R Rate, workplace testing and close contact webinar info

We have a few updates for you this afternoon.

Latest R Range & Growth Data

The latest R range for the UK 0.6 to 0.9.  An R value between 0.6 and 0.9 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 6 and 9 other people.

The latest growth rate range for the UK is -6% to -3% per day.  A growth rate of between -6% and -3% means that the number of new infections is shrinking by between 3% and 6% every day.

Restart Grants

The Government has issued Guidance for businesses to check if you are eligible for the new Restart grants here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-a-coronavirus-restart-grant   This summarises the information I sent you yesterday.

Workplace Testing

Recently I sent you information about Lateral Flow Testing being available for all workplaces including those with less than 50 employees. 

I included a link on the Government website to enable businesses of any size to register for this – however, the government website has not been updated and it currently won’t let you register as a smaller business.  

You can register with BwD Council for workplace testing kits instead – workplace SMART testing. 

This testing is especially important for key businesses which need to stay open during lockdown. It is estimated that around one in three people might display no symptoms, but are still infectious.

It is vital to break these chains of transmission and bring down infection rates.  By engaging in workplace testing, businesses and their employees are helping to keep their workforce, customers and service users safe, and reduce infection so that we can return to normality as soon as possible. 

The testing is completed using lateral flow testing devices (LFTs) on nose and throat swab samples. This will improve virus detection within settings and communities and help to prevent further transmission and spread. 

You can register to join the workplace testing programme here.  You can find more information about the programme here: https://blackburn.gov.uk/smart-testing

Close Contact Services Webinar Available to View

A free webinar on supporting Close Contact Services to reopen safely was provided this week by Lancaster & Preston City Councils for businesses in all local authority areas in Lancashire,  If you missed it, you can view the recording of the webinar here:

All Hands To The Pump – Free Support for the Licensed Trade

A partnership of organisations including the Institute of Licensing, Best Bar None, Pubwatch, Purple Flag and others have worked together on an initiative to offer free training, webinars and resources to the licensed trade and those involved in supporting them (like me!).  The website is www.allhandstothepump.com . Everything on there is free to access, and the events programme starts on Monday (see https://allhandstothepump.com/events/category/all/ ). To give you an idea, they have sessions covering:

– The impact of the pandemic on the sector so far and what the reopening may look like, including predicted consumer behaviour based on research findings

– A session with a fully qualified EHO who has also run pubs in the past, with a full Q&A to ask any questions around covid, health & safety, food or fire safety

– Best practice for proactively managing noise issues when reopening

– Refresher training for staff of licensed premises on things like managing customer behaviour while upholding covid regulations, responsible alcohol retailing, etc.

The initial programme runs for 2 weeks and more sessions will be added in April & May for Step 3 reopening.  The website also has useful free resources around a range of topics including reopening, HR/recruitment, financial support, customer safety and so on.

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