The Evesham Journal reports that hundreds more coronavirus cases in the county have been confirmed after historic Government testing was made public for the first time.
An extra 886 confirmed coronavirus cases have been added to the figures for Worcestershire pushing the total number up to 2,334 as of July 2 - which paints the most accurate picture yet of the state of the coronavirus in the county.
The huge increase does not mean there has been a sudden surge in cases but that new data on testing outside of hospitals has now been made public for local areas and will be added to daily figures. The number of confirmed cases in Worcestershire now includes results from historic ‘pillar 2’ data which shows tests carried out in the community through home testing kits and swabs and drive-thru test centres.
Previously figures only showed ‘pillar 1’ testing which came solely from tests carried out by Public Health England (PHE) and NHS hospitals.
The total number of confirmed cases just based on ‘pillar 1’ data showed 1,448 cases in Worcestershire on July 1 which was 886 more than previously reported.
A breakdown of the figures shows there has been 406 confirmed cases in Wychavon as opposed to the 266 previously reported on July 1 when only the number of positive cases found through 'pillar 1' testing were used.
The new figures show there has been 220 cases in Malvern Hills and 392 confirmed cases in Worcester city. The most confirmed cases in the county were in Bromsgrove where 521 have been confirmed. A total of 388 cases have been confirmed in Redditch and 407 cases have been confirmed in Wyre Forest.
Data from Public Health England still shows that the numbers of new cases reported on a daily basis are generally falling.
The Government was criticised earlier this week for not making public ‘pillar 2’ data which shows the wider picture for infection rates in local areas. The effect of ‘pillar 2’ data was shown in Leicester this week, which has reverted back to stricter lockdown measure after seeing a huge spike in cases, where the two sets of data painted a very different picture.
According to publicly available ‘pillar 1’ data, 80 new cases were recorded in Leicester in the last two weeks of June compared to ‘pillar 2’ data, which had not been made available until late on Thursday (2nd July), which actually showed 944 new cases.
As a consequence, the section reporting numbers of cases published previously on this website has now been removed.
People are being warned to be wary of scammers pretending to be from the NHS as coronavirus contact tracing launches in the UK. It’s feared fraudsters will pretend to be from NHS contact tracing services to con people into handing over personal details. Contact tracing works by asking people who have tested positive for the virus to share the details of others who they have been in contact with who could have caught it from them. This is exactly the kind of information fraudsters want and need in order to trick people out of their money, making the service an ideal target. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said the public has sent it 600,000 scam emails since the start of the pandemic, all trying to use confusion and worry around the outbreak to their advantage.
The following file, courtesy of Which? Magazine, contains useful information explaining how the NHS Track and Trace works and gives advice on how to spot a scam call:
From Saturday 4th July, the Prime Minister has announced that pubs, restaurants and hairdressers in England will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines.
From the same date, he has set out that two households will be able to meet up in any setting with social distancing measures, and that people can now enjoy staycations in England with the reopening of accommodation sites.
In order to begin restoring the arts and cultural sector, some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also reopen, if they can do so safely – this includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades, as well as libraries, social clubs, places of worship and community centres.
Following a review, the Prime Minister has also set out that where it is not possible to stay two metres apart, guidance will allow people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’. This means staying one metre apart, plus mitigations which reduce the risk of transmission.
As we begin to reopen the economy, it’s important that we do not increase the risk of transmission which is why “close proximity” venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools, water parks, bowling alleys and spas will need to remain closed for now. The Government is continuing to work with these sectors to establish taskforces to help them to become COVID Secure and reopen as soon as possible.
While the infection rate continues to fall, the Prime Minister has been clear that the public must continue to follow social distancing guidelines to keep coronavirus under control. The Government will keep all measures under constant review and will not hesitate to apply the handbrake, or reverse measures, should the virus begin to run out of control.
The basic advice still applies:
Stay at home as much as possible
Work from home if you can
Limit contact with other people
Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
Wash your hands regularly
Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
You can read full details of all of the latest guidelines at:
The Worcestershire Acute Intensive Care department announced via Twitter that there is now no covid-19 on its intensive care units.
The tweet said: "Who knows what the future holds, but for the moment we don't have Covid19 on our intensive care units for the first time in nearly 100 days."
Earlier this month, the unit announced its consultants were standing down their emergency shift rota and returning to more normal work patterns.
