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Agenda item

COVID 19 Update

Minutes:

The Chief Executive, Linzi Roberts-Egan was present for discussion of this item and outlined the report

 

During discussion the following main points were made –

 

·         It was felt that the efforts of staff, Members and residents had contributed to a low rate of infection of COVID 19 in the borough

·         The sickness of staff had peaked at 25%, and that this enabled the Council to maintain front line services. Staff sickness had returned to near normal levels

·         There had been a significant increase in residents claiming Universal Credit, and that this is impacting on residents

·         A Member enquired whether any additional measures had been put in place to address concerns around COVID 19, and BAME staff returning to work, including partner organisations. It was stated that 60/70% of staff were currently working from home, and where staff can work from home they can continue to do so at present. Front line staff have individual risk assessments before returning to work, and in one instance all staff in one area were BAME, and had underlying health conditions, however staff were redeployed to cover in this instance

·         It was noted that a review date for staff returning to work had been set for 31 August, however work is still being undertaken to buildings/office accommodation to ensure staff are safe when returning to work. In addition, adaptations have been made to customer contact points with the addition of Perspex screens, and these adaptations are continuing to be developed

·         It was stated that each department has a Trade Union based meeting, and issues are discussed on a ‘case by case’ basis. The recent staff survey showed that the majority of staff, around 80%, felt that the Council were listening, and were supporting them during COVID 19

·         In response to a question, it was stated that the Council were communicating with Partner organisations, and also with businesses in the borough. It was pleasing to note that the ‘R’ number in Islington was the lowest rate in London, at present

·         The Council needed to be prepared for a second wave of COVID 19. It was stated that modelling is taking place with NCL, and some of the Pillar 2 data that is essential to monitor community transmission is starting to be supplied, and it was stated that this information could be supplied to Members

·         A Member referred to the fact that some parks in the borough had not reopened, and enquired the reasons for this. It was stated that work is taking place, in order to reopen play facilities and parks, however many had closed, due to the need to ensure play facilities were not used. A plan to reopen should be available in the next few days, and this could be circulated to Members

·         In response to a question, it was stated that work is taking place with other London Boroughs, who have had higher transmission rates of COVID 19, to learn from best practice and offer information. Members congratulated officers on the efforts that had been made to keep infection levels low in Islington, given that Islington was in a high density population area

·         In response to a question from a member of the Public, it was stated that information would be provided to him following the meeting, as to whether the Council would be provided with full disaggregated test result data for Islington, broken down to case contact details by the Government. This would enable any future outbreaks to be effectively traced and managed

·         Members were informed that the Leader was of the view that data sharing should take place with Members and residents

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)  That the member of the Public be provided with the information requested above, in relation to disaggregated test data

(b)  That the Pillar 2 information, relating to community transmission/disaggregated data, referred to above be provided to Members, once this is available

(c)   That the information on reopening of parks and play facilities be provided to Members once this is available

 

 

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