A new test and trace system has been introduced in England (versions of this have been or are soon to be introduced across the UK).
The NHS test and trace service:
ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus, and also includes targeted asymptomatic testing of NHS and social care staff and care home residents
helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus
Please click HERE to find out about the government guidance.
If you show any symptoms of being infected with Covid19 you can get a test HERE.
Please note the NHS app that is being developed is not ready and has not yet been launched outside the trials being done.
What to do if you have a dental problem during the COVID-19 pandemic
If you have a dental issue during lockdown, it is important that you know how to access help when you need it. All high street dental and orthodontic practices can give advice, guidance and prescriptions, which you can collect from your local pharmacy.
If you are in pain or in need of support and need help or advice, please telephone your dental practice in the usual way. If you are not registered with a dentist you can go to https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-dentist or call the dental helpline:
Greater Manchester: 0333 332 3800
This may be because you have severe toothache or a dental infection, or you have noticed other changes inside your mouth such as a white orred patch, a lump or an ulcer that won’t heal. You will be assessed and given advice over the phone, which may result in a remote consultation with a dentist.
To support NHS services, it is important that you do not visit hospitals or doctors’ surgeries with dental problems.
Transport for Greater Manchester has released new travel advice.
“Coronavirus has affected all aspects of our lives, including how we travel.
This week government published a new guide to help people understand if and when they should travel – and how to do so safely during the coronavirus outbreak in England.
The guide gives advice for walking, cycling, driving and travelling on public transport.
The Government’s latest advice is that you should stay at home as much as possible, work from home if you can, stay local and only travel if it is necessary.
If you do have to travel, walk, cycle or drive if you can and continue to avoid public transport unless you have no other option – leave it for those with no alternative.
Increased walking and cycling will be essential to reduce pressure on our roads and public transport networks so please do consider this as one of your options.
If you have to use public transport, please help to keep yourself and others safe:
Wear a face covering when you travel
Keep a distance of 2 metres where possible on platforms, stops, stations and interchanges and while travelling on trams, trains and buses
Wash or sanitise your hands regularly – including before and after you travel – and carry a hand sanitiser with you if possible
Pay using contactless, apps or buy your tickets online if you can
Please be aware that a face covering is not the same as a surgical mask or respirator, these should be left for health and social care staff and other key workers who need them to protect against risks in their workplace.
A cloth face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. You should wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting it on and after taking it off. Government has published an online guide on wearing and making a face covering.
Where possible people using public transport should also look to travel outside of peak times in the morning and evening and leave extra time for journeys. Also make sure you check timetables before you travel.
The UK government has released new guidance on its proposed “recovery strategy” described as a “roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis”. The contents are listed below for reference.
The new guidance provides information on changes to the current restrictions in place since 23rd March 2020 and changes planned for the coming weeks and months.
Please note that although this is identified as guidance from the UK government it only applies in England. The devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have independent responsibility for their own approaches.
Click HERE to view the document on the government website.
The Royal College of Nursing has joined forces with the Royal College of Midwives and UNISON – collectively representing more than a million NHS and public service staff – to campaign for a moment of reflection at 11am on Tuesday 28 April.
The minute’s silence will be held on International Workers’ Memorial Day. It will allow the nation to pay respect to those whose work involved caring, saving lives, and keeping key services running and the rest of the country safe, while showing support for families who have lost a loved one.
RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said:
“We’ve become used to hearing a great roar on a Thursday night for key workers, but this respectful silence will be a poignant reminder of the risks they run to keep us safe. I hope the public gets behind this with the same affection they show when applauding our people.
“The silence is a simple show of respect for those who have paid the very highest price, but their loved ones must know the levels of gratitude we feel as a nation and take some comfort from that.”
Government advice on leaving the house for exercise have been updated for people with autism or learning difficulties. The government advice now says:
“You can leave your home for medical need. If you (or a person in your care) have a specific health condition that requires you to leave the home to maintain your health – including if that involves travel beyond your local area – then you can do so. This could, for example, include where individuals with learning disabilities or autism require specific exercise in an open space two or three times each day – ideally in line with a care plan agreed with a medical professional.
Even in such cases, in order to reduce the spread of infection and protect those exercising, travel outside of the home should be limited, as close to your local area as possible, and you should remain at least 2 metres apart from anyone who is not a member of your household or a carer at all times.”
The limit for contactless payment has been raised from £30 to £45. Please remember to check when shopping to help avoid touching keypads. If you exceed the new £45 limit you can also ask for shopping to be put through in more than one payment to ensure you stay below the limit and can use contactless payment. The increase has been rolled out over the last week so should apply in most places.
is there a threat to life (including road traffic incidents where someone is injured or the road is blocked)
does it feel like the situation could get heated or violent very soon
is there a risk of serious damage to property
is a serious offence in progress
there’s serious disruption to the public or there could be
If so, please call 999 now.If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS serviceExternal Link.
If you’re concerned about a business or venue that’s open and you don’t think it should be, please check the guidance on this first.
We’re seeking to resolve situations where people appear to be or are contravening the government advice on physical social distancing and the stay at home measures without resorting to enforcement and issuing fines.
Please only tell us about something if you feel there is a significant issue or breach which you think we need to know about.
Use the form available HERE to report any concerns about breaches of the regulations and where they are.
The government is building several new hospitals across the UK to cope with the demand placed on the NHS because of the Covid19 crisis. The Manchester “Nightingale” hospital is being contracted in the Manchester Central Convention Complex (formerly known as the G-Mex).
It has been confirmed that Prime Minister Johnson has been moved to intensive care follow his admission to hospital yesterday (Sunday 5 April 2020). The Prime Minister’s condition has since worsened with persistent symptoms of the Covid19 virus.
Johnson has asked Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary, to take over some of his responsibilities for the time being although the exact nature of how the government will operate while the Prime Minister is incapacitated is yet to be confirmed.
Levy Corona Helpers have compiled a Street Directory of coordinators for help and support.
Contact your street coordinator in the first instance if you either need or can offer assistance. If your street does not have a coordinator email set up, please email email@example.com
You can also inbox the LCH Admins on the Facebook group or if necessary, contact Carey by text on 07968 031085.
If you are hearing from people in your street and have issues arising that you are not sure how to deal with please let LCH know. All the Admins work full time, so it might be that they can’t respond immediately.
Please note Levenshulme Inspire is offering a Corona Phone Hotline for certain streets, check the list to see if it applies to your street.
If you are a member of Manchester Libraries, you can access the website or app PressReader. There are over 5000 newspaper and magazine titles from more than 100 countries, in over 60 languages for free!
All the UK newspapers are there, including the Independent, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and The Guardian.
To sign up you just need your library card and pin number. You can access PressReader on your PC or download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play.
Newsbank is another website available for free offering a digital range of regional and international English language newspapers, including The Manchester Evening News , The Guardian , The Times , The Daily Mirror , The Daily Mail , and The Daily Express .
Includes international newspapers such as The New York Times , The South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), The Times of India , The Nation (Islamabad), and The Irish Times .
How to maintain your car when not driving regularly
With the country in the middle of the coronavirus (COVID-19), you may not be able to get out and about in the car as much as you’re used to. Many will be wondering what to do with your car if you aren’t driving it on a regular basis.
What to do with your car, and how to maintain it, depends on how long you’re leaving your car idle. For example, you may be using it to top up on food and supplies or driving it if you work in an essential job or industry. But for many, you may not need or want to use your car for a lot longer, maybe even months.
Remember that even if you’re not using it, you’ll still have to insure your car unless you make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). You can only make a SORN if the car’s being kept off the road.
Here are some commonly asked questions and answers:
How long can you leave a car without starting?
How long you leave a car without starting can depend on the condition of your car’s 12-volt battery. Most modern cars with a fairly healthy battery should last at least 2 weeks, without needing to be started up to re-charge the battery. If there’s any doubt about the condition of the battery, start it once a week just to be safe.
What happens if you don’t drive a car for a long time?
Even if you haven’t driven for a while your car should be fine. If it’s been regularly started and run for 15-minute periods, the battery should work. The tyre pressures should be checked and adjusted before driving. The brakes may have some corrosion on them, especially if the car was wet when it was parked up. Drive carefully and test the brakes as soon as possible. Make sure you use your brakes for the first few miles to clean off any corrosion.
Is it bad to leave a car unused?
Cars are made to be driven but with good care it should be fine. If it’s left unused follow our guidelines.
Can I leave my car parked for a month?
Yes, but it’s best to follow these guidelines to keep the car ready to drive.
How long can a car sit before the battery dies?
As we’ve said above, there are many factors that can affect this. The age of the battery, how the car’s been used and the temperature all affect the performance of a battery. If you follow our guidelines your battery shouldn’t let you down.
What if my MOT expires?
The government has announced a 6-month exemption from the MOT test, although your car must be kept in a roadworthy condition.
Here are a few simple tips on how to keep your car lasting longer and ready to use when you need it again.
Leaving your car parked for up to a month
Fuel – Before parking your car up for a long period, it’s a good idea to top up with fuel. Not only will this help with other measures, but a full tank doesn’t attract condensation, which could cause issues if allowed to build up over time.
Battery maintenance – If you can, connect your car’s battery to a mains-powered battery maintainer. If you can’t, start the engine once a week and allow it to run for about 15 minutes. This will re-charge the battery and help keep the engine in good condition. It’s important to allow the engine to run for this long so the battery can charge properly. In the case of petrol engine cars, it also helps to prevent engines from flooding with fuel. Never leave your car unattended with the engine running.