Asda and Aldi have urged shoppers not to touch products - unless they intend to buy them. The rule is one of the latest measures being launched in supermarkets across the country, to protect customers and staff with use of the government’s social distancing guidelines.
Morrisons have announced that for the next 12 weeks starting on Friday 17th April, NHS staff showing their official ID badge at the till will receive a 10% discount on their shopping.
MORRISONS has created a new dedicated telesales shopping service to help vulnerable and elderly people get the groceries they need.
It is one of a number of new measures introduced to make sure no customer gets left behind in the coronavirus pandemic.
Morrisons has received many calls from customers who are self-isolating, elderly, vulnerable and not able to visit a shop.
Some have little food in their cupboards and are worried about how they will stock up when demand for home deliveries has been high. Some have never used online ordering.
These customers will be able to place orders with Morrisons over the phone and the delivery will be made the following day by a store colleague from their local store, often the store’s Community Champion, who is employed to help those in need locally.
Over the phone, these people can:
Morrisons has invested in a van for every one of its 494 stores so that colleagues can drop the shopping off on a customer’s doorstep.
Customers who wish to place an order should phone 0345 611 6111 and select option five.
David Potts, Morrisons Chief Executive said: "We are playing our full part in feeding the nation and ensuring those that are most in need can receive a delivery from a familiar face at Morrisons. This new telephone service will ensure that more people who can’t leave their home to go shopping will be able to get a delivery.”
The Morrisons Community Champions will also identify customers who need support and offering it with a postcard through their door.
Customers will be able to ring them directly if they need their shopping delivered.
Those vulnerable and elderly customers who do come to stores will also be offered a helping hand from colleagues wearing ‘love to help’ t-shirts.
Morrisons is already helping elderly and vulnerable people by expanding its home delivery service and making more slots available to customers both through Morrisons.com and the Morrisons Store on Amazon Prime Now.
It is also rolling out food boxes and has partnered up with Deliveroo to allow customers to order from a range of essentials delivered to their door by a Deliveroo rider on the same day.
The latest Wychavon e-News bulletins, available to download from the dedicated page in the "News" section of the website, contain advice for businesses suffering during the Coronavirus crisis
Sport England have issued a bulletin detailing a £195M support package to help sports clubs across the country through the Coronavirus crisis. You can download the bulletin here:
Wychavon District Council is allowing people to park for free in all of its car parks as part of a range of measures designed to support people through the Coronavirus outbreak. The move has been introduced to help people while shopping for essential goods and support volunteers caring for the vulnerable.
County Councillor Liz Eyre has issued a notice advising customers with pre-payment meters what action to take in the event that they are unable to top up due to self-isolating. It also contains important information regarding customers with credit meters. You can download it here:
You can download County Councillor Liz Eyre's updates here:
4th May 2020 - Update on funding, services etc.
21st April 2020 - Update on support for businesses and also community groups and charities
9th April 2020 - Advice to keep children safe online
8th April 2020 - Here 2 Help volunteers now exceed 1000 people in the County:
8th April 2020 - Further support for business and the self employed:
4th April 2020 - Job opportunities:
29th March 2020 - Worcestershire County Council, Here 2 Help:
25th March 2020 - Advice for residents during the Coronavirus emergency:
Pershore Medical Practice has published important information regarding the ordering and delivery of prescriptions. You can download the notice in full here:
Currently Abbey Medical Practice in Evesham is processing prescriptions as usual, but asking for 72 hours notice of your needs. Once processed, prescription medication can be collected from the dispensary as normal.
Merstow Green Medical Practice are now offering home delivery to vulnerable patients for repeat prescriptions ordered 72 hours in advance of requirements. Prescriptions can also be collected from the surgery between 8:00am and 6:00pm Monday to Friday.
Riverside Surgery are asking for 5 clear working days to process new prescriptions, and offer a home delivery service. You will need to complete and return the "Delivery Consent" form if you want to take advantage of this service.
Worcestershire County Council and Wychavon District Council have produced a leaflet which includes advice on a variety of issues including help for vulnerable people during these difficult times, plus also some suggestions as to how to stay sane during the extended lockdown period including a list of useful websites. You can download the complete document here:
There is also a guide to working from home during the lockdown period which you can also download:
We are very fortunate in Charlton by having a genuine support group helping elderly and vulnerable people during these very taxing times. Details of how to contact the Charlton Covid-19 Support Group are shown in the article below.
