do not have their own business rates assessment; bed & breakfasts which pay council tax instead of business rates or charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief. Cllr Ellie Chowns, Cabinet Member for Environment, Economy and Skills, said: Applications must be received by 23:59, Sunday 28 June 2020. Further details, the full eligibility criteria for businesses and how to apply can be found on the Herefordshire Council website at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/discretionarygrant
  7. A huge thank you to everyone at Covid-19 support in Herefordshire. You have given local people across our county a invaluable service for the past 10 weeks. Give yourselves a massive round of applause 👏👏👏 📄 A statement on their page reads; 👇
  8. Over 1.8 Million People (85%) have recovered and been discharged from hospital from Coronavirus worldwide. Most people who catch coronavirus will only get mild symptoms and make a full recovery. We are in no way trying to dilute the severity of this virus or the impact of loss and bereavement this disease is having for so many people but just wanted to 'highlight' how many people are recovering each day, rather than publish the daily doom and gloom numbers of deaths being constantly reported. World statistics of the Covid-19 - Coronavirus pandemic recovery rates last updated: May 17, 2020, 0:50 GMT. Source: Worldometer Graphic designed by Freepik #HerefordVoice #Coronavirus
  9. Congratulations to Kate Bingham, wife of our own Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire. Kate Bingham has today (16 May) been appointed chair of the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce – the group set up by the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Business Secretary and Health Secretary to lead UK efforts to find and manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine. This is a cross-government role and Kate Bingham will report directly to the Prime Minister. Kate Bingham is a leading figure in the life sciences sector and her appointment will enable the Vaccine Taskforce to accelerate the development of a safe and effective vaccine, one of the long-term solutions to controlling the coronavirus pandemic and saving lives without social distancing or contact tracing in place. Kate will co-ordinate the work already underway across Government, academia and industry to rapidly develop vaccines, and ensure that as and when a viable one becomes available, it can be produced in mass quantities and safely administered to the public – both in the UK and around the world. The Taskforce is ensuring the work being done to find a vaccine in the UK complements and supports global efforts. The UK is a leader in the global response, committing £250 million to the international drive to develop a coronavirus vaccine through the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and hosting the upcoming global pledging conference for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, on June 4th. Kate is uniquely qualified for the role, having worked in the biotech sector in the UK and internationally for 26 years – most recently as Managing Partner at SV Health Investor. Her work has led to the launch of six drugs for the treatment of patients with inflammatory and autoimmune disease and cancer. Business Secretary Alok Sharma, who has been tasked with ministerial responsibility for the government’s work on vaccines said: Chair of the Vaccine Taskforce Kate Bingham said: Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: Government Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said: About Kate Bingham Kate is temporarily stepping back from her full time role as Managing Partner at SV Health Investors, a leading international life sciences venture capital firm to take on this role as Chair of the Taskforce. At SV she is responsible for biotech investments and activities in the UK and serves or has served on the boards of companies in the UK, US, Ireland, Sweden and Germany. Her investments include small-molecule drug discovery and development projects, biotherapeutic development projects, and drug discovery platforms in a broad range of clinical areas. Kate played a leading role in setting up the UK’s Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) and serves on the DDF Investment Committee. The DDF was created by six leading pharmaceutical companies (Biogen, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Takeda), together with the UK Department of Health and Alzheimer’s Research UK. Launched with initial commitments of £70m it now has £250m to invest in new potential disease modifying therapeutics for dementia. Prior to joining SV, Kate worked in business development for Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company in Cambridge, MA and at Monitor Company, a strategy consulting firm. She has an MA in Biochemistry from Oxford University (First class) and studied on a Kennedy Scholarship at Harvard Business School (MBA Baker Scholar). Jesse Norman In 1992 Hereford and South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman married The Honourable Kate Bingham, daughter of The Lord Bingham of Cornhill, the former Lord Chief Justice. They have two sons and one daughter.
  10. Amazing work created by the Pupils at the Aconbury Centre on Ross Road (Part of Herefordshire Pupil Referral Service) showing their appreciation for all Key-Workers with this brilliant mural.
