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Coronavirus – Support for people & communities – January 21, 2022
Dear Resident
This week we are pleased to bring you updates on the changes to the Covid-19 rules and guidance, the latest Covid data for Leeds, vaccination advice, business support grants and information on staying well this winter.
The most important change has been the government announcement that Plan B restrictions will be lifted in full in England from Thursday 27 January.
The Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor James Lewis has issued an important and timely reminder to people that although “we know the change in Covid restrictions will have a positive impact on many residents and businesses throughout the city. It is important to remain vigilant and to be considerate to others as our lives and ways of working re-adjust.”You can read his full comment here.

Update on Leeds and Covid-19The Covid rate is falling, although it is still high. The Leeds infection rate has decreased to 1296.6 cases per 100k, which is down 35% in a week.
There are still a relatively high number of patients in hospital with Covid. Thankfully, there are fewer people with severe illness as a consequence of Covid, but unfortunately some people continue to suffer and tragically die.It’s important to remember that the pandemic is not over. Omicron can be serious for some people and the NHS is still under significant pressure.
Whilst numbers remain high we advise you to follow safe behaviours to protect yourself and others. Remember to wash your hands, let fresh air in, wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces and continue with regular testing and self-isolation if you test positive. It’s also more important than ever to get vaccinated.Coronavirus bulletin
Changes to Covid-19 guidance
Following scientific advice that the Omicron wave is likely to have peaked, most restrictions will be lifted. Here is the revised government guidance.
Some changes have already taken place. You are no longer required to work from home and are advised to speak to your employer about returning to the office.
Secondary school pupils and college students don’t need to wear face coverings in classrooms, although they are still required in communal areas.
From next Thursday 27 January face coverings will no longer be compulsory in any public spaces although they are still recommended in crowded and enclosed spaces. Also from this date you will no longer need to show your Covid Pass at venues and events and restrictions on visiting care homes will also be eased. You will still need to self-isolate, but the government is continuing to review this.
Keep an eye out for the updated guidance.
More information on the changes will follow in next week’s update.Get jabbed
Get Vaccinated – boost your immunity!
Getting vaccinated offers the best possible protection against becoming ill. Have you had your most recent jab? Walk-in and pop-up vaccine sites in the city centre and shopping districts are proving very popular and there are lots of pop-up clinics to choose from. 
If you would like to book in advance, you can book your Covid vaccine here.
If you would prefer to visit a walk-in vaccination clinic, then all the details are can be found here .

National study for Covid-19 antivirals – PANORAMIC
People are being urged to sign up for the PANORAMIC study if they test positive for Covid-19.The PANORAMIC study has been set up to gather data on how well antiviral treatments for Covid-19 work in a highly vaccinated population before making these treatments available in the NHS.
Anyone aged over 50, or over 18 with certain underlying health conditions, can sign up to join the PANAROMIC study if they have received a positive PCR or lateral flow test and are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms that began in the last five days. You can sign up to the trial online at www.panoramictrial.org or through calling the freephone number 08081 560017.
Participants will be randomly offered either an antiviral medicine in addition to the current best care the NHS provides; or current best NHS care. Those selected to receive an antiviral medication will receive this in the post to take at home.
For more information on the trial, including the full list of eligible underlying health conditions, visit www.panoramictrial.org

Business support
Grants for businesses and charities affected by Covid-19 – still time to apply
Local businesses can apply for Covid-related support grants. This includes one-off grants of up to £6,000 for hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses (open until 28 February), and discretionary grants of £1k-15k for businesses and charities whose income is being affected by the pandemic (open until 31 January). Until 28 February, eligible taxi and private hire drivers and owners can apply for a free three-year driver licence renewal as part of a scheme announced in March last year.

Further Changes to Self Isolation from today

From today, in England, people who test postive for covid can end self-isolation after 5 full days subject to certain conditions:

  1. That you test negative on a lateral flow test on day 5 and then again – at least a full 24 hours later – on day 6
  2. And you DO NOT have a temperature.

If you meet these conditions you can end your isolation following your test on day 6.

If your tests are still showing you are positive, you must stay in isolation until you have 2 negative tests on consecutive days, or after 10 days.

If you do leave isolation early you are strongly advised to wear face coverings, limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces and generally be extra careful as there is still a small chance of remaining infectious.

Isolation graphic

Full details on https://www.gov.uk/government/news/self-isolation-for-those-with-covid-19-can-end-after-five-full-days-following-two-negative-lfd-tests

Covid – Update on testing, isolation and travel rules

From 11th January, if you get a postive result from a lateral flow test, you will not need to take a PCR test to confirm the result.

You should self-isolate immediately.

You should isolate for at least 7 days. Take further lateral flow tests on day 6 and 7 and if they are negative you can stop isolating. If the tests are still positive at this stage, continue to isolate either for 10 days or until you get a negative result 2 days in a row.

If you have symptoms you should still get a PCR test – either online at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

Lateral Flow Tests – these tests are to be used if you do not have symptoms and the advice is test regularly or when you are likely to be coming into contact with other people.

You should also take lateral flow tests if you have been in contact with someone who has covid – the advice in this situation is to test daily for 7 days.

There are a number of different lateral flow tests available so always read the instructions as they vary, videos showing how to do the tests can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-self-test-help?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_source=3390fc32-d628-450e-a579-661ce078d95e&utm_content=daily#videos-how-to-do-a-rapid-test

You can get lateral flow tests from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/regular-rapid-coronavirus-tests-if-you-do-not-have-symptoms or call 119. They can be ordered for delivery or you can get a code to collect from a pharmacy. Note there has been high demand for tests recently and so there may not be availability when you first try but more do become availble at different points in each day so keep checking.

Changes are also being made for anyone travelling into the UK. From 4am Friday, fully vaccinated adults & under 18s don’t need to take a pre-departure test before entering England. From 4am Sunday, fully vaccinated adults & over 5s must take a post-arrival lateral flow test. A PCR is needed if they test positive.

If you are travelling out of the UK you will need to check the travel rules for the country you plan to visit.

Full details for all the latest advice on https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

‘Online Elevenses’ with Caring Together – tomorrow: Thursday 6th January 2022

This Thursday 6th January is our first ‘Online Elevenses’ for 2022. It is a virtual catch up for anyone wishing to join us online? We meet once a month online to catch up from the comfort of our own homes and natter in a warm friendly space.  We would love to see you.

If yes, just message me lisa@caringtogether.org.uk or call 07436 530073 and I can send you an invite.

‘Monthly Bereavement Support Group’

Grief and the healing process following a loss, no not matter how long ago, is not something we just ‘get over’. It is different for everyone and can be an incredibly hard and deeply sorrowful experience with some days being better than others. We just learn to rebuild our life without them around the loss. It can feel like it is just there at times and can flare up out of the blue. Talking and being in a supportive space with friends, family and others for group support and understanding can help. 

At Caring Together we have a ‘Bereavement Support Group’ on the first Monday of the month for anyone who wishes to come along. This space and time is for you no matter when your loss was, be it 30 years, 10years or just last year.
A warm welcome, compassion, and a cuppa will be on offer.

Our next date is: Monday 10th January 2022 @11am Venue: Caring Together premises, 127 Woodhouse Street, Leeds LS6 2PY

“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.” William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Please just call, text 07436 530073 or email: lisa@caringtogether.org.uk if you wish to come along.

Warmly, Lisa

New Year, New Day…

Last year held some wonderful memories and at other times not. And where sadness and loss prevailed we send our deepest sympathies to you at this time. None of us know what this year will hold. Our way of connecting will likely continue to be different as we navigate the unknown. Yet as we adapt, the turning of the seasons and a New Year bring us hope as we all go on working to find our own ways for each of us to feel seen, supported and heard.

All the best for the coming year and may it be one of finding balance, a sense of peace, and contentment.

Seasonal Wishes from all at Caring Together

Our offices will be closed over the festive season from mid day Christmas Eve until Tuesday 4th January 2022, however we will still be checking in on some members on Christmas Day and periodically throughout the week. I have also added below some useful contacts where needed.

But before we sign off to take some time to recharge for ourselves we have brought together a short video of just some of the things we have been up to in the last month together. It has been a mixture of some truly sad times peppered with some fun times along the way. It does not cover everything but we hope you enjoy it and we look forward to being back again on Tuesday 4th January 2022.

Our thoughts are with you all at this time. And we thank you all for your kindness and support throughout the Year in Caring Together. Wishing you all a peaceful and safe holidays.  

Press play and turn the volume on if you wish!

Also, please see below a copy of our useful contacts for over the holidays from our recent newsletter.


Testing in the locality

If you don’t have a car, there are two walk-through testing sites for people living or working within walking distance. You can also drive to the one in Woodhouse and just park up near the testing site.

The sites are at:

The Mandela Community Centre, Chapeltown Road, Leeds LS7 3HY

Cinder Moor, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS6 2UZ

Both sites are open seven days a week from 8.00am to 6.00pm and will be throughout the holiday season. To use the walk-through testing sites, it is best to have a pre-booked appointment which can be done through the NHS website or by ringing 119.