In the seven days to Saturday 24 April there were 123new confirmed cases of coronavirus. Compared to the previous week, confirmed cases are falling. Remember to keep checking infection rates in your area by visiting our Data Dashboard and please share the link with family and friends.
Symptom-free COVID-19 Testing
Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 won’t display any symptoms. Regular testing can help identify and stop the spread of the coronavirus. Rapid test kits can be ordered at www.westsussex.gov.uk/communitytesting.
Symptom-free COVID-19 test kits that can be used at home are available and it's recommended that you regularly test if you:
- leave home to work, volunteer or provide care
- have children attending school
- are visiting someone or attending an appointment in a hospital setting
- if you’re meeting up with friends outdoors, for a drink, a picnic, a walk or to exercise.
Regular testing is an essential part of the easing of restrictions, helping identify variants and stopping individual cases from becoming outbreaks.
Barry Newell, our Public Health and Resilience Advisor talks about testing in our latest podcast.
Order free packs of rapid lateral flow test kits to be delivered direct to your home at www.westsussex.gov.uk/communitytesting
If you test negative this does not completely rule out infection with COVID-19, as there can be false negative results. To protect yourself and others, you must continue to follow the current restrictions in place and remember: hands, face, space and fresh air.
Remember to check-in for test and trace
It is a legal requirement for anybody over the age of 16 to check-in to venues such as hairdressers, pubs, cafes, gyms when they visit.
Simply give your name and contact details or check in using the COVID-19 app.
Doing this protects each other and helps us to not only keep West Sussex safe but everyone safe from the spread of COVID-19.
Download the NHS COVID-19 app and remember to check in to keep yourself friends and family safe as lockdown restrictions continue to ease.
How to keep infection rates low
Finally, remember that the ways we can keep COVID-19 infection rates down are:
- regular testing of people without symptoms – even if you’ve had your vaccine
- keeping our social contacts within the rules – act like you have it
- getting your vaccine as soon as you are invited
- hands, face, space and fresh air.
We regularly update the adverts we use across our social media channels as well as posters. Please help us by sharing these free adverts with clubs, teams, venues or groups in your community who might not otherwise see them.
Thank you for your continued support and let’s continue to do all we can to stop the spread of coronavirus. Act like you have it. #KeepWestSussexSafe
People aged 40 and over have now become eligible for their vaccination. This is in addition to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, those with an underlying health condition or learning disability, unpaid carers and health and social care workers.
To book your vaccination, visit nhs.uk/covidvaccine call 119, or wait to be contacted by your GP-led local vaccination service.
If a vaccination service is not displaying on the national booking service, it just means that there aren’t any appointments available on that day. More appointments are released daily in line with vaccine supply so please check back.
To date, more than 1.2 million vaccinations have been given across Sussex as the roll out continues, with thousands of first and second dose appointments taking place this week.
Also, after a very successful 'Quiet Session' this month, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust is pleased to be able to offer further dedicated ‘Quiet COVID-19 Vaccination Sessions’ for people requiring their first vaccination.
For more information on these, please read the latest newsletter about the Sussex vaccination programme.
If you are eligible and have not yet had your vaccine please book it and don’t forget to follow government guidance around ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ once you’ve had your vaccination.
A number of elections, including the election of West Sussex County Councillors, are taking place next Thursday (6 May).
For those who are voting in person (or for those voting as someone’s proxy), polling stations will be open from 7am – 10pm and will be COVID-19 safe, but you may want to plan ahead for how to vote:
- Check your poll card because your polling station may have changed since the last election
- Polling stations are usually busier early in the morning and after school, so you may want to go at a different time when it’s likely to be quieter.
For more information on voting and COVID-19, visit The Electoral Commissionwebsite.
If you were planning to vote in person or are someone’s proxy, but find you can’t go to the polling station for reasons related to COVID-19, you’ll be able to apply for an emergency proxy vote up until 5pm on polling day.
The full results for the West Sussex County Council election will be published on our website and you can also find out the results as they come in by following us on Twitter.
From our sparkling coast and lively seaside towns to the wide open spaces and beautiful views of the South Downs, as well as the many parks, forests and rivers in between, there’s plenty of room to get outside.
Most of our beautiful gardens are now open and bursting with seasonal colour, and many of our favourite vineyards have re-started tours and tastings.
Our historic market towns, villages and inns are offering delicious alfresco dining opportunities, just remember to book ahead. For great ideas for what to do on your doorstep visit www.ExperienceWestSussex.com.
But please remember if you’re going out and about this Bank Holiday weekend, enjoy the countryside respectfully.
Respect wildlife. Always keep dogs on leads near livestock and please keep to footpaths and bridleways so as not to disturb ground nesting birds and other wildlife. Litter, particularly masks, can be dangerous to animals. Make sure you take your rubbish home with you or put it in a bin.
Protect the landscape by ensuring you are following the Countryside Code, which sets out how visitors to rural areas can behave safely and responsibly.
Enjoy our beautiful parks and countryside by exploring local walks and cycle paths while maintaining social distancing. If you arrive somewhere that’s very crowded, please consider returning at a quieter time or a different day.
Don’t forget that a booking system is now operating at six Household Waste Recycling Sites in West Sussex: Bognor Regis, Crawley, Horsham, Littlehampton, Shoreham-By-Sea and Worthing.
The aim of the trial scheme is to provide fair access to as many residents as possible in any given week, in a way that is safe for staff and visitors, and avoids disruption to local residents, businesses and the highway network.
You do not need to be at the site at the exact start time of your appointment - you can arrive at any time within your allotted slot. Appointments are 15 minutes long in the case of Bognor Regis and Shoreham-By-Sea sites, or 30 minutes at the other trial sites. See your confirmation email for more information.
You can book a slot up to 14 days in advance and must book at least one day before you intend to visit the site.
If you would like to give feedback on the trial, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on the link below for more information or to book a slot.
You can read the latest monthly ‘snapshot’ of COVID-19's impact on the West Sussex economy now on our Business West Sussex website.
March’s report contains many interesting facts and figures including:
- West Sussex has seen a 3% decrease in people furloughed since January 2021
- Over £183m has been paid to West Sussex businesses in coronavirus support grants by local authorities (as of 18 January 2021).
Click on the link below to see the full report, plus all previous reports issued since they were started in June 2020.
Children who live in West Sussex are being encouraged to tell the government about their experiences of the coronavirus pandemic and their hopes for the future.
'The Big Ask' survey is being led by the Children's Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza and will run until 19 May.
It will be the largest consultation with children in England and hopes to help shape the way the government approaches issues affecting children.
There are four main versions of the survey, aimed at children in the age groups four to five years old, six to eight years old, nine to twelve years old and thirteen to seventeen years old. There are also two easy read versions of the survey, and an adult version for parents, care leavers and people who work with children to share their views.
Please encourage the children and young people you know to take part via their school or college or the Children's Commissioner's website.
If anyone you know who would like to sign up for this bulletin, please forward this eNewsletter to them and they can sign up here. Thank you for your support.