Weekly email bulletin from Newham Council 27 August 2020

Newham Council is issuing regular e-bulletins to residents about what’s happening at the Council and in the borough, including the latest information about how we are responding to Covid-19.

You can read the latest message from Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz below:

Hello Everyone,

I hope you and your loved ones are well, despite the dreary weather in London and the rain! Like you, I wish the sunshine was back and like you, I wish Covid-19 was over; but it shows no signs of going away any time soon.

Today, the Government announced the biggest single-day increase of coronavirus cases since 12 June. With 1,522 people testing positive for the virus in the last 24-hours alone, the cumulative total has now reached 330,368. Tragically, the total number of people that have now died stands at 41,477, including 12 people who died in the last 24-hours.

In Newham, so far 1,456 residents have tested positive for Covid-19; and tragically 309 people have died. My thoughts and condolences to their loved ones. These figures highlight that the risk of Covid-19 is still around us. As we get back to doing the things we love, we must keep up with the health and safety advice, particularly around social distancing. If not, we may face a local lockdown if there is an increase in cases in the borough.

I know that many of us here in Newham, are doing all we can to keep coronavirus at bay; and to protect our families, friends and work colleagues. That’s why through the work of our Public Health Team - working with our local health partners, the voluntary sector, faith groups and our Covid-19 Health Champions – we are deploying a range of tools as part of a robust test and contact tracing programme as we continue with the reality of Covid-19 living.

That includes the new NHS Test and Trace mobile phone app, which we’ve decided to ‘early adopt’ so that we can assess it before its national roll-out. If the app works here, then it will work anywhere; and that’s why I am encouraging as many of you to download the app once you’ve received your personal code from the NHS (which you’ll have received via post last weekend).

For those of you that have already downloaded the app – thank you! Please let your local friends and family know, to encourage them to do the same. For those that haven’t downloaded yet – please do! For a quick intro about how the app works, you can watch a video I made about it here, where you can also chose a variety of sub-titled language versions too.

So what’s the big deal about the app? Well, for a start it’s really user-friendly, easy to download and available in different languages. Importantly, it sends you an instant alert if you’ve been near other app users who have tested positive for coronavirus. It lets you know the level of coronavirus in your postcode area. It alerts you if you have visited a venue where you may have come into contact with coronavirus. You can also use it to check if you have Covid-19 symptoms – and if you do, the app helps you sort out a free test and get your result back quickly. The app includes a self-isolation countdown feature, plus signposts you to all the relevant health advice.

Be assured, the app protects your personal data as it only stays on your phone; and your privacy is protected at all times. Remember, the app tracks the spread of the virus, not people. It’s easy to use, and you can of course delete the app at any time.

The app is designed to get us all back to doing the things we love. For many of our children and young people that will be returning to school or college this September. We all know that school is the best place for children and young people to learn and to develop a range of skills which will serve them well in every aspect of their lives, but going back will be challenging in the wake of Covid-19 and we’re all rightly concerned for their well-being.

That’s why we’ve been working with schools and governing bodies over the summer break to ensure schools as safe as possible for staff and pupils. They’ve been required to carry out risk assessments to determine what protective measures need to be in place and how best to implement them. It will be different for each setting but you can expect safe ways for all our kids, so that they can move around school, including one-way systems, to minimise contact. Where required, there’ll be markings on the floor to support distancing, alongside signs and posters to remind everyone about the importance of good hygiene measures, including washing hands regularly. There will be robust cleaning regimes throughout schools. You can also expect changes to times for starting and finishing; and specific arrangements for how you drop off and collect your child.

Whilst things may not be done in exactly the same way, all schools and colleges have followed the advice and guidance from the Government and Public Health to put in place the appropriate measures. I also want you to know that in Newham we do not intend to take action against any who decide not to send their child or children to school. We will work with you and your child’s school to support your child to return to school.

Please do everything you can to keep Newham safe. Wear a face covering. Keep up the social distancing. Wash your hands and don’t forget: if you haven’t already, please download the NHS test and Trace app.

Finally, stay well and stay safe; and wishing you a restful and enjoyable Bank Holiday weekend with your families, friends and loved ones.

Best wishes.

Rokhsana Fiaz OBE
Mayor of Newham

Read more Covid-19 updates from Mayor Fiaz or follow her on Twitter @rokhsanafiaz

Published: 27 Aug 2020