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Coronavirus – an update from West Sussex County Council

Latest COVID-19 figures

New national restrictions have been announced by the Prime Minister and are now in place.

The infection rate has increased significantly across all District and Borough areas of West Sussex.

The latest COVID-19 infection rate across West Sussex, for the seven days up to 30 December, is now up to 555.2 per 100,000. This is above the national average for England of 518.5 per 100,000.

Latest coronavirus cases for West Sussex.

National lockdown restrictions

You must stay at home and only leave for a limited number of reasons, including shopping for basic necessities, for exercise or to go to work where you cannot do so from home. Those with severe underlying health conditions will once more be required to shield.

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings, such as nurseries, remain open.

You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).

You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.

Indoor gyms and sports facilities will remain closed. Outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting ranges and riding arenas must also close.

If you think you may have any coronavirus symptoms, isolate immediately and book a test today. There is availability at your local walk or drive-through sites that may be closer than you think.

You can book a test online or by calling 119 to get an appointment to visit a test site.

Changes to our services

Some of our services will change as a result of the new lockdown restrictions.

Front line services to our most vulnerable residents will continue, including social care provision for children, young people and adults.

The county’s Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRS) remain open but in order to keep safe people should avoid travel to the sites unless waste cannot be safely stored or put out for normal kerbside collection.

West Sussex libraries are currently closed for browsing and only open for returns, collections and our select and collect service.

Ceremonies will not go ahead until national lockdown restrictions are lifted. The only ceremonies that can go ahead are in exceptional situations.

For the latest updates on our services, visit our website.

Support is available

The county council’s Community Hub will continue to offer practical help and advice in confidence by calling 033 022 27980 or by completing the online form. The Hub is open seven days a week between 8am-8pm.

Information and systems for providing free school meals for those not attending school will be coming in due course and will be communicated with schools and eligible families. Contact the Community Hub if your family needs support in the meantime.

Mental health support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling the Sussex Mental Healthline on 0800 0309 500.

Support for people at risk of harm as a result of domestic abuse is available from the WORTH Specialist Domestic Abuse Service by calling 07834 968539 or 033 022 28181, or emailing DomesticAbuseServicesCentral@westsussex.gov.uk. This service is available Monday-Friday, 9.00am-5.00pm.

Support is available to employers and the self-employed, including sole traders and limited company directors. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants, whether your business is open or closed.

Vaccination programme

The phased roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme is continuing across Sussex.

As the NHS rolls out vaccines, we’d like to remind people of 3 things:

  1. The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn, so please do not contact them beforehand.
  2. Please act on your invite when it comes.
  3. Remember Hands, Face, Space. It will save lives and help the NHS.

In Sussex, the vaccine is currently available from three ‘hospital hub’ sites and from 15 GP-led local vaccination services, covering 56 practices, with many more due to start offering the vaccine over the coming weeks.

The vaccination programme will continue to expand in Sussex over the coming weeks and months as more vaccine becomes available.

Be aware of COVID-19 vaccination scams. To protect yourself and your family members from fraud and criminals, remember the following points:

  • The NHS will never ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text to confirm you want the vaccine, and never ask for payment or for your bank details.
  • The NHS is currently not making house calls to deliver or discuss the vaccine.

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Where the victim is vulnerable, report it to Sussex Police online or by calling 101.

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