January 22: Coronavirus (COVID-19) update from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
Update on Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Council's Leader, Councillor Bob Cook.
Rates of COVID-19 infections in the Borough remain high and worryingly, the new variant accounted for 73 per cent of new cases here last week.
There were 769 new COVID cases in the Borough during the week ending 17 January, a rate of 389.7 per 100,000 population.
That compares with the 846 new cases recorded the previous week, a rate of 428.7 per 100,000 population.
This is putting enormous pressure on our NHS, not just in terms of treatment for COVID patients but also the impact on people needing treatment for other things.
It's a stark reminder that we all need to do our bit and follow the national lockdown rules.
If you have any of the COVID-19 symptoms - high temperature, a new, continuous cough, and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - book a test.
Tests are free and you can book by calling 119.
Please stay at home and only go out if it is essential.
Please remember those hands, face and space basics - even small steps can save lives.
And parents and carers, please keep your children at home wherever possible.
Testing for residents without COVID-19 symptoms
We also now have three testing centres for people without COVID-19 symptoms who live or work in the Borough.
The aim of this free testing is to identify people who have COVID-19 but don't have any symptoms, so that they know they need to isolate.
Help for people who are struggling financially
We appreciate that a lot of people are struggling financially because of COVID-19 and there's lots of information on our website about welfare support, the £500 Test and Trace support payments, housing support, help with Council Tax, and the Hardship Fund.
Help for vulnerable and elderly people
The COVID Community Support Team can help vulnerable and elderly residents by collecting shopping, picking up prescriptions or making sure people who are self-isolating and may be worried or lonely get the support they need.
You can contact the team on 01642 733906 between 9am and 12noon, Monday to Friday, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Help for businesses
We are continuing to process and pay grants of up to £9,000 to businesses forced to close under the national lockdown restrictions which came into force on Tuesday, January 5.
This process is running well and we are continuing to process applications and payments under the six other grant schemes that are in place to support businesses in the Borough.
Remember, you can keep up with all Coronavirus (COVID-19) related developments in the Borough, including details of the help and support available, via our webpage Stockton Borough Council.