Update on Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Council Leader, Councillor Bob Cook.
The Borough has been added to the Government’s coronavirus watchlist following a recent rise in cases.
This week’s Covid-19 dashboard for the area has shown that the number of cases in the Borough has gone up again.
The dashboard shows 91 cases were confirmed in Stockton-on-Tees in the week ending September 20, a rate of 46.1 cases per 100,000 population.
This is a rise from 53 cases last week at a rate of 26.9 cases per 100,000 population.
The Borough is now classed as an “area of enhanced support” and we are currently in discussions with the Government and other Tees Valley authorities about what this will entail.
Last week I urged us all to “act now” in response to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the Borough. It’s now of paramount importance we all do.
Although this isn’t a new rule in Stockton-on-Tees, the data shows that visiting other households indoors is increasing the spread of the virus so we are encouraging residents not to visit other households indoors unless they have to.
There’s also basics to remember like regular hand washing and wearing face coverings if you’re out shopping, using public transport or are in a crowded area where it is difficult to stay two metres from others.
Don’t socialise with any more than six people and keep two metres or more from anyone not in your household.
If you have symptoms, stay at home and book a test – but only book a test if you have symptoms.
In light of the worsening situation we have taken the decision to cancel any events, no matter how small, until at least the new year. Although this is unfortunate, the safety of all our residents has to come first.
However, we still plan to hold some of our events in an innovative virtual way as we did for Stockton International Riverside Festival back in August.
This will include Halloween, Remembrance Sunday and the Christmas lights switch-on.
Although we won’t be able to celebrate the events in the way we hoped, we look forward to welcoming you all online when the time comes.
We’ll have more on our upcoming virtual events soon.
£500 payment for those self-isolating
The Government is in the process of setting up a new Test and Trace Support Payment scheme for residents with low incomes who cannot work from home.
It is anticipated the scheme will come into place for people self-isolating from September 28 but we are still awaiting more information from Government.
A lump sum payment of £500 is set to be available for anyone who is employed or self-employed, cannot work from home and is receiving any of the following benefits - Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit, or Pension Credit.
This scheme is still very much in the early stages of being set up and we are carrying out work to make sure we can make the payments as soon as we receive the details from Government.
In line with the updated Government rules, a maximum of 15 people can attend a wedding or civil partnership ceremony in the Borough.
This number does not include registrars, venue staff or photographers.
Anyone attending a wedding or civil partnership ceremony is required to wear a face covering.
For updates on all coronavirus (COVID-19) related developments in Stockton-on-Tees – including health advice and disruptions to services – visit the Council’s dedicated webpage www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus