Suffolk County Council – COVID-19 Daily bulletin – 20th May

Current UK Risk Level: HIGH

The risk to the UK remains high (as of 13/03/2020).

As of week commencing 11/05/2020, we’re moving into Phase two (Smarter controls) of the Government’s recovery strategy. As per PM’s 11 May message, the country is in the process of moving from Level 4 to Level 3 by the new COVID Alert System and taking the first step in relaxing lockdown measures – According to the PM’s statement “Thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of the British people in this lockdown, we have helped to bring the R level down and we are now in a position to begin moving to Level 3, in steps”.


Please note the Government’s messaging is now  ‘stay alert, control the virus, save lives’ (previously ‘stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives’)



Current UK Situation

  • As of 9am on 19 May, 248,818 people have tested positive. As of 5pm on 18 May, of those tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, 35,341 have died. You can view the latest UK dashboard and cases by local authority here. Confirmed cases in Suffolk are broken down by Districts & Boroughs as follows:




236.3 per 100,000 resident

East Suffolk


221.6 per 100,000 resident

Mid Suffolk


161.0 per 100,000 resident



148.8 per 100,000 resident

West Suffolk


110.7 per 100,000 resident



181.1 per 100,000 resident

  • Environment Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 19 May 2020 – transcript here
    • Every year large numbers of people come from countries such as Romania and Bulgaria to take part in the harvest, harvesting crops such as strawberries, and salads and vegetables. We estimate that probably only about a third of the people that would normally come are already here and small numbers may continue to travel. But one thing is clear and that is that this year we will need to rely on British workers to lend a hand to help bring that harvest home.
    • We have launched a new ‘Pick for Britain’ website that enables people to go online, check what job availability there is and to marry up job opportunities from growers and employers with those people seeking a second job, particularly those that are furloughed.
    • Archive of slides, datasets and transcripts to accompany coronavirus press conferences available here.
  • Expansion to the Coronavirus testing programme eligibility (18 May letter) – Ahead of rolling out the  test and trace service, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announces the expansion of testing eligibility. People can register for a test at , after checking their symptoms. Arrangements for essential workers are prioritised and booking is through
  • £40m boost for cutting-edge start-ups – Projects to benefit from the funding include virtual reality training platforms for surgeons, virtual farmers’ markets and other innovations borne out of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Children’s Commissioner: We don’t need no education? The thorny issue of whether children should go back to school – Presents the arguments and limits of scientific evidence in the debate whether schools should reopen. Concludes that schools will have to reopen before a vaccine is developed and, therefore, we have to recognise that there is no failsafe options. The overall costs of keeping schools closed will eventually outweigh the benefits, if they have not done so already, and the pros and cons will vary for each child.
  • WHO: Considerations for school-related public health measures in the context of COVID-19 – Some of the recommendations are: educate everyone in the school about COVID-19 prevention with weekly updates; creating a schedule for frequent hand hygiene and school cleaning;  considering daily screening for body temperature, and history of fever or feeling feverish in the previous 24 hours, on entry into the building for all staff, students and visitors to identify persons who are sick.
  • NHS expands offer of help to people with diabetes during coronavirus outbreak – People living with diabetes face a significantly higher risk of dying with COVID-19, according to new NHS research. The health service in England has called on people with diabetes to access help available to them, including a new dedicated helpline and online tools to help manage the condition during the outbreak.
  • Sweden’s Covid-19 strategy has caused an ‘amplification of the epidemic’ – France 24, the international news channel, reports that Sweden is famously one of the few countries to have opted against a lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. But given that the country has a much higher death toll per million than its Nordic neighbours, many observers have suggested that the Swedish approach has failed.
  • BBC: Growing list of councils in England have advised the primary schools they govern not to reopen at the beginning of next month.
  • BBC: The Institute of Cancer Research is warning the NHS must ensure cancer surgery delays do not cost more lives than the number of Covid-19 patients saved
  • BBC: Global picture
    • The  pandemic appears to be rapidly gaining pace in Brazil after the country recorded its highest daily death toll yet. Brazil is deeply divided over how to respond to coronavirus, with controversial President, Jair Bolsonaro, repeatedly downplaying its severity and arguing against lockdowns imposed by regional governors.
    • President Donald Trump has argued it’s “a badge of honour” that the US has the world’s highest number of confirmed Covid-19 infections because “it means our testing is much better”.
    • Hundreds of thousands of high school seniors are returning to class in South Korea with strict hygiene controls.
    • Africa has had fewer than 100,000 confirmed cases so far, but is the virus really contained or simply going unrecorded?
    • The World Bank warns up to 60m people will be pushed into extreme poverty by the pandemic


Re-opening of schools statement: Cllr Mary Evans, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills, has issued the following statement regarding the re-opening of schools in Suffolk.

“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown many schools, early years settings and colleges across Suffolk have been open for the children of key workers and vulnerable families. We owe them a huge thank you for all they have done during these unprecedented times to educate and look after children throughout the county. Alongside remaining open, school and college leaders and their staff have worked hard to set up, from scratch, remote home learning for children during lockdown.

