Suffolk County Council – COVID-19 Daily bulletin – 15th May

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 14 May, 1,593,902 people have been tested, of which 233,151 tested positive. As of 5pm on 13 May, of those tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, 33,614 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:




229.0 per 100,000 resident

East Suffolk


213.9 per 100,000 resident

Mid Suffolk


152.2 per 100,000 resident



146.6 per 100,000 resident

West Suffolk


106.2 per 100,000 resident



174.8 per 100,000 resident

  • Government’s Daily Press Conference: 14 May – transcript here.
    • Transport Secretary described how the time during lockdown has been used to fix and upgrade road and rail infrastructure, including plans to help the economy bounce back. For example, we opened the vital A14 upgrade 7 months ahead of schedule, which will dramatically improve access to the UK’s largest container port at Felixstowe and permanently boost the distribution of goods around the UK.
    • We’re asking the public to help ensure that the transport system does not become significantly overwhelmed by returning commuters. The guidance makes clear, that if you can’t walk or cycle but you do have access to a car, please use it, rather than travelling by public transport.
    • Now we want to keep this momentum going. If building a new hospital takes 2 weeks, why should building a new road still take as long as 20 years? We must examine why it is that bureaucratic bindweed makes British infrastructure some of the costliest and slowest in Europe to build.
    • 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
  • 70 million face masks for NHS and care workers through new industry deal – Government agrees deal with technology company Honeywell to manufacture these masks in the UK. The production line has capacity to produce up to 4.5 million masks each month and will create 450 new jobs at the Scotland production site.
  • Government grants Transport for London funding package worth £1.6 billion – This is aimed to deal will increase services to help make sure people can follow social distancing guidelines while travelling and further boost for active travel through new segregated cycle lanes and wider pavements.
  • NHS England: Identifying a clinical lead for all care homes (letter) – by 15 May (today), Clinical Commissioning Groups have been tasked to identify a named clinical lead for each CQC-registered care home in their area. This clinician will provide clinical leadership for the primary care and community health services support to the care home, and is responsible for the co-ordination of the service provision set out in the 1 May letter to the care home residents.
  • NHS England: The national flu immunisation programme 2020/21 (letter) – It is more important than ever that we have effective plans in place for the 2020/21 flu season to protect those at risk, prevent ill-health and minimise further impact on the NHS and social care. Relevant providers are asked to urgently review vaccine orders now to make sure the number of vaccines ordered meet at least national ambitions and previous uptakes rates, whichever is highest. In 2020/21 groups eligible for the NHS funded flu vaccination programme are the same as last year, although this may change if the programme is expanded.
  • NHS Roadmap To Safely Bring Back Routine (non-urgent or emergency) Operations – This is includes requiring patients to isolate themselves for 14 days and be clear of any symptoms before being admitted. Testing will also be increasingly offered to those waiting to be admitted. Those requiring a long hospital stay will be re-tested between 5 and 7 days after admission, and those who are due to be discharged to a care home will be tested up to 48 hours before they are due to leave.
  • BMJ: Interpreting a covid-19 test result – Although aimed at professionals, this article provides useful and helpful information about the accuracy of covid-19 tests          
  • BBC: Unions representing more than a million health service workers have said the NHS must put safety first when routine operations and clinics resume. They are demanding “plentiful” supplies of personal protective equipment and access to rapid testing for Covid-19. The unions also say staff who worked through the crisis should be paid overtime and a public sector pay freeze should be ruled out.
  • BBC: Teachers’ Unions demand assurances over 1 June school plan – Teachers’ unions are to meet the government’s scientific advisers later to seek assurances that it will be safe to open schools in England from June.
  • BBC: How exposed is your job? – Almost all the jobs that have a high exposure to both disease and other people are healthcare professions. Cleaners, prison officers and undertakers are among those who have relatively high exposure, but the people who might be most at risk are those who have lots of close contact with people, but aren’t used to being exposed to disease – bar staff, hairdressers and actors fall into this category, as well as taxi drivers and bricklayers.
  • BBC: How much will coronavirus cost the UK? – It could be as much as £298bn just for this financial year. To put it into context: before the crisis, the government was expecting to borrow around £55bn. At first the government will raise money by borrowing from investors. They could be individuals, companies, pension funds, or foreign governments who lend the money to the UK government by buying bonds. The Bank of England will buy some of those bonds (also known as quantitative easing). The deficit leaves the government with a choice: increase borrowing, raise taxes, or cut spending. In the end, it may well do a mixture of the three – but those decisions haven’t been taken yet.





First response mental health service: National and local evidence shows a drop in the number of people accessing mental health services during the coronavirus outbreak. It is important that Suffolk people know that help is available all day, every day. The FirstResponse service, launched by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provides immediate advice, support and signposting for people with mental health difficulties. If you are experiencing something that makes you feel unsafe, distressed or worried about your mental health you can now call the helpline on 0808 196 3494. For more information visit;


Facemasks for babies: Following on from the government’s advice that people should wear face coverings in public, Suffolk Safeguarding partnership are urging parents not to use facemasks on babies under two years old. A baby of this age has a smaller airway and breathing through a mask is harder for them. Using an infant mask can increase their risk of chocking or suffocating.


Central Government Guidance for reopening of schools: The government have produced a planning guide for primary school leaders to help prepare them to open their schools for more pupils during the coronavirus outbreak. Click here to read the guidance.


CAS Webinars:

  • Let’s Talk Volunteering: CAS are holding an online networking event for people who are managing volunteers. The event will take place on Tuesday 19 May 2020 2pm – 3pm. To sign up or for more information click here
  • Covid-19 – Making strategy work: CAS are holding a FREE webinar on Monday 18th May at 11am. Elizabeth Pearce – businesswoman, Chair of Suffolk Institute of Directors and member of Suffolk ProHelp – will share some of her experiences in building a company from £500K to £5m.


One life Suffolk: During this difficult time, OneLife Suffolk is continuing to offer FREE services from home. Please see OneLife website, for more information about how they can support families, or call 01473 718193.



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



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

all staff in educational, childcare and children’s social care settings
children, young people and other learners

Preventing and controlling infection, including the use of PPE, in education, childcare and children’s social care settings during the coronavirus outbreak. It applies to:
– children’s homes, including secure children’s homes
– residential special schools or colleges
– fostering services
– visits to family homes
– alternative provision
– early years and childcare settings
– schools, including special schools
– colleges, including specialist post-16 institutions


Coronavirus (COVID-19): charter for safe working practice

housebuilding sector

A Charter, co-produced by the government and the Home Building Federation, committing signatories to safe working whilst COVID-19 remains prevalent.


Critical workers who can access schools or educational settings

critical/key workers

Updated to reflect that children of critical workers are encouraged to attend school, and to reflect plans for wider opening of schools from 1 June, at the earliest. Updated information defining vulnerable children, in line with existing guidance, for the purpose of continued education.

This guidance is applicable to 31 May 2020 and will be reviewed before 01 June 2020.


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

staff, parents and carers, pupils and students.

Added ‘Preparing for the wider opening of schools from 1 June’ – planning guide for primary school leaders to help prepare them to open their schools for more pupils during the coronavirus outbreak.

Updated ‘Actions for FE colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak’ to provide further information to plan for wider opening, including what to consider and steps to take when planning increased attendance. Other updates include vulnerable young people, safeguarding and mental health support.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): local death management

local authorities

Added templates for local authorities.


Awarding qualifications in summer 2020

schools, students and parents

Added guidance for Centres – The awarding of vocational and technical qualifications, and other general qualifications, in summer 2020.


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 115, 14 May