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  1. 7 cases of variant identified but contained within small work bubble Herefordshire Council is working with Public Health England (PHE) Midlands to support a farm in the county following an outbreak of COVID-19 among a small number of their seasonal workforce. The small number of workers affected had all been routinely tested during their period of isolation when arriving on the farm. Fourteen workers have been found to be COVID-19 positive, seven of which have been confirmed with the variant B.1.617.2 (Indian variant). The farm involved has strict control measures in place to limit transmission, including a period of isolation for all workers on arrival who then live and work in small groups (bubbles). Herefordshire’s Acting Director of Public Health, Dr Rebecca Howell Jones, said: If you have COVID symptoms, no matter how mild, you and your household should isolate and book a COVID test online or dial 119 from any phone to book. Everyone should also take twice-weekly rapid lateral flow device (LFD) testing when symptom-free. There are a number of testing sites available for residents who live or work in Herefordshire, alternatively you can pick up a test from participating pharmacies or you can order tests for home delivery. More information can be found on the council website. To protect yourself and others, you must remember: Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air. Hands – wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water often, and as soon as you get home - use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. Face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. Space – stay at least 2 metres away from anyone you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble. Fresh Air – it is safest to meet outdoors. If you do meet friends or family indoors stick to guideline limits, keep the visit short and ensure good ventilation. Vaccination – take up COVID-19 vaccination when you are invited to do so.
  2. Some coronavirus restrictions are being lifted across England today, as Government move to Step 3 of roadmap. Here’s what you need to know 👉 https://bit.ly/2QniMFJ
  3. Regular rapid lateral flow tests for people without covid symptoms can help prevent outbreaks by helping detect positive cases that would not otherwise be found. In Leominster, the testing site at the Old Priory will close from Wednesday 19 May, with rapid lateral flow tests instead being offered at the following pharmacies: Westfield Walk Pharmacy, Westfield Walk WS&B Rees Pharmacy, Morris Mews, 20 High St There are also four local pharmacies that where home test kits are available for residents to collect: Leominster Pharmacy, 21-23 West Street Boots, 18 Corn Square, Westfield Walk Pharmacy, Westfield Walk W S & B Rees Chemists, 20 High Street You must be aged 18 and over to collect the kits, however kits can be used by any age group; See the Herefordshire Council Website for details of other testing sites across Herefordshire.
  4. Businesses on a Hereford industrial estate are being urged to make full use of a new Covid rapid testing site – and to help keep it open beyond a trial period. Herefordshire Council says the new lateral flow test site at Block B, Skylon Court in Coldnose Road, Rotherwas, is being operated on a pilot basis until April 30. The council says it is vital as many businesses in the area use the testing facility as regularly as possible and volunteer to help keep it open beyond the end of the month. Testing is available to employees who cannot work from home and designed to find people who have the virus but show none of the symptoms.A council spokesperson said: The council says regular testing is essential to help control the spread of the virus. It has issued the following advice to businesses: Frequency – It is recommended that testing is undertaken twice weekly. Assistance – There will be a number of trained staff on site, to meet and greet, signpost people, advise on how to undertake your swab and answer any questions throughout the process. Clothing – Exterior doors and windows will be open to provide fresh air ventilation so please dress accordingly. Please do not bring any unnecessary items or bags that may be cross-contaminated. Registration – For the registration process you will need to have a smart device (phone or tablet) with a camera function to scan a QR code. If you do not have a smart device, additional devices are available on site to use and the registration assistant will be on hand to advise, however, it may cause a slight delay in the registration process if you are not using your own device. The registration process requires answering a number of questions on the device, so if you require reading glasses please ensure you have them to hand. Process – Link to demonstration self-swabbing process: Results – To receive your results, you will need to input your mobile phone number, so ensure you have this to hand for the registration process. Booking – No booking necessary just turn up! The centre is open from 8am to 2pm on Monday, 1-6pm on Wednesday and 8am-2pm on Friday. Testing is available to all those that work on the industrial estate and is on a first come, first served basis. You should not attend if you are showing any symptoms of Covid-19.
  5. Sites set up across the county to give workers better access to COVID-19 rapid testing Essential workers across Herefordshire, who cannot work from home, are being urged to join an initiative to help drive down the number of COVID-19 cases by doing twice-weekly rapid tests (known as Lateral Flow Tests). Four council test centres for people without COVID-19 symptoms are now open for bookings in Herefordshire. They are in Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Ledbury and Leominster, and critical businesses and essential workers who need to attend a workplace, are invited to use the testing facilities. In addition, tests for people without symptoms will also start to become available at selected community pharmacies across Herefordshire. The scheme is part of the Government’s Community Asymptomatic Testing Programme and is being run locally by Herefordshire Council. Around one in three people who are infected with COVID-19 have no symptoms so could be spreading the disease without knowing it. Broadening testing to identify those showing no symptoms will mean finding positive cases more quickly, and help break the chain of transmission. With its targeted approach, this programme aims to improve the detection of positive cases so people can isolate and prevent spreading the disease in the workplace and reduce the prevalence of the virus in some of the highest risk areas. It is being used in addition to the established testing venues, which are for anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 in Herefordshire. Eligible workers can book an appointment at a community asymptomatic test site by following the link on the Council’s website. The rapid tests produce a result in up to 2 hours and people are notified by text message or email. Anyone who does not receive their result within 12 hours, should take another rapid test. The rapid testing sites in Herefordshire are: Hereford City - ThePoint4, Venns Ln, Hereford, HR1 1DT Monday: 8am – 2pm Tuesday: 12:30pm – 6:30pm Thursday: 8am – 2pm Friday: 12:30pm – 6:30pm Saturday: 9am – 1pm Ross-on-Wye - Ryefields Centre, Grammar School Close, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 7QD Monday: 8am – 2pm Thursday: 12:30pm – 6:30pm Ledbury – The Master’s House, Bye St, Ledbury HR8 1EA Tuesday: 7:30am – 12noon Friday: 2pm – 6:30pm Leominster - Old Priory, The Priory, Leominster, HR6 8DA Monday 12:30pm – 6:30pm Wednesday 8am – 2pm The first community pharmacy currently offering rapid tests is: Westfields Walk Pharmacy, Leominster, HR6 8HD Book a community pharmacy test here. Herefordshire Consultant in Public Health Sarah Smith said: Health Minister Lord Bethell said: Baroness Dido Harding, Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said: To protect yourself and others, you must remember: Hands. Face. Space. Hands – wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water often, and as soon as you get home - use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. Face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. Space – stay at least 2 metres away from anyone you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble.
  6. COVID-19 testing units remain in Hereford and Leominster One of Herefordshire’s COVID-19 mobile testing units has today (Friday 5 February from 3.30pm) been redeployed to the help the government’s “surge testing” campaign in targeted areas to better understand the spread, and supress, the South African variant. The least-used mobile testing units, which includes the one at Ross-on-Wye, across the country are being reassigned by NHS Test and Trace to work in those areas where cases of the South African variant, which do not appear to have travel links, have been found. The areas affected are Ealing, Haringey and Mitcham in London; Walsall in the West Midlands; Broxbourne in Hertfordshire; Maidstone in Kent; Woking in Surry and Southport in Lancashire. As many people as possible within those targeted areas are being asked to take a test. Herefordshire residents who develop COVID-19 symptoms of a high temperature, a new persistent cough and/or loss of taste or smell, should immediately self-isolate and book a test by going online or ring NHS 119. There are testing sites at Leominster and Merton Meadow, Hereford; as well as Hempstead Meadow, Gloucester; and Como Road, Malvern; or residents can order a postal test kit if they cannot get to one of the sites.Herefordshire’s Acting Director of Public Health Dr Rebecca Howell-Jones said:
  7. The college wrote today: This is brilliant news and we at Hereford Voice would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to all the staff and people involved in this monumentous task. Photographs courtesy of Hereford Sixth Form College #herefordvoice #herefordnews #positivehereford
  8. A respiratory consultant at Hereford County Hospital has spoken of her personal battle against COVID-19 and how she’s happy to be “first in the queue” to get vaccinated. Ingrid Du Rand, who has been on the frontline of treating COVID-19 patients this year, began her own very personal battle with the virus during November when she started to feel unwell. A fit forty-something and keen runner, Ingrid’s first inclination that something wasn’t quite right was when she slowed up on one of her regular runs. “I felt more tired than usual. This was unusual for me. A couple of days later I lost my sense of taste and smell,” said Ingrid. For the best part of a month, the mother of three suffered from severe head and muscle aches and had a temperature of just over 39C for three of the weeks with a cough and breathlessness. Ingrid’s breathing became laboured and she spent most of the time in bed losing a lot of strength. “I still feel weak now and I’ve lost a stone in weight,” she added. “COVID-19 is a random disease. You don’t expect it to attack someone in their forties who is fit, but it completely bowled me off my feet.” WVT Respiratory Consultant Ingrid Du Rand Ingrid, who works at Hereford County Hospital with her husband - also a consultant at the hospital - understands the seriousness of the disease. She sat down with her husband in the spring this year, during the first phase of the pandemic, and they made sure their wills were up to date and plans in place for the future care of their children should the unthinkable happen. “I’d looked after countless Coronavirus patients at the hospital, but this shows that it can infect someone in a low risk category. Nothing could have prepared me for what I went through.” Ingrid began her return to work in the last couple of weeks. In her capacity as a respiratory consultant she receives constant updates from around the world on the COVID-19 outbreak, treatment for the virus and the various vaccines and their trials. “I receive dozens of emails a day relating to the outbreak and have scrutinised the papers and test results of the current vaccines that are being made available. “I’m convinced that they are safe and I’d be happy to be at the front of the queue with the vaccines now going out to staff at the Trust. “Of course, there is always a longer term risk with any vaccine, but the risk associated with not having the vaccine and contracting COVID-19 is so much higher.” Ingrid explains the way news about the vaccines broke through the media created opportunities for some of the “fake news” about the safety of the vaccines. “Normally a scientific paper is published first in a peer reviewed journal, and then the next day you get the coverage and interviews in the media. “With these vaccines, it seems the story came out in the media – and on social media – first, with the science behind them coming out afterwards. “This hasn’t helped, but from all the research I’ve seen and investigated – I’ve watched the vaccines pass through the various phases of testing - I have concluded that these vaccines are safe. “This is our generation. It’s our war and we must trust the science.” While Ingrid is back at work, the experience of suffering the virus has given her a new insight into the challenges those with COVID-19 face. “I was humbled by the support I received from friends and colleagues at the hospital. It was amazing to see meals dropped off at the garden gate for my family. “We really detached ourselves from everyone while I was ill and it was reassuring to know we had good friends and colleagues who supported us as a family and I’d like to thank them for the support they have given us.” In conclusion, Ingrid said she was optimistic about the future. “The vaccines which have been developed so quickly are effective and safe. They come as hope after a long and arduous year and are a real positive note on which to start 2021.”
  9. Tier 3 for Herefordshire from midnight. Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the changes to MPs in the house of Commons this afternoon. Full details and a breakdown of what Tier 3 means can be found here
  10. The preliminary findings, which are yet to be peer reviewed, come ahead of a clinical trial investigating whether over-the-counter mouthwash can reduce the levels of coronavirus in a patient's saliva. The Cardiff University report said that mouthwashes containing at least 0.07 per cent cetypyridinium chloride (CPC) showed “promising signs” of being able to combat the virus. “Although this in-vitro study is very encouraging and is a positive step, more clinical research is now clearly needed,” Dr Thomas told the PA news agency, as quoted by the Independent newspaper. “We need to understand if the effect of over-the-counter mouthwashes on the COVID-19 virus achieved in the laboratory can be reproduced in patients, and we look forward to completing our clinical trial in early 2021.” Dr Nick Claydon, a specialist periodontologist, said he believed mouthwash can become an important addition to fighting coronavirus along with “handwashing, physical distancing and wearing masks, both now and in the future”. #HerefordVoice
  11. In a message on their Facebook page BERNIE JONES TYRES wrote: 👇 #herefordvoice #herefordnews #hereford
  12. Herefordshire Council warning of 'High Alert' with Increase in Covid-19 cases in Redhill, Hunderton, Newton Farm, Lower Bullingham & Belmont in Hereford. If you have symptoms, you must self-isolate & book a test. Financial support is available 👉 http://orlo.uk/m2QoI #HerefordVoice #HerefordNews #Hereford
  13. Better access to covid testing in north Herefordshire A mobile Covid-19 testing centre for north Herefordshire is now operating on the Broad Street Car Park in Leominster. This is the second mobile testing centre to be set up in county within the past three weeks – taking the total number of sites countywide to three. The other two sites are in Hereford and Ross-on-Wye. This latest unit makes it more convenient for residents from north Herefordshire to get a covid test close to home. The unit opened today (Nov 13) and will offer tests from 10.30am until 3.30pm each day and will be in place for the foreseeable future. It is being provided for Herefordshire Council by the regional NHS test and trace team. Herefordshire Council’s Director of Public Health Karen Wright said: “It has always been our aim to set up more testing sites in Herefordshire to make it easier for our residents to get tested close to home. Anyone experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 – a high temperature, persistent cough, loss or change in sense of taste or smell – should immediately book a test by ringing NHS 119 or visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. They should self-isolate (not leave their home) while waiting for their test and until they have the result. Anyone who cannot get to a test centre can order a home test kit. Hands, Face, Space. We would like to remind people to wash their hands regularly, use a face covering (when visiting enclosed spaces like shops and businesses) and keep their distance (at least 2 metres) to help protect themselves and others.
