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NHS Coronavirus Test and Trace service launched.

Today, the Government has launched the new NHS Test and Trace service across England.

Test and Trace is designed to identify, contain and control Coronavirus, reduce the spread of the virus and save lives. It means that anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.

Those people identified as having been in close contact with someone who has had a positive test result must then stay at home for 14 days. They must do this even if they do not have symptoms, to prevent them spreading the virus without knowing.

People in isolation who develop symptoms can book their own test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. If they test positive, they must continue to stay at home for 7 days or until their symptoms have passed. If they test negative, they must complete the 14-day isolation period.

Members of their household will not have to stay at home unless the person identified becomes symptomatic, at which point they must also self-isolate for 14 days to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.

Over 571 Coronavirus tests were completed at the Mobile Testing site in Southport this week taking our cumulative total at Sefton Borough’s Mobile Sits to 2490.

Another mobile unit is scheduled to be at Litherland Sports Park  on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, (3rd, 4th & 5th June) of this week.

The Government has said that NHS Test and Trace service, which includes 25,000 dedicated contact tracing staff working with Public Health England, will have the capacity to trace the contacts of 10,000 people who test positive for coronavirus per day. They also say Test and Trace can be scaled up if needed.

People who are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service will be given clear information explaining what they must do and how they can access local support if needed. Guidance is also available online at gov.uk/coronavirus.

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced that those having to self-isolate will be eligible for statutory sick pay if they are unable to work from home.

The Government is also starting to provide Antibody tests for NHS workers and patients.

The Government has also today expanded the testing available for children aged under 5. From tomorrow, any symptomatic individual in England will be able to access a test if they need one.

Anyone with a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a change in their sense of smell or taste is asked to immediately report these symptoms and book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus.

Find out more about the support available during Covid-19.

Questions & Answers on Test and Trace and Antibody testing.

Sefton Council urges residents to be ‘Kind to Your Mind’ during Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and focusing on our mental health and wellbeing has never been more important. In these challenging and difficult times, people in Sefton should take time to consider their mental health, reach out if they need help and know that it is ok to not feel ok.

The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness. Not only can acts of kindness improve our own Mental Health but reaching out to others and offering support has benefits for everyone in Sefton.

Helping others creates a sense of belonging and reduces isolation and being kind to ourselves can help boost our self-esteem and improve our mood.

This help can be as simple as picking up the phone and checking in with someone we love or a quick text message to let someone know that you are there.

Many people are experiencing low energy, stress, anxiety and low mood; this is normal and reaching out to others and talking about our Mental Health is positive and healthy.

Residents in Sefton should know there is a wealth of support available if you are struggling with your mental health.

You can visit our health and wellbeing page on our website for advice and support from topics ranging from mental and physical health, to domestic abuse and financial concerns that may be putting pressure on your mental health.

We also have a dedicated page for resources and support for Children and Young People and those who care for them as we know children are finding this time away from friends, school and routine particularly challenging.

The Kind to Your Mind website is designed for people living and working in Cheshire and Merseyside, has lots of advice and useful resources to help you through these challenging times.

This includes ALMA, where you can access a range of free online therapy programmes which include short modules on dealing with stress, getting better sleep, improving resilience and coping with your emotions during the pandemic.

There’s also free approved health and wellbeing apps and some great podcasts to listen to with guest including Andy Cole and Dr Chatterjee, providing tips and advice to help you get through this difficult period.

For people who require urgent mental health support, the Kind to Your Mind website also contains a number of crisis helplines, which have been recently launched and offer 24/7 support for those living in Cheshire and Merseyside.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

‘People in Sefton have shown their kindness throughout the COVID-19 situation, helping others, offering support, reaching out to family and friends and even strangers. These acts of kindness give everyone a boost and the importance of that cannot be overstated. I hope we  will see this during Mental Health Awareness Week too.’

He added, ‘Most people are finding this time difficult and talking about how we feel makes those feelings normal so we can say it is ok to not be ok. It is more important than ever that we look after our mental health and wellbeing and we know where we can go for support. The ‘Kind to Your Mind’ website has lots of great advice and resources, from clinical professionals to get you through these challenging times.’

 

If you are in crisis and need urgent support, call the MerseyCare crisis line on 0151 296 7200

Sefton reiterates support for shielding residents across borough

Sefton Council is reminding anyone who has been contacted by their GP or the NHS and told they should be shielding that they are entitled to Government Coronavirus support.

This means they can get a range of help including food parcels, prescriptions and essential supplies.

To get this support they need to register either online at www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable or by phoning 0800 028 8327.

People can register themselves or on behalf of someone else such as a friend, relative or neighbour.

Residents of Sefton Borough who aren’t able to get the care they need from family, friends or neighbours can also get support seven-days-a-week, from 8am until 8pm, by calling the Council’s team on 0345 140 0845.

They can help with things like urgent food deliveries, prescription collection, support with online services such as a Wi-Fi Connection or help with emails or even just a friendly call to help people cope with loneliness

Staff taking calls we will try to match callers’ needs as far as possible with the support available, and currently aim to respond to requests within three working days.

People wanting help locally can also use the form at https://forms.sefton.gov.uk/covid19referral but should note that is only being monitored during regular office hours so a response may take longer.

The Council is also reminding people that when they seek help they should only do so from people you know and trust and that they should only give cash to someone you know and trust as well.

Bank cards and PIN numbers should never be given to anybody and personal health or care details should never be shared with anyone unless they are from the NHS or the Council.

 

#SeftonSaysThanks – to our teachers

Here in Sefton we know that our teaching staff are doing an amazing job in continuing to work in schools across the borough, teaching vulnerable children and children of key workers.

Teachers and teaching assistants play a massive role in our children’s educational and emotional development and of course, many young people who are at home may now be missing them dearly.

So, to let them know how much we are missing them and to show we appreciate what they are doing, we’re asking your children to make a ‘Thank you’ card for their favourite teacher/s and teaching assistants remembering to include a special message.

Be it a painting or drawing, when it’s finished simply take a photo and share it with us.

You can email your picture to communications@sefton.gov.uk. You can also use our social media channels to share with us remembering to tag us, Facebook/ Sefton Council, Twitter/@seftoncouncil, Instagram/@sefton_council

When sharing via Social Media, please also use the hashtag #SeftonSaysThanks which will make sure we don’t miss any of your masterpieces!

Don’t forget to include your child’s name, the teacher’s name & what school they teach at so we can make sure your school and teachers will see them.

Merseyrail announces extra evening services for key workers

Yesterday Merseyrail announced a reduced timetable starting on Thursday 2 April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with services operating between 07:00 and 19:00 Monday to Saturday (Sunday services differ).

 This was based on staff availability to provide a reliable service to key workers and those making essential journeys.

 Following feedback from those still travelling on the network, Merseyrail’s planning team has worked hard and staff have agreed to longer hours to make small adjustments to the reduced timetable using the resources available.

 Merseyrail is now able to provide an additional limited service on some lines between 19:00 and 22:00 Monday to Saturday to better accommodate those travelling to or from work.

The additional evening services are as follows:

Kirkby line

Additional services leaving Kirkby at 19:13, 20:13, 21: 13 and 21:58

Additional services leaving Liverpool Central at 19:35, 20:35 and 21:35

Southport line (Southport to Liverpool Central only)

Additional services leaving Southport at 18:43, 19:43 and 20:43

Additional services leaving Liverpool Central at 19:53, 20:38 and 21:38

Chester line

Additional services leaving Chester at 20:15 and 22:00

Additional services leaving Moorfields and terminating at Rock Ferry at 22:41

Additional services leaving Moorfields and terminating at Chester at 19:11 and 20:56

West Kirby line

Additional services leaving West Kirby at 20:01 and 21:31

Additional services leaving Moorfields at 19:15, 20:31 and 22:01 (22:01 terminates at Bidston)

As the situation is changing so rapidly, it is likely that this timetable may change again in the future.

All passengers are advised to check Merseyrail’s website and Twitter account @merseyrail before travel for the most up-to-date information.

 Passengers who still require alternative forms of transport due to the reduced timetable are encouraged to visit https://www.merseytravel.gov.uk/bus/ as many bus services are continuing to run into the evening.

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