Ruth reported on Wednesday evening that rates are slowly coming down in Solihull. Although our rates didn’t accelerate as much as they did in places like London, we’re now experiencing a slower reduction as well. Rates have fallen more quickly amongst the over 60s though, which is good news. The primary places of concern continue to be retail environments and workplaces, with further transmissions then happening in the home. The government is obviously not seeing enough evidence of a decline to justify relaxing the restrictions, so we need to encourage people to keep sticking to the rules and hopefully the fall will continue. You can read Ruth’s weekly message here.
The vaccine rollout continues across Solihull, with the focus continuing to be on the larger scale distribution points (as opposed to smaller locations, such as pharmacies). You’ll have heard media stories about shortages but we can confirm that there are no issues with supply in the West Midlands at the moment (i.e. it’s not delaying the rollout).
One of our champions reported that the NHS booking site seems to have ‘got out’ and some people have been booking on even though they’ve not been contacted. So, just a reminder that people should wait for their invitation letter before booking. Unfortunately, there seem to be some horrible scams being set up – one Balsall Common resident phoned a number and arranged a booking, only to arrive and be turned away! The letter is the surest way of knowing your appointment will be genuine.
The rollout has moved on to the over 70s and clinically extremely vulnerable, but work continues with the last tranche of over 80s, including those who are housebound. The central Birmingham/Solihull team managing vaccines for those at home started work last week and anticipate it should take about another two weeks.
The best source of information on the coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine is the local Birmingham and Solihull website.
The website includes information about vaccination centres and what to expect at the appointment as well as frequently asked questions about the vaccine.
The Council is prioritising testing for critical workers at three local testing sites: Tudor Grange Leisure Centre, North Solihull Sports Centre and Newington Resource Centre.
If you know a critical worker who lives or works in Solihull , is unable to work from home, does not already receive regular COVID testing through their work and is aged 16 or over please let them know that that they can access regular, rapid COVID testing by booking an appointment here. This kind of testing is important as it will help identify those who may have COVID but don’t show any symptoms and so might unknowingly be transmitting the virus to others.
It’s clear that even more people are struggling with mental health issues as a result of the lockdown, so we had a focus on this on Wednesday night. There are some slides for your information, with contact details included. MIND has been doing a great job since last Spring, having increased its staffing by about 600%.
One of our champions is involved with a trust that produces some great postcards. If you’d like a stock of these, please contact email@example.com. More information available on their website as well.
It’d be great to know what people in your communities think about the information you provide off the back of the Community Champions meetings / bulletins – do you have a good response from any particular social media groups, other community groups, friends, family or neighbours – what do they want to know about?
Social media updates
Some messages this week:
- Be careful of vaccine scams: the surest way to know your appointment is genuine is to wait for your NHS invitation letter.
- You might like to share this advert with your network, which highlights the impact on the NHS:
- Rapid COVID tests (lateral flow) are now available for critical workers (including volunteers) who DO NOT have COVID symptoms at 3 sites: Newington Resource Centre, Tudor Grange Leisure Centre & North Solihull Sports Centre. Find out more and book your test here.
If you have COVID symptoms you must book a test via the online national booking system here or by phoning 119 to access a test.
- We’re all struggling with the challenges of lockdown. If you feel you can’t cope, contact MIND on 0121 262 3555.
- It’s tough for many business owners at the moment. Take advantage of these short, free mental health webinars focused on the business community.
That’s it from me this week. A reminder that Saqib Bhatti MP joins us next week on the Zoom call, so I’ll be emailing you to ask for any questions you may want to put to him.
For more information about Council services, please see our website.