Dear residents and partners,
As the weather remains pleasant it might be tempting to spend more time outside or to arrange to meet friends and family. We wish to remind you of the social distancing rules and stress the importance of adhering to them.
You should only leave the house for very limited purposes:
- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
- one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
- any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home
There is full guidance and information available for staying at home. Thank you for your continued cooperation and support.
County Council’s response to COVID-19 discussed
Cabinet met virtually on Wednesday this week to receive a formal update on our response to COVID-19 and the impact it is having on the county council’s financial position.
They heard that following the Government’s official lock-down the council, in partnership with district and borough councils, launched community hubs across the county to make sure those people who are vulnerable, or have been made vulnerable by COVID-19, get the support, supplies and help they need.
Social care staff across the council have been working in hospitals and people’s homes supporting residents with social care and health needs.
The Cabinet also heard an update on the financial position of the council and the affect that COVID-19 is having on that. You can listen back to a recording of the Cabinet discussion, where the agenda item starts at 2 hours and 14 minutes. Our press release is available to read here.
Library service update
Great to see that 963 people have joined our online library since we closed our buildings on 17 March.
We have added 1,300 extra ebooks and 450 eAudio titles and are now issuing about four times the number of these. Around 32,000 newspapers and magazines are being downloaded each week too!
Last week there were 2,500 views of the Ancestry page, which is linked to the free public version, and we have had over 50 compliments about this service.
We have been offering telephone support for library customers who want to use the ebook and audio but have never tried before – got some lovely comments about that too.
An additional 25 library staff have now been trained to accept and receive calls in the Community Hub and library delivery drivers have delivered emergency food parcels across the county. Join the online library service.
The majority of West Sussex schools have remained open to provide care for children of critical workers, those with Education, Health and Care Plans and those children deemed vulnerable who cannot be safely looked after at home. The provision of this care continued throughout the Easter Holidays and some schools even remained open on Good Friday and Easter Monday, to ensure parents and carers could continue working, supporting the COVID-19 response.
In addition, our schools are continuing to provide packages of education, support and activities to families to ensure children are keeping in touch with their learning and also engaging in some really positive and interesting activities. We are immensely proud of staff in all of our schools and the local authority teams who are continuing to keep children at the heart of everything they do and work with families and carers to ensure children are safe and supported.