  11. Herefordshire Council invests in additional care facility to assist former NHS patients with their recovery A Herefordshire hotel has reopened to support Herefordshire Council provide additional care and rehabilitation capacity for former NHS patients and members of the community, as part of the county’s response to the Covid-19 emergency. The council has leased the Three Counties Hotel at Belmont Road, Hereford, as a temporary accommodation to support the NHS and social care sector. Agincare UK Ltd are providing the care and support service on the site, which can offer accommodation for up to 46 people during the Covid-19 outbreak. The service will provide short term care and a rehabilitation service to help people to live independently when they return to their place of residence. Protective measures have been put in place, including the use of PPE, to ensure the safety of the residents and the staff. Councillor Pauline Crockett, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Wellbeing said: Luke Holmes, Agincare Operations Director, added: Michelle Standell, Manager of The Three Counties Hotel, said:
  12. Thank you to all Key-Workers and the NHS in the fight against the Coronavirus, we thought this illustration was just perfect for today. May the 4th be with you! Illustration courtesy of mjhiblenart
  13. Have you stopped smoking since the Coronavirus pandemic? We are all aware that this dreadful virus killing thousands of people around the world attacks the human respiratory system and if you’re a smoker and worried about COVID-19 then now would be a good time to think about quitting for good. Research into previous coronaviruses show that smoking makes the impact of the virus worse. Smokers are more likely to develop severe disease from the COVID-19 virus, than non-smokers. Britain's chief medical advisor, Professor Chris Whitty, urged smokers to ditch the habit immediately to lower their risk of Covid-19. He told MPs on the Health and Social Care Committee: Chancellor Rishi Sunak also increased the tobacco tax in the recent Budget, with the cost of cigarettes to go up to £12.73 a pack. With this in mind, here are just a few websites to help advise you on how to quit smoking for good. Wish (Herefordshire Council) NHS Quit Smoking - NHS Smokefree Follow the hashtag #QuidforCovid campaign on Social Media for more advise and support
  14. It's good to see that the UK government have started human clinical trials to find a vaccine for Coronavirus.
  15. Covid-19 Testing Now Available for Key Workers and Their Families Pre-booked drive-through testing is available at Merton Meadow car park in Hereford. If you're an essential worker who is self-isolating, you can now apply for you and your household to get tested in Herefordshire for Covid-19 coronavirus. The drive-through testing is available at Merton Meadow car park in Hereford and tests can be booked on the government website. The test is only for people who have symptoms of coronavirus – whether that’s you, or someone you live with. It involves taking a swab sample from your nose and throat. The test will tell whether you currently have coronavirus. After the test, while you wait for your results, you (and anyone you live with) must continue to self-isolate. Read NHS advice about how long to self-isolate. If your test result turns out to be negative, you can safely return to work, as long as: you are well enough you have not had a high temperature for 48 hours anyone you live with also tests negative If you test positive, or someone you live with tests positive, you cannot return to work. You will need to continue to self-isolate. If your condition gets worse, or you do not get better after 7 days, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. Only call 111 if you cannot get help online. For a medical emergency dial 999. Herefordshire emergency response lead, Superintendent Sue Thomas said: An Army spokesperson said:
  16. 'Thank you' to the fabulous biomedical scientists and technicians, the Infection Prevention team at the microbiology dept at the Wye Valley NHS who have been processing all the COVID19 samples locally to ensure prompt diagnosis for the people of Herefordshire! Photo courtesy Evelyn Williams
  17. 'Thinking of you’ service set up for loved ones to keep in touch with patients There was no image, so we have created this one which has been endorsed by the trust for us to use. A new ‘thinking of you’ service has been set up for loved ones to keep in touch with patients staying in hospitals across the county, whilst ward visiting remains suspended. Wye Valley NHS Trust has introduced the new service to help keep patients and their family and friends in contact with one another during Covid-19. The service is available seven days a week and messages will be delivered by hospital staff to patients on the wards at Hereford County Hospital, Leominster, Bromyard and Ross Community Hospital. Catherine Davies, associate director of nursing at Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: The relative of a Trust patient said: What you need to do to send a message to your loved one: Choose one family member or friend to send the letter Include the patients full name, date of birth and ward/department where they are an inpatient Email the letter and the above details to Thinkingofyou@wvt.nhs.uk
  18. Captain Tom Moore 100th Birthday Badges! Our friend Kyle Dowling (artist)has created these fantastic birthday badges to celebrate Captain Tom Moore's 100th birthday. Hereford Voice appreciates this nice gesture and is happy to share this idea from the artist however, we are not involved in any sales or profit whatsoever. You could also celebrate by changing your profile photos to a 'Happy Birthday' badge or maybe wearing a birthday badge for Tom and sending him your wishes with a photo. Captain Tom has so far raised over £17m for the NHS. If you prefer, you can purchase a badge and wear it with pride both to celebrate Captain Tom's 100th birthday and as a symbol of your support for both Tom's brilliant fundraising effort for the wonderful NHS.| 50% from all profit will go directly to Captain Tom's fund. You can purchase your badges here HERE or you can donate direct HERE #HerefordVoice #CaptainTomMoore #TomorrowWillBeAGoodDay
