Coronavirus Weekly Updates From The City Council 21, 28 August and 4 September

NOTE: This is a catch up post of the three latest posts –  delayed due to holidays.

Coronavirus weekly update from Birmingham City Council

Welcome to the coronavirus weekly update from Birmingham City Council.

The update lets you know about Birmingham City Council’s services, public health information, general advice on Covid-19, and other relevant news from the council and our partners so that we can keep you informed. If you have friends and family who are not online, please share the information in this bulletin with them.
You can find a full suite of information about Covid-19 on the council’s website.

4 September…

Covid guidance

Testing is proving to be an effective way to contain the virus and everyone needs to do their part. Anyone with coronavirus symptoms, however mild, can get a free swab test that takes less than a minute. Tests should be booked or ordered as soon as symptoms begin here or by calling 119.

It is important that you get your information on COVID-19 from a trusted source, and follow the government guidelines. There are false and malicious stories in circulation, particularly concerning children returning to school – watch what our Director of Public Health has to say here.

Also, take a look at the BBC Monitoring’s top tips for spotting fake COVID news online here.

If you have children returning to school – and have questions or concerns – contact your school direct. You can also read here about some of the changes that have been made to classrooms across the city.

Wondering what Birmingham classrooms look like as children return? Here’s a great example, courtesy of Harper Bell Primary.

There has been a call for COVID vigilance after a rise in West Midlands cases among younger people, who are now specifically being urged to stay vigilant, despite a slight drop in the number of new cases across the region.

Don’t forget, city businesses flouting COVID rules could be closed to protect Birmingham people from a local lockdown. The council has new powers to tackle those breaching government guidance – and has launched a whistle-blowing hotline. We’ve used our new powers already.

Don’t be afraid to leave a pub or restaurant if you feel they are not complying with COVID rules. All city businesses should be carrying out correct risk assessments to keep customers and staff safe. Pubs and restaurants should always take your contact details. Report YOUR concerns here.

Visit the council’s website for translated audio and written information on COVID-19 test and trace.

And, with a fresh new page on the calendar: Happy September! With COVID, there’s never been a better or more important time to kick-start positive changes in your health and wellbeing.

For latest updates and advice on coronavirus, please visit the government website.

Local news

Looking forward to browsing bookshelves again? Some of our community libraries – plus Library of Birmingham – are now offering a browsing service. Find out which ones are doing this here.

Need to use a household recycling centre? Remember you have to book in advance and show one form of ID (such as council tax or utility bill, or driving licence) to prove where you live.

Have YOUR say on the Birmingham Parks Survey 2020. It’s done every two years to find out how happy you are with our local parks – and uncover what improvements YOU would like to see.

TOMORROW, Saturday 5 September, enjoy a free streamed concert from the world-famous City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra , conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. The council’s original investment of £1,250 saw this iconic national orchestra – that all Birmingham people can be proud of – created 100 years ago.  So, make a date for YOUR diary and enjoy the concert LIVE from 7pm tomorrow (or recorded, afterwards).

28 August…

Covid guidance

Birmingham City Council Leader, Cllr Ian Ward, has announced new measures to keep the rate of COVID-19 infections reducing in the city. He urges Birmingham residents to help get children back to school, promises stronger action against those who don’t follow the rules around COVID-19, and unveils new measures to tackle business non-compliance.

With the bank holiday just starting, please, of course, enjoy yourselves – but stay safe and responsible – this bank holiday weekend. Don’t be afraid to leave and report a pub or restaurant if you feel they’re not compliant. Only socialise indoors with up to two households or your social bubble; bring your own cutlery to barbecues; and avoid gatherings of more than 30.

Watch this video clip from council Leader, Cllr Ian Ward, on staying safe when socialising – and this video clip from Cllr Ward explaining how businesses flouting the rules will be closed down. Have a great time – but keep taking responsibility for yourself and your loved ones!

Welcoming all Birmingham children back to school, Cllr Jayne Francis – the council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture – has spoken about why it’s so important that children return to schools and early years settings, and what measures are in place to make them safe.

The council has launched a new, free ‘drop and collect’ COVID-19 testing service in Birmingham. Staff from across the council, NHS and wider public sector have volunteered to take part. They will visit households across the city to offer test kits on the doorstep, even for those without symptoms, to support more testing.

To control COVID-19, testing and tracing must become a new way of life. A new video explains more – including symptoms to look out for.

Visit the council’s website for translated audio and written information on COVID-19 test and trace.

Face coverings are now compulsory in many places. Unless you have a legitimate reason not to, you must wear a face covering to protect others from the spread of COVID-19 infection. Find guidance – with exemption forms to download and print – here.

Businesses flouting Covid-19 rules could be closed to protect Birmingham from a local lockdown. Last week, government designated Birmingham an Area of Enhanced Support following a surge in Covid-19 cases across the city. To help combat the spread, the council is working with West Midlands Police to use emergency regulatory powers to intervene if businesses fail to comply with risk assessments.

Do YOU have concerns about a Birmingham business which isn’t complying with the rules around COVID-19? Are they taking bookings for more than six people, or from more than two households? Or not taking customer details for ‘test and trace’? Report them an anonymously here. We have the powers to close them down, if necessary.

The NHS needs more COVID-19-convalescent plasma donors. Plasma donation is safe, easy and you could save lives. Can YOU help? If you’ve had COVID-19, you can donate at your nearest donor centre. Find out more here.

