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Agenda item

COVID 19 Update

Minutes:

Councillor Sue Lukes, Executive Member Community Safety and Pandemic Response and Linzi Roberts – Egan, Chief Executive were present, outlined the report and responded to questions

 

During consideration of the report the following main points were made –

 

·         The roadmap out of the current lockdown has now been outlined, and GOLD are ready to respond to the relaxation of restrictions. The Borough Emergency Control Centre continues to maintain a 24 hour, 7 days a week contingency and response service capability

·         Infection rates have declined, and the cumulative number of deaths since March 2020 had reached 319 by 5 February

·         We are Islington have assisted over 16300 residents, including helping over 4000 to access food and other support has been made available

·         A new risk model has been implemented to help clinicians identify adults with multiple risk factors for priority for vaccinations and this involves 6000 residents

·         Noted that officers from across the Council are continuing to work closely with local health and social care partners, NCL colleagues, and local communities, to support the roll out of the COVID 19 vaccination programme

·         Vaccination hesitancy is a problem, and a challenge, and the communications team has worked with health professionals, faith leaders, VCS partners, Councillors and Council staff to encourage take up

·         The resident support group has continued to help residents with the unprecedented challenges presented by COCVID 19

·         Staffing – since the beginning of February the percentage of staff working from home has been approximately 54%. The percentage of staff reported as unable to work has remained at around 13%. Building and individual risk assessments remain in place

·         In response to a question about measures being put in place for children returning to schools, and a possible consequent rise in cases it was stated that whilst testing should take place twice a week permission rates for parents for children to be tested were only currently around 20%. The Government has stated that it would be mandatory for children to attend school whether they were being tested or not

·         Noted that the Easter school break was only 4 weeks after children return to school,and that this could act as a ‘firebreak’ if infections started to rise, and that Public Health advice was available to schools

·         In response to a question it was stated that the lack of support for testing from parents was due to a number of factors, such as self – isolation requirements and loss of pay, lack of information etc.

·         Discussion took place as to vaccination reticence, and it was stated that some groups were not taking up vaccinations, and in many cases these were similar groups who do not take up other vaccinations. These groups need to be encouraged to take the vaccine, and work was taking place to identify places where residents felt comfortable in attending and were local to them, and work is also taking place with community groups to encourage uptake

·         In response to a question as to the GLA and local elections, it was stated that these were now taking place, and that a great deal of work is taking place to ensure that these are organised in a COVID secure way. Cross London work is taking place in relation to the GLA elections, and a staggered count is envisaged at Alexandra Palace. The Electoral Registration team is working to identify suitable polling stations and extra staff were being employed on standby. 222 Upper Street was being made available for postal vote counting. Additional cleaning was also being planned for Polling stations, and details would be provided in the Members briefing on election planning

·         Reference was made to the unacceptable discarding of PPE in streets, and that this was a concern for Public safety and for cleansing operatives. It was stated that Public Health advice was available to staff as PPE could contain contaminated waste. The Chief Executive stated that she would discuss the situation with Communications to ensure that an effective message is delivered to residents on disposal of PPE

·         Noted that if a resident was offered an appointment for the vaccine and could not take this up, they could contact 119 to rearrange this or contact We are Islington who could rearrange and even organise transport if there were problems with this

·         Discussion took place with regard to vaccinations for carers, and that there is a lot of information on carers being vaccinated, and there had been an improvement in take up. The situation with regard to private carers was more complex, and also for residents who have direct payments for carers, as often these carers were not known to the Council. However work is being done to encourage vaccinations, and residents/carers should contact their GP to notify them of formal/informal carers in order to arrange vaccinations

·         In response to a question it was stated that information was available from care agencies as to which staff have been vaccinated

 

 

 

 

 

                        The Chair thanked Councillor Lukes and Linzi Roberts – Egan for

                   their attendance

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