  19. Advice to landowners and the public when accessing public rights of way and open spaces The government’s priority is to save lives and the best way to protect yourself and others from illness is to stay at home. However, exercise is still important for people’s physical and mental wellbeing and many people look to take their daily exercise outside. The extended restrictions on movement announced by the government also apply to public rights of way and everyone must follow government rules and advice for the safety of all. Please be aware that some people live in very close proximity to public rights of way, which can be through gardens, schools and farmland. Make sure you consider everyone’s need for social distancing, treat each other with respect and remember that some people may be in self-isolation because of illness or other vulnerabilities. The risk of the Coronavirus being passed on to others from people using public rights of way and other paths and trails is considered to be very low as long as everyone follows the government’s social distancing rules. Advice to landowners Landowners do not have the legal right to block or obstruct public rights of way. However, in very limited circumstances where large numbers of people are using such routes, landowners may consider the following temporary measures: Tying gates open if it is safe to do so, so that walkers do not need to touch the gate Temporarily displaying polite notices that encourage users to respect local residents and workers by following social distancing guidelines and consider using alternative routes that do not pass through gardens, farmyards or schools Offering an alternative route around gardens and farmyards only where it is safe to do so (you must gain permission from relevant landowners and make sure the route is safe for users and livestock) provided that the original right of way is maintained All temporary measures must be lifted as soon as social distancing guidelines are relaxed Advice to the public If you do choose to take your daily exercise outside, make sure you follow the government’s social distancing when accessing countryside or public open spaces local to you. Stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily You can leave the house for one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household only Even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres (3 steps apart) apart from anyone outside of your household Follow the Countryside Code If walking your dog in areas used by other people, you should walk your dog on a lead to ensure you can safely keep 2 metres away from others. Take home your used tissues and litter Ensure you wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you return home. Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  20. Sometimes we see an image that speaks volumes, this powerful image says it all, so we just felt compelled to share it. Artist MJ Hiblen Art THANK YOU to our NHS, such courageous dedicated people confronting this horrible virus head on! #HerefordVoice #NHS #Herefordshire #Hereford
  21. The NHS is opening seven new hospitals across the country to fight Coronavirus. London 4000 beds Birmingham 2000 beds Manchester 1000 beds Bristol 850 beds Harrogate 500 beds Sunderland 350 beds Exeter 200 beds These sites will provide hundreds of extra beds to help make sure the NHS capacity remains higher than required during the peak of the #Coronavirus.
  22. Club launches food parcels scheme Hereford City Rotary Club has launched a new food parcels scheme to assist families disadvantaged by the Coronavirus pandemic. The City has received an overwhelmingly positive response to its latest initiative in supporting the community against the Coronavirus. The club had already set up a Facebook information portal and a fund to assist charities and community groups. And now, after being approached by Cllr Jim Kenyon about helping vulnerable people in the pandemic, the Rotarians have launched an emergency food parcel scheme. said club president Katie Farmer. Schools contact vulnerable families and explain that the City of is offering food parcels. If they wish to accept the offer, they reply to the school and a parcel is delivered to their home. The content of the parcels has been agreed with the Public Health Team and is being sourced from a variety of wholesalers and local businesses. said Katie Farmer. The club is working with three local businesses. The School Uniform Shop is co-ordinating the sourcing of the food with Cllr Kenyon; Shack Events, who are providing a warehouse for storage and packing, and Pedicargo are then helping Rotarians deliver the food parcels. The first 96 parcels were delivered last week with 59 going to families from The Church of England Hereford Academy School while 37 were delivered by Vennture to the families that they support. The system put in place worked well and there is now the capacity to deliver 200 parcels a week. said Academy headteacher Mike Stoppard. One of the parents said: “Thank you so very much for my boxes; I’ve got tears in my eyes and a massive smile.” said Katie Farmer. For details about the scheme, contact Bobby Morris, City of ’s chairman of Community and Vocational Service on robertamorris01@gmail.com. To make a donation, contact club treasurer John Tallis on john.tallis@btopenworld.com
  23. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has used a national TV address to set out strict new measures aimed at protecting people from the coronavirus outbreak. This is his statement in full: We have also attached the PM's full speech in a PDF format. Prime Minister Boris Johnson Statement.pdf
  24. Herefordshire Council, like other local authorities across the country, is preparing for an increase in the number of deaths as a result of COVID-19. A temporary mortuary has been created and the facility will act as a secure, dignified holding point before a respectful cremation or burial can take place. The site at Three Elms is owned by Herefordshire Council and will provide extra capacity to the Wye Valley NHS Trust at Hereford County hospital. The site will not be open to the public and we are working with funeral directors to ensure a safe and respectful process during this difficult time. Superintendent Sue Thomas, Head of Herefordshire’s emergency response team, said: Cllr Ange Tyler, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regulatory Services, and Community Safety, said: Herefordshire Council is working closely with funeral directors and faiths across the county to provide them with support and information that they will need to help guide grieving families. It is crucial that we all observe government guidance. Keep washing your hands regularly, stop unnecessary journeys by staying at home and keep a distance of 2 metres with others if you do need to go out.
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