Hi, my name is Dr Rupert Suckling and I am the Director of Public Health in Doncaster.
Our latest data across all age groups shows our infection rate is 148.8 per 100,000 people for the period 20th - 26th February. Our positivity rate is 6.2%.
Following my update last week, I'd like to thank everyone for their support and dedication in driving down our local rate. After a few weeks where our numbers remained relatively static, I'm pleased to see a decline. That's down to the efforts of both the public and local businesses in following and sticking to the guidance.
We still need to make sure we continue this downward trend so it's important we stick to these principles, particularly as next week sees us take an important step on the return to normality.
Schools across Doncaster will begin to welcome students back from Monday. This is, of course, very welcome news and I'd like to thank teachers and staff who have worked incredibly hard to implement a range of protective measures to ensure schools are as safe as possible for our children and young people.
This week's vlog comes from our Director of Learning, Opportunities and Skills Riana Nelson, who provides further information and details on the return to school. You can see Riana's video below.
I'd also like to remind people of the importance of testing as a tool in the fight against Coronavirus. I would encourage anyone who is offered a test to take it up. That includes local businesses, who can access Community Testing at our sites in Hexthorpe, Stainforth and Conisbrough if they are unable to access tests via the government private sector route.
It's also important to understand when and where to have a test depending on your situation and if you have Covid symptoms or not. Visit www.doncaster.gov.uk/covidtesting for more information.
I hope everyone's return to school next week goes as smoothly as possible.
Together, let’s keep doing everything we can to make a difference.
Let’s Do it for Doncaster.
Dr Rupert Suckling
Director of Public Health
Back to School
From Monday, students will start to return to schools across Doncaster.
Our Director of Learning, Opportunities and Skills Riana Nelson has provided our vlog update this week to explain a bit more about what that return to school means, including updates on:
We've also pulled together an email with further details of this important information included. You can read the email here:
The government has confirmed twice-weekly testing using rapid lateral flow tests will be given for free to all families and households with primary, secondary school and college aged children and young people, including childcare and support bubbles, to help find more COVID-19 cases and break chains of transmission. Twice-weekly testing will also be offered to adults working in the wider school community, including bus drivers and after school club leaders.
Tests are available for adults in these households to collect. As with student testing, this is encouraged but not mandatory.
Getting a rapid test is quick and convenient. The expanded regular testing offer for people without symptoms will be delivered through:
- testing in-person via workplace testing
- local authority test sites
- collection at a local PCR test site during specific test collection time windows
- a new home ordering service, which will allow people to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to their home
Find out more:
Some important things to know about our Household Waste Recycling Centres
Whilst we understand that we're in Spring Clean season and you might be considering a good clear out this weekend please be reminded that our HWRCs are open for essential visits only.
Please consider alternatives such as your black / blue bins, storing your waste or hiring a skip.
Traffic management will be in place at Armthorpe HWRC for the next four weekends, starting tomorrow (6 March). In addition, there will be ‘no waiting’ restrictions in force around our five other sites. Please observe this at all times as we look to reduce queues in / around our sites.
Our priority is complying with Covid-19 guidance and keeping visitors and staff safe at all times. If this is not possible, there may be occasions where we are forced to close temporarily.
With that in mind, we'd ask you to please:
- be patient
- respect staff at all times
- try and visit at quieter times (see below)
Who will you do it for?
This week we launched a testing campaign to encourage as many residents as possible to get tested if given the opportunity. You'll see and hear the campaign on the radio, in local newspapers and when you're out and about on those essential journeys.
It's important to remember that if you’re a key worker, or someone who cannot work from home, you can help to protect Doncaster by regularly getting a Covid-19 test even if you don't have any symptoms.
1 in 3 people don't show any Covid symptoms and can be spreading the virus in the community without realising, so regular testing can really help to stop that transmission.
Our community testing sites, for those that are asymptomatic, are currently located in Hexthorpe, Conisbrough and Stainforth.
✅No need to book
✅Open 7 days a week
✅Walk-in service available
Let’s get tested regularly to stop the spread of the virus and make the 21st June plan a reality!
Vaccination Fraud Warning
Coronavirus vaccines are only available via the NHS and the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay. Please remember:
- The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details.
- The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password.
- The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.
- The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.
If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to email@example.com. Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726 which is free of charge. If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting:
Covid-19 Vaccination Invites
Booking letters for Covid-19 vaccinations continue to be sent to people in priority groups 5 and 6 which is people aged between 65-69 and those who are clinically vulnerable. When the NHS contacts you or a loved one to get vaccinated, you may be offered a few places to go including local vaccination sites or regional mass vaccination sites and pharmacies which are located in neighbouring towns and cities.
This is simply a way for you to access a vaccination quicker and don't worry if you can't get there should it not be suitable. You will be offered other ways to get a jab soon. Information about the vaccine programme in Doncaster can be found on the NHS Doncaster CCG website.
Sharing is caring
Don’t forget to share the messages in this newsletter with people who may not be online, whilst following government guidance on physical distancing.
They may also be interested in signing up to receive these emails (and other updates from us):
Help us share information that matters to YOU!
We want to be able to provide you with important, relevant information for wherever you live in the borough so you're as up to date as possible.
To help us do this, we're asking you to answer a couple of questions by clicking on the link below. This will allow us to send updates on where you live straight to your inbox 👍
You can download the NHS COVID-19 app here: