Suffolk County Council – Covid-19 Briefing – 18th May 2020

Current UK Risk Level: HIGH

The risk to the UK remains high (as of 13/03/2020).

As of week commencing 11/05/2020, we’re moving into Phase two (Smarter controls) of the Government’s recovery strategy. The country is also moving from Level 4 to Level 3 by the new COVID Alert System and taking the first step in relaxing lockdown measures.


Please note the Government’s messaging has changed from ‘stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives’ to ‘stay alert, control the virus, save lives’



Current UK Situation

  • As of 9am on 17 May, 1,818,712 people have been tested, of which 243,695 tested positive. As of 5pm on 16 May, of those tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, 34,636 have died. You can view the latest UK dashboard and cases by local authority here. Confirmed cases in Suffolk are broken down by Districts & Boroughs as follows:




234.1 per 100,000 resident

East Suffolk


218.7per 100,000 resident

Mid Suffolk


157.1per 100,000 resident



146.6 per 100,000 resident

West Suffolk


109.0 per 100,000 resident



178.6 per 100,000 resident

  • Government’s Daily Press Conference: 17 May – transcript here.
    • Recap of previous week’s key announcements and update on the Vaccine Taskforce.
    • The first clinical trial of the Oxford vaccine is progressing well, with all Phase 1 participants having received their vaccine dose on schedule earlier this week. Imperial College are also making good progress, and will be looking to move into clinical trials by mid-June.
    • Press conference slides with the latest data from COBR coronavirus fact file (transport use, new cases, hospital admissions, deaths) and datasets available here.
    • View past press conferences on YouTube
  • Education Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 16 May – transcript here.
    • If the rates of infection are decreasing, it will give us a green light to get children back into childcare and more of them back into school from 1 June. Those in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 will be allowed back into school in smaller class sizes. We are also planning to get some secondary school students back – those in years 10 and 12 – to make sure they have the opportunity to come back to school on a limited basis and have some face to face time with teachers.
    • We are prioritising these children because they stand to lose more by staying away from school. The first years of school are pivotal for children to develop social and behavioural skills and to learn the basics that are going to have a huge bearing on how well they do in their life. Students in Years 10 and 12 need support in the run up to vital exams next year
    • This phased return is in line with what other European countries are doing to get their own schools, colleges and nurseries back.
  • Answers to the most common topics asked about by the public for the coronavirus press conference – Answers on Social distancing, and seeing your family and friends, When schools are reopening, Rules for reopening businesses, and weddings.



  • Stick with it Suffolk: Suffolk residents are being asked to continue their great efforts, which are successfully reducing the spread of COVID-19. Stick With It Suffolk is a campaign launching on Monday 18 May 2020 by the Suffolk Resilience forum, highlighting what we must all continue doing, to keep each other safe and to defeat the virus. Recent data* shows that around 1 in 600 people in Suffolk have tested positive for COVID-19, which compares favourably to Norfolk, Essex and the national average. However, we are not out of the woods yet. The number is continuing to rise, although more slowly, which is why it is crucial that people keep following the instructions. Click here for more information.


  • Keep Moving Suffolk: Keep Moving Suffolk are raising awareness of Mental Health Awareness Week during this challenging time. Many studies have shown that increasing how much you move each day can improve your mental health. For more information and lots of ways to keep active during this difficult time visit;


  • Local Job Vacancies: Health and social care providers are looking to recruit people so they can continue to provide their essential services during this difficult time.  Farms, food production businesses and supermarkets are also looking for workers so they can continue operating during the pandemic. The New Anglia LEP have a list of employment opportunities on their website;


  • Guidance for returning to work: With government guidance now stating that, for some sectors, those who cannot work from home should return to work, Citizens Advice has outlined the top six need-to-knows when it comes to your employment rights. Click here to read.


  • Fake and unlicensed Covid-19 medicines: Lynda Scammell, Senior Enforcement Advisor at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has warned the public about medicines and other medical products being sold online claiming to treat or prevent COVID-19. These include products being promoted as ‘miracle cures’, ‘divine cleansing oils’, ‘antiviral misting sprays’, herbal remedies, vitamins and unlicensed anti-viral medicines. For more information click here



Useful Websites (any new guidance is in RED)

The existing guidance is being updated extremely regularly so please check any guidance relevant to your area to ensure that you are accessing the most up to date version. We are not including in this table all the published material but some of the key guidance that would be relevant to Suffolk County Council and our partners




Who For



Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for care homes

care homes

New care homes support package backed by a £600 million adult social care infection control fund. The government has written to councils and care providers outlining the details of the support package and has provided additional advice and resources to help stop the spread of infection.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme


Collection of guidances to check if you can claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and find out how to claim.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for schools and other educational settings

staff, parents and carers, pupils and students.

Supporting vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – updated guidance to reflect wider plans for more year groups to return to education settings, stating that vulnerable children and young people remain a priority, and are expected to attend if appropriate. We have not changed the groups included in the definition of vulnerable children, but have provided further examples of what types of children might be considered to be ‘otherwise vulnerable’, at the education provider’s discretion. We have also included updated links to Public Health England advice.

Updated guidance including adding a new section clarifying the position on welcoming back all children to early years settings from 1 June, information on when childminders can reopen to more children, and what provision they can currently provide, information on testing for essential workers, and information for parents on temporary changes to the 30 hours free early education entitlements.

Providing free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak – Updated information about claiming for additional costs, providing meals or food parcels through your food provider and ordering vouchers to cover multiple weeks.

Added ‘Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care’.


Awarding qualifications in summer 2020

schools, students and parents

Added guidance for Heads of Centre, Heads of Department and teachers on objectivity in grading and ranking.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) and prisons

families and friends of those in prison

Secure video calls will be introduced to prisons and young offender institutions (YOIs) across England and Wales.


NHS – COVID-19 go-to page

General Public



GOV.UK – COVID-19 homepage

Main cover webpage for all government guidance for public & professionals alike



Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance

Main collection of guidance for anyone in any setting

Guidance includes:
– Guidance for the public (incl. social distancing and shielding)
– Guidance for non-clinical settings (incl. cleaning, educational settings, employees, employers, businesses, residential care, supported living and home care)
– Guidance for health professionals
– Infection prevention and control (incl. PPE)
– Sampling and diagnostics


Staying alert and safe (social distancing)


This has replaced previous guidance ‘Staying at home and away from others (social distancing)’


Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do




Mental health support and advice from:

General public, staff and carers



Chronic disease self- care during COVID-19:

General public



European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) COVID-19 homepage





Local Resources:

Below are any local resources that would be relevant to Suffolk County Council and our partners.  




Who For



New Anglia: Employment Opportunities in Key Sectors in Norfolk and Suffolk  

Individuals and Businesses wanting to know what employment opportunities are available in some of our key sectors

The New Anglia LEP – alongside other partners including local authorities – have pulled together lists and links to key employment roles needed now as part of the response to the current crisis.


Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership


The website aims to help everyone understand the signs of neglect or abuse and what to do if they are worried about a child or an adult.



Businesses needing support


A one stop shop source of information for government support and guidance available to  businesses including 121 business advice sources of business grants and loans.


Healthy Suffolk: COVID-19 Emotional Wellbeing, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Information Hub


This page contains links to a wealth of resources and support for your health and wellbeing.


Suffolk County Council: Coronavirus information


Suffolk County Council coronavirus (COVID-19) information, including health advice, service changes, business support and schools guidance.


Keep Moving Suffolk


The website contains free resources, ideas, tips, useful links and positive stories to encourage people to stay active during these unprecedented times.  The website and our social channels will be constantly updated.



Global: WHO Situation Report – reports available here

  • WHO RISK ASSESSMENT (Global Level) – Very High
  • WHO Covid-19 Dashboard for professionals using near real time data.
  • GOARN COVID-19 Knowledge hub – central repository of quality public health information, guidance, tools and webinars which can be accessed freely at any point.


Situation in Numbers WHO SitRep 118, 17 May