11 - 15 January
I hope you and your families are keeping well.
Regrettably, we continue to see a significant rise in COVID-19 cases across Hounslow and London. Unfortunately, we have also seen a record number of deaths in the borough in January. The total number of deaths from the virus now stands at 379 since March 2020. There were 49 deaths in December 2020 and a further 70 deaths to 13 January. I urge everyone again to keep playing their part in the fight against this virus, to help keep Hounslow’s communities safe and to reduce the overwhelming impact this crisis is having on our NHS.
A video issued by our Director of Public Health, Kelly O’Neill, explains the dramatic increase in the rate of infections and the increase of deaths in the borough. The importance of sticking to the rules is even more crucial now to avoid being in an even more serious situation in the weeks ahead. Please do your bit, do the right thing and follow the rules! Take some time to watch Kelly’s video and heed her advice.
Kelly O’Neill, Director of Public Health, Hounslow Council
We are in a national lockdown. This means you are required to stay at home, only leaving your home for essential activities, or where there is a permitted reason outlined in the Government guidance. As well as following the national rules, it’s really important that we all continue with the three basic steps which help stop the spread of coronavirus; wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering, and keep space.
As I mentioned last week, in Hounslow we are rolling out rapid testing facilities for members of the community who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. 1,056 Hounslow residents had Lateral Flow rapid COVID-19 tests during the first week of the new testing service at Hounslow House and Heston Library. From next week, new sites will open at Wellington Day Centre (from Monday 18 January onwards) and Isleworth Library (from Tuesday 19 January onwards). You can book a free rapid test online via the Council’s website www.hounslow.gov.uk/rapidtest or by phone on 0207 084 9697.
Those who do have COVID-19 symptoms, such as a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, a change to, or loss of, smell or taste, should self-isolate and book a ‘PCR test’. You can book an appointment or order a home testing kit via the government’s website www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, the NHS COVID-19 app or by calling 119.
It’s promising to see vaccine programmes being rolled out, with the most vulnerable groups being vaccinated to give them the best protection from COVID-19. As more places become available, the NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the vaccine. It's important not to contact the NHS for vaccination before then. You will be contacted by your GP practice.
If you would like to help in Hounslow with the vaccination programme, you can apply to be a volunteer COVID-19 Vaccination Marshall. You will receive training on site by a member of NHS staff and receive a lateral flow test to check for symptoms of COVID-19 before any shift. There are currently opportunities in Chiswick, Hounslow, Isleworth and Feltham. If you would like to find out more about the role and how to apply please visit: COVID-19 Vaccination Hub Marshall for NHS Hounslow CCG. The scheme is managed by Ealing and Hounslow Community Voluntary Service, and funded by Hounslow Council, Ealing Council and other partners.
While this is a very worrying time for many residents and families, I would like to assure you the Council is here to support those who may need extra help. The Hounslow Community Hub is operating to support residents throughout lockdown and beyond. If you or someone you know needs help and support, please contact the Hub on 020 7084 9697 or at Hub@hounslow.gov.uk
Residents who meet the eligibility criteria and those who have no recourse to public funds can apply for the Emergency Grant for food and essential supplies. Please read more on the Council’s website to check if you can apply: Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant.
There is also support available from local food banks who can help with food supplies. You can find the details of those who are listed on the Council’s website and how to contact them here: Emergency food support.
I would also like to remind our businesses of the financial support available for those impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Please read more on the council’s website for Grant support for businesses impacted by COVID 19 restrictions to check which grants you are eligible for and how to apply.
Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued effort to help ensure residents and communities in Hounslow are being supported and protected throughout the pandemic. From council staff, emergency services staff, volunteers and community groups, supermarkets, transport and delivery drivers, to the many unsung heroes who have kept us going through these most unimaginable times. A huge thank you to everyone for all their hard work, commitment and dedication for the benefit of others.
There’s lots of information on the Council’s website if you want to help, whether by volunteering, donating or as a business you would like to join the effort. Find out more if you Want to help?
Together we will be stronger for it #1Hounslow.
Before I sign off for the weekend, please remember we all need to act responsibly, think of others and play our part to keep ourselves and the most vulnerable safe. Know the rules of the National Lockdown.
Please stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.
Cllr Steve Curran