Suffolk County Council – COVID-19 – Daily Briefing 26 March

Suffolk County Council have published their first daily briefing – 


Current UK Risk Level: HIGH

The risk to the UK has been raised to high (as of 13/03/2020).

As of 13 Mar, UK is in the ‘delay’ phase of the government’s action plan to limit the spread of the virus.


Current Situation



  • As of 9am on 25 March 2020, a total of 97,019 people have been tested, of which 87,490 were confirmed negative and 9,529 were confirmed positive. 463 patients in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have died.
  • In Suffolk we have 35 confirmed cases. However, with routine community testing discontinued, these figures will not describe the full extent of cases locally. You can view the latest UK Dashboard of cases and deaths here.
  • PM Statement 25th March 2020
    • After an appeal on the 24th March for volunteers to help the NHS, more than 405,000 people have responded to the call in just 24 hours.
    • The volunteers roles will include: driving medicines from pharmacies to patients, bringing patients home from hospital and making regular phone calls to check up on people who are staying in their own home.
  • Government launches Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp – The UK Government has today launched a GOV.​UK Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp. To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.
  • Government to provide free car parking for NHS and social care staff The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care is giving immediate financial backing for all NHS trusts to provide free car parking to NHS staff for the duration of coronavirus (COVID-19). The changes will apply to all on-street parking and open, council-run car parks including pay and display and will suspend charges for health workers, social care workers and NHS volunteers.
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): Foreign Secretary’s statement on support for British people abroadInternational cooperation is the only way to get travellers home and beat coronavirus.
  • NHS England and NHS Improvement announced on 25 Mar that all inpatient, outpatient and diagnostic visiting is suspended with immediate effect and until further notice. See further details here




  • Food Banks: Food banks across Suffolk are being given a share of £60,000 to keep their supplies well stocked during the Coronavirus pandemic. This money has been donated by Suffolk County Council and will allow the food banks to restock directly with the supermarkets and wholesalers.

Some helpful Q&As:

Who is getting the funding? The funding will be added to the Suffolk Emergency response fund held by Suffolk Community Foundation.  Suffolk Community Foundation are working with all partners in Suffolk to maximise the amount of funding made available by central government, Health and District and Borough Councils to support the  Covid-19 community response.

How has that been decided? The Collaborative Communities Board is working with the voluntary sector and the network of food banks across Suffolk and ensuring they have access to funds as needed for the direct provision of food and supplies for vulnerable people in Suffolk.

When are they getting it? As needed – small amounts of funding will be allocated as requested by food banks and other organisations involved in the individual relief of hardship

                        Where is the funding coming from? From Suffolk County Council’s leadership group


  • Adult Learning Service: The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) have confirmed that they will continue to the pay this year’s Adult Learning contract as normal. The service has ceased all face to face lessons and following current advice have closed the learning centres. Initially we are contacting all current learners and offering guidance and pastoral support to ensure learners are safe and updated. We are currently revising the offer to deliver courses in an alternative way.  For more information please visit;


  • Suffolk County Council Decision Making: A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “The Council’s Constitution includes a delegation for the Chief Executive to take decisions in an emergency. In agreement with all of the political group leaders, the Chief Executive will take decisions that would normally have been considered by Council or Cabinet, but are necessary to ensure that the Council continues to deliver services to the people of Suffolk and cannot reasonably be delayed.   

“A protocol has been agreed that ensures the views of the opposition groups are taken into account by the Chief Executive before decisions are taken, and the relevant reports and decisions will be made available through the Council’s website to ensure transparency.  

            “The Political Group Leaders are in regular contact to ensure that the focus is on the Council supporting the community from across the political landscape.”



  • Clap for our carers: We would encourage everyone to join in with the 8pm #ClapForOurCarers to praise the NHS this evening. It is absolutely right that we show them our support and appreciation for all their tireless work. It might also be worth remembering our other unsung heroes during this show of appreciation. Our care workers who are visiting people in their homes to provide them with essential care, those working in our care and nursing homes who are supporting their residents through these worrying times. Our social workers who are continuing to support those people and families who need them now more than ever and our wonderful family carers, who continue to put the needs of their loved ones above their own needs. These incredible people are showing great strength and dedication to others and are often doing this quietly in the background, just getting on and doing what needs to be done. Each and every one of them deserves to feel the support of the rest of the nation, so please try to think of them while we applaud our brilliant NHS this evening.


  • Communities: Thank you to those who have already signed up to the Tribe – Volunteer app to volunteer to help someone in need in the community. We will be touch when we have matched you to the right person. The telephone number for those in genuine need of help is freephone 0800 876 6926 and will be staffed from 09:00 to 17:00, seven days a week.



Useful Websites (any new guidance is in RED)

The existing guidance is being updated extremely regularly (and in some cases daily) so please check any guidance relevant to your area to ensure that you are accessing the most up to date version. I will only be able to highlight new published and some other key published guidance in this bulletin.



Who For



COVID-19: hotel accommodation to support key workers and vulnerable people


Hotel Owners and B&B owners

Letter regarding the exemption for hotels, hostels and B&Bs to open so they can offer accommodation to key workers and support rough sleepers to keep them off the streets and in suitable accommodation.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on business support grant funding

Small Businesses Grant Fund Claimants

This guidance sets out details of eligibility and delivery of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund


Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance

Main collection of guidance for anyone in any setting
– for non-clinical settings
– for health professionals

Added guidance for food businesses.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel advice for educational settings


Advice for educational settings, and their students and staff, who are travelling or planning to travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Updated information for overseas trips currently taking place for under 18s, students and staff considering travelling over


COVID-19: guidance for educational settings

Guidance for schools and other educational settings in providing advice about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

Added Guidance Poster


Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on vulnerable children and young people

Provisions being made for vulnerable children and young people.

Updated guidance to include additional information on children with education health and care (EHC) plans and children in alternative provision (AP) settings


Business rates: expanded retail discount – guidance

local authorities

Guidance updated so that certain properties previously excluded from the relief, but that have been forced to close as a result of coronavirus restrictions, will now be eligible for the relief.


NHS – COVID-19 go-to page

General Public – this is the only site we should be promoting to the public for information



GOV.UK – COVID-19 homepage

Main cover webpage for all government guidance for public & professionals alike



Full guidance on staying at home and away from others


The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.


COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable

All adults and children who should be shielded and their family, friends, and carers

Added Coronavirus (COVID-19): an easy-read guide on protecting extremely vulnerable people.


Further businesses and premises to close


Added guidance on work carried out in people’s homes and additional details to the list of businesses and premises that must remain closed.


COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection

households with possible infection

Added YouTube video.


COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses

employees, employers and businesses

Added details about protection from eviction for commercial tenants and extension of BID arrangements.

Further guidance added about commercial insurance policies in relation to COVID-19.

Added links to the business grant funding guidance, and the expanded retail discount guidance for local authorities.

Guidance added for local authorities on administering Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for schools and other educational settings

staff, parents and carers, pupils and students.

Added ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings’.

Added ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): early years and childcare closures’.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for UK businesses

UK businesses trading internationally

Updates to guidance, including the business support helpline.


Mental health support and advice from:

General public, staff and carers

Living life to the full for Suffolk has now got special Covid modules for young people, parents, health professionals and adults


NHS Practitioner service has support for dentists, pharmacists, health care workers, and doctors


PHE Health Matters

Post on General FAQs that include a section to submit questions at the bottom of the page.



PHE Campaign Resource Centre

Range of comms resources that can be used



Chronic disease self- care during COVID-19:

General public



COVID-19: ethical framework for adult social care

adult social care



COVID-19: cleaning of non-healthcare settings

non-healthcare settings



Coronavirus (COVID-19): hospital discharge service requirements

health and care systems and providers



Coronavirus (COVID-19): immigration guidance

for individuals affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus



Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for local government

Local councils



Travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19)

General public travelling and living overseas



Coronavirus (COVID-19): scientific evidence supporting the UK government response




COVID-19 essential travel guidance




COVID-19: guidance on social distancing and for vulnerable people





Global – WHO Situation Report

  • WHO RISK ASSESSMENT (Global Level) – Very High
  • WHO Corvid-19 Dashboard for professionals using near real time data.
  • The number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 400,000 globally.

Situation in Numbers WHO SitRep 65, 25 Mar  (new since last 24hrs)





414 179 confirmed (40 712)

18 440 deaths (2202)

Western Pacific Region

97 766 confirmed (1186)

3518 deaths (16)

European Region

220 516 confirmed (25 007)

11 986 deaths (1797)

South-East Asia

2344 confirmed (354)  

72 deaths (7)

Eastern Mediterranean Region

29 631 confirmed (2416)   

2008 deaths (131)

Regions of the Americas

60 834 confirmed (11 390)    

813 deaths (248)

African Region

1664 confirmed (359)     

29 deaths (3)