Suffolk County Council officers have been working very closely with leaders from the early years sector, schools and colleges throughout lockdown to support them in rising to the challenges posed by this crisis. Our collaborative approach continues as together we work with primary sector leaders across Suffolk to support their plans to open for more children from 1 June, based on the Government’s ambition.

This has included working with school leaders to develop guidance on major issues such as risk assessment, which is  being shared with all schools later this week. We are also helping them produce guidance for parents. I will be sending out a briefing to all my county councillor colleagues this week.

This is a very complex situation and for all of us involved in the discussions, the fundamental priority has been the safety of the children and the staff. SCC officers have been talking with the local representatives of the unions as well as with officials from the Department of Education. For all of us at the county council it has been incredibly important to listen to the concerns of school leaders to enable us to understand how best to support them. We, of course, understand the anxieties of parents and staff which is why we are working so closely with primary school heads and the leaders of early years settings to help them prepare for a phase return of more children.

The decision to welcome more children back will be based on robust risk assessment around pupil and staff safety in order to fulfil the Governments wider school attendance ambitions.

Social Care Staff Support Line: If health and social care workers in Suffolk need to talk they can call the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust support line on 0300 123 1335. The line is open daily 2 – 5 p.m. For more information click here


Future Fund: Applications for the Future Fund open today. The fund will provide Government loans from £125,000 to £5m to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak. For more information click here


Recycling centre road closure update: The booking system at Foxhall & Bury St Edmunds recycling centres are working safely, therefore the road closures were removed yesterday. The closure along Sir Alf Ramsey Way, Ipswich remains in place until further notice.


Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme details confirmed HMRC has announced that the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will launch online on Tuesday 26 May. HMRC has published online guidance which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep. Click here for more information.  


UK government business support helpline has changed: The Business Support Helpline number has changed to freephone 0800 998 1098. The helpline provides free, impartial business support and signposting services to businesses in England – which currently includes advice on the Coronavirus outbreak. An automatic divert is in place should anyone dial the old number.



Useful Websites (any new guidance is in RED)

The existing guidance is being updated extremely regularly so please check any guidance relevant to your area to ensure that you are accessing the most up to date version. We are not including in this table all the published material but some of the key guidance that would be relevant to Suffolk County Council and our partners




Who For



How to wear and make a cloth face covering


Please note face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 2 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. For example, primary age children unassisted, or those with respiratory conditions.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for care homes

care homes

Attached the template for local authorities to return by 29 May as part of local care home support planning.


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

staff, parents and carers, pupils and students.

Updated with information on training and assessing apprentices in line with the government’s new safer working guidelines, calculating wages for furloughed apprentices, off-the-job training, and redundant apprentices.


NHS – COVID-19 go-to page

General Public



GOV.UK – COVID-19 homepage

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



Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance

Main collection of guidance for anyone in any setting

Guidance includes:
– Guidance for the public (incl. social distancing and shielding)
– Guidance for non-clinical settings (incl. cleaning, educational settings, employees, employers, businesses, residential care, supported living and home care)
– Guidance for health professionals
– Infection prevention and control (incl. PPE)
– Sampling and diagnostics


Staying alert and safe (social distancing)


This has replaced previous guidance ‘Staying at home and away from others (social distancing)’


Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do




Mental health support and advice from:

General public, staff and carers



Chronic disease self- care during COVID-19:

General public



European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) COVID-19 homepage






Local Resources:

Below are any local resources that would be relevant to Suffolk County Council and our partners.  




Who For



New Anglia: Employment Opportunities in Key Sectors in Norfolk and Suffolk  

Individuals and Businesses wanting to know what employment opportunities are available in some of our key sectors

The New Anglia LEP – alongside other partners including local authorities – have pulled together lists and links to key employment roles needed now as part of the response to the current crisis.


Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership


The website aims to help everyone understand the signs of neglect or abuse and what to do if they are worried about a child or an adult.



Businesses needing support


A one stop shop source of information for government support and guidance available to  businesses including 121 business advice sources of business grants and loans.


Healthy Suffolk: COVID-19 Emotional Wellbeing, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Information Hub


This page contains links to a wealth of resources and support for your health and wellbeing.


Suffolk County Council: Coronavirus information


Suffolk County Council coronavirus (COVID-19) information, including health advice, service changes, business support and schools guidance.


Keep Moving Suffolk


The website contains free resources, ideas, tips, useful links and positive stories to encourage people to stay active during these unprecedented times.  The website and our social channels will be constantly updated.



Global: WHO Situation Report – reports available here

  • WHO RISK ASSESSMENT (Global Level) – Very High
  • WHO Covid-19 Dashboard for professionals using near real time data.
  • GOARN COVID-19 Knowledge hub – central repository of quality public health information, guidance, tools and webinars which can be accessed freely at any point.


Situation in Numbers WHO SitRep 120, 19 May