However, a number of scams are currently doing the rounds, aimed at preying on people who are vulnerable at this time. Details of some that we have seen are shown below. Unfortunately I can't show you pictures of the actual messages as the links still work, even when photographed!!
Penalty Payments: Some people are receiving very authentic looking texts purporting to come from the Government demanding payment of a fine for leaving home too many times. The actual text reads:
"We would like to inform you that you have been recorded as leaving your home on 3 occasions yesterday. A fine of £35 has been added to your gov.uk account. For further information please visit gov.uk/coronavirus-penalty-payment-tracking Protect the NHS. Save lives"
This is a SCAM! Despite the "gov.uk" heading. If you receive a text like this, you should ignore the demand for payment and delete it from your phone
Government Payment: This message states:
"URGENT: UK GOV has issued a payment of 458GBP to all residents as part of its promise to battle COVID 19. Tap https://uk-covid-19.webdirect.org to apply"
This also a SCAM! despite the authentic looking GOV.UK heading. You will not receive any money by clicking on the link - you are more likely to lose money or download malware to your computer. You should delete this from your computer or phone
Tax Rebates: This message carries an authentic looking "GOV.UK" logo complete with a crown symbol and reads:
"Enter Your Postcode To Apply for COVID-19 Relieve"
and has a box to enter your postcode and click a green button named "Find"
Again a SCAM! Delete from your computer or phone
Council Tax Refund: This text reads as follows:
"Claim your council tax refund today due to the corona virus pandemic.Amount calculated to you 364.41 GBP visit rebatetaxes.com"
Also a SCAM! Again you are likely to lose money or download malware to your phone if you click on the link
Asda Shopping Voucher: Message offers a £500 shopping voucher in return for providing your bank details.
This is a SCAM! Never divulge your bank details to anyone you don't know.
Unfortunately the list goes on and on. If you receive any suspicious texts or emails, or if anyone that you don't know offers to buy your shopping for you, change "contaminated" money for you, do odd jobs etc. please seek urgent advice from a family member, friend or neighbour, or any member of Charlton Parish Council before taking any action that you might later regret. Never hand over your credit card or bank details to anyone that you don't know.
Microsgade VSM, a supplier of software services to a number of local councils, has published a short paper giving advice as to how to avoid being scammed. You can download it here:
M&S Bank have also published advice as to how to avoid being scammed during the Coronavirus emergency. You can download it here:
For anyone unable to get to the shops during the Coronavirus emergency, Chadbury Farm Shop, Hampton Farm Shop and Clives of Cropthorne will deliver customers' orders.
You can contact Chadbury Farm Shop on 01386 446705
Hampton Farm Shop on 01386 41540
and Clives on 01386 860439
Also, it has been reported that several local stores are allowing people aged 70+ to shop before the general public:
Tesco - Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 ~ 10:00am
Waitrose are dedicating the first hour of opening each day (8:00am ~ 9:00am Monday to Saturday) to elderly and vulnerable people and their carers.
Morrisons are changing their opening hours from Friday 20th March. NHS staff showing their official badge will be allowed exclusive access to the stores from 7:00am ~ 8:00am from Monday to Saturday. Public opening hours will then become 8:00am ~ 8:00pm Monday to Saturday, with normal opening hours unchanged on Sundays. Also, for the next 12 weeks starting on Friday 17th April, NHS staff showing their official ID badge at the till will receive a 10% discount on their shopping.
Marks and Spencer are reserving the first hour of openingat their Evesham food store i.e. from 9:00 ~ 10:00am on Mondays and Thursdays for their elderly and vulnerable customers and on Tuesdays and Fridays for NHS workers, who will need to show their official badge.
Iceland, Home Bargains and Boots will also be advising new opening options for people aged 70+
Tesco are also offering restricted opening for NHS workers on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday mornings between 9:00 ~ 10:00am. Sunday is just a browsing hour before the checkouts open at 10am. NHS workers will need to show their official badge to gain entry at these times.
We suggest that you check with individual stores before making a special journey into town.
The best advice on how to avoid catching or spreading the virus can be found on the NHS website at:
This gives good advice on the subject and also provides some further useful links at the bottom of the web page.
Some brief guidance notes:
The NHS has also issued guidance on hand washing:
Worcestershire County County Council have also issued advice on their website at: