Arrangements in Orkney: #COVID-19 #Coronavirus

Key Worker Childcare 

250 applications for childcare for key workers’ children and young people under the age of 16 were received: Keyworker-Application

A response had been sent to all key worker parents who submitted an application by 3pm on Saturday 21 March. Applications received after that time will be processed today, Monday.

If you submitted an application before 15:00 on Saturday and have not received a response – e:mail

No young person with coursework to complete or a ‘prelim’ style practice exam should attend school or any other education setting to do so. Scottish Government Guidance

James WylieJames Wylie, OIC’s Executive Director of Education, Leisure and Housing, said

“We have said to the parents we’ve contacted that places will be available for their children in their usual setting from Monday 23 Marchbut only as a last resort if no other childcare options are available to them.

“We want to keep the number of children in each school and nursery to the absolute minimum – because of the need for social distancing to keep children and our staff as safe and well as possible.

“This is why we are asking parents to make alternative arrangements if at all possible before taking up the offer of childcare in our schools and nurseries.”

If one parent is a key worker and the other is not, the non-key worker should normally be expected to provide childcare. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be. Scottish Government Guidance

Schools and nurseries providing care for the children of key workers will operate their usual opening hours.

School transport should be operating as normal for the children and young people included in this provision. Parents can also drop their child off and collect them in person.

If the request is for nursery provision, there will be no transport and parents will need to take their child to the setting and pick them us as usual.

The initial definition of key workers is as follows.[Scottish Government Guidance] There should be a particular focus on:

  • Key workers in posts which ensure that essential services can be delivered and cover tasks within the local community which support the vulnerable and aid community resilience. This may be slightly different in each community to allow the country to address local priorities. Whilst decisions will be taken at the local level, we would expect this to include consideration of:
  • Category 1 – Health and Care workers directly supporting COVID response, and associated staff; Health and Care workers supporting life threatening emergency work, as well as critical primary and community care provision; Energy suppliers (small numbers identified as top priority already); staff providing childcare/learning for other category 1 staff.
  • Category 2 – All other Health and Care workers, and wider public sector workers providing emergency/critical welfare services (e.g Fire, Police, Prisons, Social Workers, etc), as well as those supporting our Critical National Infrastructure, without whom serious damage to the welfare of the people of Scotland could be caused.
  • Category 3 – All workers (private, public or third sector) without whom there could be a significant impact on Scotland (but where the response to COVID-19, or the ability to perform essential tasks to keep the country running, would not be severely compromised).

Click on this link for: Coronavirus guidance for parents and families – Parent Club

Additional support for the most vulnerable

The council is putting in place arrangements to support the most vulnerable in Orkney.

John Mundell, Interim Chief Executive of Orkney Islands Council, said:

“In recognition of these extraordinary times, we are now working on what extra steps we must take to provide support to those who have now been instructed to self-isolate because of their medical condition.

“We will have more information on how to access this additional support very shortly, and individual contact will also be made with anyone who is affected.”

200,000 people in Scotland who have specific forms of cancer, severe respiratory conditions, rare diseases, have received organ transplants, are on immunosuppression therapies or who are pregnant and have congenital heart disease will be contacted and offered a range of support. 

For this group the guidance on isolation will be strict – some may need to isolate within their own homes.

So the support we will be making available through GPs and local resilience partnerships will include not just help with their conditions, access to medicine and services, but also with food and supplies.  First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon 

Care Homes

Visiting restrictions are in place.

Friends and relatives are encouraged to stay in touch with residents via phone or digital means such as video messaging, text messaging and social media where possible.

  • Anyone with a fever or a persistent cough should not visit.
  • Children under the age of 12 should not visit.
  • Visitation reduced to two one-hour sessions – one in the afternoon and one in the evening. Get in touch with your resident’s care home for visiting times.
  • Only one person to visit at a time.
  • Visitors should only visit one resident at a time.
  • Visitors should wash their hands or use hand gel when entering and leaving the building.

If a resident becomes very unwell, the Care Home will discuss lifting the restrictions on visitation with family members.

All measures are being taken to ensure that  staff members are following national guidelines.

Supported Accommodation

Any visitors to tenants in supported accommodation should not be showing any symptoms of COVID-19 and any children under the age of 12 should not visit.

It is also advised that the number of visitors are limited to reduce the prospect of a resident contracting the virus.

Before entering a property, if possible, visitors should use alcohol hand sanitiser. Also, visitors are asked not to use the tenant’s bathroom facilities.

Home Care

Service users will be called each day prior to the first visit by the Carer to see how they are feeling. If they are feeling unwell with any symptoms relating to COVID-19, Carers will still visit but will be wearing additional personal protective equipment.

Service users should contact the Homecare office at any point during the day if they start with a persistent cough and a raised temperature.

Carers are following stringent infection control guidelines to minimise any risk of cross infection.

Daycare Centres

These are now closed.  Arrangements are underway, where appropriate, for Daycare Centre Attendees to be visited by Home care staff.

See also:  “Ferries will be for those who live on our islands” : #COVID-19 #Coronavirus Update


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