  14. Herefordshire Council are to send a letter to every houshold in Herefordshire warning that a move to tier two restrictions is imminent after the latest figures show that the infection level over the past seven days has risen to 84.5 infections per 100,000. Image courtesy of SkyNews When levels pass 100 infections tier two restrictions will be bought in and are as follows .. All businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a Covid-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law, such as nightclubs and adult entertainment venues Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am. Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru Schools, universities and places of worship remain open Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. They will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or for youth or disability sport The “Rule of Six” will continue to apply outdoors and in private gardens People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport
  15. Mobile test site opens following rise in local cases A new mobile Covid-19 testing centre for Herefordshire is now at the Larruperz Centre, Grammar School Close in Ross-on-Wye. Following an increase in local cases, the centre opens today (Wednesday October 28) and will mean residents in the south of the county needing a test don’t have to travel to Hereford or outside the county to get it. Herefordshire Council’s Director of Public Health Karen Wright said: Anyone experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 – a high temperature, persistent cough, loss or change in sense of taste or smell – should immediately book a test by ringing NHS 119 or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. They should self-isolate (not leave their home) while waiting for their test and until they have the result. Anyone who cannot get to a test centre can order a home test kit. Hands, Face, Space. We would like to remind people to wash their hands regularly, use a face covering (when visiting enclosed spaces like shops and businesses) and keep their distance (at least 2 metres) to help protect themselves and others.
  16. Lugg Ward at Hereford County Hospital has been closed to admissions and visitors after a number of patients tested positive for coronavirus. A spokesperson for Wye Valley Trust confirmed the news and said;
  17. Check COVID alert level in your area or somewhere you are visiting with the postcode checker: 👉 HERE
  18. £500 payment to self-isolate aims to help stop the transmission of Covid-19 The government has announced financial support for workers asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. A £500 payment may be paid if you test positive for Coronavirus and have to self-isolate, or if you have had close contact with someone who has tested positive and have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. You must be employed or self-employed, unable to work from home and you will lose your income. You must also receive any of the following benefits: Universal Credit Working Tax Credit Income Based Employment Support Allowance Income Based Jobseekers Allowance Income Support Housing Benefit Pension Credit These payments are designed to help ensure people who have tested positive for Covid-19 and their close contacts self-isolate for the required period to stop the onward spread of the virus. They are also designed to encourage people who are eligible for this payment to get tested if they have symptoms. This is important to help stop the transmission of Covid-19 and avoid further lockdowns. The payment will be administered locally by Herefordshire Council. If you meet all the criteria, are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work due to requiring to self-isolate but you are not in receipt of a qualifying benefit, then you may be eligible for a discretionary payment. Apply for the £500 Test and Trace support payment online at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/isolationpayment
  19. Businesses across the Marches are being invited to have their say on how the region should plan its economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic at a major virtual summit later this month. The Marches Economic Recovery Summit – being staged by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership – will bring together key local and regional partners to discuss the priorities for the region’s economy in the wake of the virus. And the business community is also being urged to have its say by signing up for the October 15 event. The summit – from 2.00pm to 3.30pm – is being held during the LEP-led Marches Business Recovery Week which aims to shape an agenda for the region’s future. Marches LEP chair Mandy Thorn said guests would include representatives from the region’s three local authorities, business support organisations such as the British Business Bank, chambers of commerce, business boards and business and farming organisations. For more information and to register to attend the event – which will be held on the Zoom platform – visit HERE The Marches LEP is the business-led body tasked by the Government with driving economic growth across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. Its Business Recovery Week – which starts on October 12 – will see the launch of its annual report, the unveiling of a new digital strategy for the region, the launch of a new website to help people update their skills and training and find work, and the LEP’s annual public meeting.