The council is reopening some leisure facilities with a limited programme. Remember, COVID-19 isn’t gone – and there are new safety measures to keep everyone safe. Find out more here.

The first in a new series of blogs on domestic abuse, sharing the stories of survivors and those working with them, has been published. Read more about Birmingham Crisis Centre’s work during the recent lockdown here.

The council’s Public Health team, supported by sector experts and local partners, will be running a series of free COVID-19-related webinars to help you improve your communities’ health and wellbeing. Find out more, or book, here.

The council has welcomed the government decision to extend its national ban on evictions for renters. Without this extension, there was a real concern that the consequences of COVID-19 could lead to a surge in homelessness, and Birmingham wrote to government urging them to provide financial assistance to support renters and landlords.

For latest updates and advice on coronavirus, please visit the government website.

Local news

A crackdown on illegal placards and lamppost adverts has seen 35 Birmingham firms pursued by the council. The blitz is part of an ongoing engagement campaign to help deliver for the city cleaner, greener, streets.

Birmingham people are being invited to get involved with developing strategy to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness strategy consultation. Get involved here.

Eagerly-awaited Birmingham Heritage week: it’s back, on 10 September – albeit, in part, virtually! This fantastic annual event runs until 20 September. Catch up on what’s happening here.

Birmingham 2022 is looking for the best sporting facilities in the West Midlands to become Commonwealth Games training venues. Could YOUR club help international athletes prepare for Gold during the Games? Take a look.

Calling parents and carers. Get YOUR ‘30 hours code’ now to access a funded childcare place in September! Act now, as you may need to supply further information which could delay you getting your code on time.  Do it now.

21 August…

Covid guidance

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, has issued a statement following an announcement that the city is now on the national COVID-19 “watch list”. Earlier in the week, Cllr Ward urged everyone to pull together to ensure the city tackles the threat posed by rising coronavirus case numbers. Watch Cllr Ward’s video here. The leaders of the seven metropolitan councils across the West Midlands also joined forces to issue a rallying call to the people of the region.

Help keep Birmingham safe…

If you’re contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service, you will not be asked to provide any passwords, bank account details or pin numbers. Find out more about how NHS test and trace works. You must self-isolate for 10 days if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and receive a positive test result. People in your household should continue to self-isolate for 14 days. It’s so important to do this to keep others safe.

For members of the community whose first language isn’t English, the council’s website has translated audio and written information on Coronavirus Test and Trace.

You can lower the risks of Covid transmission at work by reducing the number of people you regularly encounter. Your employer can help by: changing shift patterns/ rotas to match you with the same team each time, and splitting people into smaller, contained teams.

Washing your hands more often remains vitally important to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you have been outside, please wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before touching your face or any surfaces. Follow NHS advice. No matter how mild your symptoms may be, if you experience any loss/change in sense of smell, loss/change in sense of taste, high temperature, or have a new, continuous cough, you MUST book a test.

Face coverings are now compulsory in many indoor spaces like libraries and public reading rooms. Unless you have a legitimate reason not to, you must wear a face covering to protect others from the spread of infection.

Birmingham City Council has decided to temporarily stop all non-essential visits to care homes within the city.

Is your family finding Covid-19 tough?  If you or a loved one is having trouble with drugs or alcohol, there is a pre-paid discrete app and confidential service that can help.

More than 100,000 people have now signed up to help the NHS find a Covid-19 vaccine, but researchers need more people to register so that vaccines can work for everyone. If you haven’t already, you can sign up here.

Watch Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety & Equalities Cllr John Cotton’s message to Birmingham’s volunteers and voluntary organisations about how they can get a special thank you for their efforts in helping the city’s communities during the pandemic.

Businesses are re-opening their doors to the public operating in a new way to ensure staff and customers are safe. You can read all the latest information and advice on how to operate safely online.

For latest updates and advice on coronavirus, please visit the government website.

Local news

As the redevelopment of the Alexander Stadium continues to make the venue the largest dedicated athletics facility in the UK, the council and Birchfield Harriers have confirmed alternative provision at Wyndley Leisure Centre in Sutton Coldfield as a training venue for club members.

The Walsall Road Allotments in Perry Barr is receiving a much-needed upgrade thanks to McLaughlin & Harvey, the lead contractor at the Alexander Stadium redevelopment. This is part of the You Matter Communities initiative which provides support to local communities through volunteer time, small grants and the use of excess materials from the construction process.

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, paid tribute to the efforts of everyone involved in the delivery of the Perry Barr Residential Scheme during a site visit on Tuesday, 18 August.

Get ready to roll for Cycle September! Be in with a chance to win prizes by riding and encouraging others to ride. Sign up to Love to Ride WM by 1 September to go into the draw for a £3,400 Cannondale bike.

Join West Midlands Combined Authority, from 24 August to 27 August, for their Summer Careers Festival Online in partnership with FC Nation UK. With giveaways, guest speakers and careers advice to help young people in the region get the support they need.

If you’re under 30 and need personalised support to get into employment, training or education Youth Promise Plus offers this for free, for YOU!

To celebrate the TV adaptation of the novel “Noughts and Crosses” by Malorie Blackman the Library of Birmingham is running a creative writing competition. Enter now for a chance to win a copy of the series.

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