  20. We have received unconfirmed reports today that Herefordshire’s Wye Valley Trust have admitted a patient who is positive with Coronavirus. This is the first hospital admission in months. #HerefordNews #HerefordVoice
  21. Students from Whitecross school have been sent home to self-isolate after positive case of Covid-19 confirmed. As a result, 24 students have been told to self-isolate for 14days. Karen Wright, director of public health for Herefordshire, said: “I can confirm that a Year 7 pupil at Whitecross High School, Hereford has tested positive for Covid-19. "We would like to reassure parents and carers that we are working closely with the school and swift action has been taken to identify close contacts. “There are 24 pupils identified as close contacts and they have been sent home to self-isolate for 14 days. "All other pupils should continue to attend school as planned. “We have worked with all our schools who have put robust measures in place to minimise the risk of coronavirus spreading. "We understand parents will be concerned but we can expect to see more cases in schools and the process of testing and contact tracing is part of the ‘new normal’. #HerefordVoice #herefordshire #HerefordNews
  22. If you have have concerns about any business you visit not being COVID secure, you can let us know by emailing us news@herefordvoice.co.uk or leave a comment below. Maybe we can encourage Herefordshire Council to do the same by offering this service of being to report it.
  23. Even though it is now compulsory not everyone can wear one. Be mindful not to challenge anyone as not all disabilities or health conditions are visible. This information relates to the use of face coverings in public spaces where social distancing is not always possible. It is important to follow all the other government advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) including staying safe outside your home. What a face covering is In the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, a face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face. Face coverings are not classified as PPE (personal protective equipment) which is used in a limited number of settings to protect wearers against hazards and risks, such as surgical masks or respirators used in medical and industrial settings. Face coverings are instead largely intended to protect others, not the wearer, against the spread of infection because they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission of virus that causes coronavirus infection (COVID-19). If you wish to find out more about the differences between surgical face masks, PPE face masks, and face coverings see the MHRA’s (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) regulatory status of equipment being used to help prevent coronavirus (COVID-19). When to wear a face covering In England, you must wear a face covering in the following indoor settings (a list of examples for each is included in the brackets): public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams and buses) transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals) shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire) shopping centres (malls and indoor markets) auction houses premises providing professional, legal or financial services (post offices, banks, building societies, high-street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses) premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (hair salons, barbers, nail salons, massage centres, tattoo and piercing parlours) premises providing veterinary services visitor attractions and entertainment venues (museums, galleries, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, cultural and heritage sites, aquariums, indoor zoos and visitor farms, bingo halls, amusement arcades, adventure activity centres, funfairs, theme parks, casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas including soft-play areas) libraries and public reading rooms places of worship funeral service providers (funeral homes, crematoria and burial ground chapels) community centres, youth centres and social clubs exhibition halls and conference centres public areas in hotels and hostels storage and distribution facilities You are expected to wear a face covering before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave unless there is a reasonable excuse for removing it. More detailed advice on the application of these requirements in different settings can be found in the Government’s guidance for working safely. You should also wear a face covering in indoor places not listed here where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. Face coverings are needed in NHS settings, including hospitals and primary or community care settings, such as GP surgeries. They are also advised to be worn in care homes. Enforcement measures for failing to comply with this law Premises where face coverings are required should take reasonable steps to promote compliance with the law. The police can take measures if members of the public do not comply with this law without a valid exemption and transport operators can deny access to their public transport services if a passenger is not wearing a face covering, or direct them to wear one or leave a service. If necessary, the police and Transport for London (TfL) officers have enforcement powers including issuing fines of £100 (halving to £50 if paid within 14 days). As announced we will bring forward changes which mean fines for repeat offenders will double at each offence, up to a maximum value of £3,200. Cont..
  24. No further cases in farm outbreak Herefordshire Council and Public Health England (PHE) Midlands have confirmed that all remaining workers have tested negative for COVID-19 at an outbreak on a farm in Mathon, Herefordshire. The majority of farm workers are now able to return to work and daily life- a few workers remain living in self-isolation as contacts of positive cases.Katie Spence, PHE Midlands Health Protection Director, said: Karen Wright, Public Health Director for Herefordshire Council said: A spokesperson for AS Green and Co said: " To prevent further outbreaks and to protect yourself and others, please continue to wash your hands regularly, keep your distance and use face coverings in public spaces, shops and on public transport. Anyone who has a fever, persistent dry cough, or loss or change in their sense of taste or smell should call 119 or go online to arrange a test.
  25. What do you think? Will you be wearing one? LAW: Face coverings must be worn in shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres and transport hubs - such as train stations and airports - in England from today. A face covering is defined as a fabric covering, scarf or bandana that covers the 'nose and mouth'. It is also compulsory to wear a face covering when buying food and drink from 'takeaways' cafes and shops. More details in 👉 this article
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