Brakes – Sometimes when a car’s parked up for a long period with the parking brake on, the brakes can seize. To prevent this it’s good practice to release the parking brake and move the vehicle a short distance back and forth, at the same time as running the engine. You shouldn’t leave the parking brake off unless the vehicle is on private land with the wheels securely chocked.
Electric vehicles – EVs and hybrid vehicles have 12-volt batteries, the same as conventional cars. However, they charge differently. Pressing the start button, so the ready light comes on, will operate the charging system. Doing this for 10 minutes once a week should keep the 12-volt battery topped up. Some electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles can maintain their 12-volt batteries if they’re plugged in to the mains charger. Check your vehicle handbook for details on this.
Garages – Don’t run a car engine inside a household garage as the exhaust fumes can be toxic. If you keep your car in a garage, pull it out onto the drive to run the engine to charge the battery.
Tyres – Before driving the car after a long period parked up, check all of the tyre pressures and inflate if needed.
You’ll need to contact the school yourself if it isn’t listed.
If your child’s school is outside Manchester, their free school meals will be dealt with by the local authority the school is in. Go to the GOV.UK website and enter the postcode of the school your child attends to find out how to get them.
Which children qualify for them?
Your child may qualify if you have any of these incomes:
income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
income-related Employment and Support Allowance
the guaranteed part of Pension Credit
Child Tax Credit (as long as your annual gross income is £16,190 or less and you don’t get Working Tax Credit)
Working Tax Credit run-off after you come off Working Tax Credit
Universal Credit that you applied for on, or after, 1 April 2018. As long as your household income is less than £7,400 a year after tax, not including any benefits
Children who receive these benefits themselves instead of through a parent or guardian, can also qualify for free school meals.
Your child may qualify if you are an asylum seeker.
Children who are eligible for free school meals now will be eligible for them until either:
they finish school; or
if on 31 March 2022 they are still in school, until they finish the phase of schooling they are in (primary or secondary) –
whichever is sooner.
Infant free school meals in England
All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 can get free school meals whatever your income. But if you have one of the qualifying incomes (above) it will help the school if you tell them this, so they can get extra funding.
Doctors of the World have developed Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for patients in 34 languages. These documents were produced in partnership with the British Red Cross, Migrant Help and Clear Voice. The guidance is based on the UK government’s updated advice and health information. It is hoped this will help important guidance reach migrant and asylum-seeking communities in the UK.
The We Love MCR charity has set up a fund to provide Covid-19 Community Response Grants. Full information is available HERE
Constituted community groups and organisations with a bank account can apply to this fund for £500 – £3000 for the items, equipment or supplies they need to support their communities in this difficult time.
The application process has been simplified to help get the money out to groups quickly. The application form can be downloaded here:
Levenshulme is full of wonderful people. Creative people. People who care.
At this difficult time some of the people at LOL (Levenshulme Old Library) are wondering… what do we do now?… how does the Levenshulme creative community respond? We know that the Inspire Centre are doing great stuff supporting the covid-19 response, such as being a rallying point for the Levy Corona Helper mutual aid group.
I’m sure we are all feeling a bit lost still. So… if you are in any way connected to Levenshulme Old Library… or live in Levenshulme and want to think how we can be creative online and safely… Join us for this 1 hour initial webinar and chat.
Hosted by Jez Hall, treasurer at LOL, we will be using Zoom, kindly donated by Shared Future CIC (who have a paid account they have let us use)
If you sign up we can capture your email and that will help us stay together.
If you can’t make it on the day… don’t fret… there will be other online chats.
No agenda. Nothing expected of you… just come together. We’ll email a zoom link to you if you sign up
Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre has been closed in line with instructions from the government during the current crisis. A payment freeze has been applied for the duration of the closure.
Better, who operate the centre, has made the following announcement:
“In line with Government instruction, we will be closing all of our Better Leisure Centres and Better Gyms across the UK at the end of Friday 20th March, 2020.
The health and well-being of both our staff and valued customers is paramount. We have a social responsibility to everyone in the local community to take action to protect ourselves and others.
We would also like to help you during this difficult time by automatically applying a payment freeze for all of our members. A payment freeze means that you retain your membership or lesson/course, but will not have to pay during the period that the centre is closed. That means, whether you have an annual, monthly, pre-paid or pay and play membership or lesson/course your Direct Debit payment will not be collected throughout this period. If you would like to know more about how we’re working to help you, or any other queries, visit our dedicated FAQs page.
We are working closely with local public health authorities and receiving all official updates from the Government. We will keep you up to date on what is happening going forward.”
After schools shut their gates on Friday afternoon, they will remain closed until further notice except for children of key workers and vulnerable children, as part of the country’s ongoing response to coronavirus.
Examples of these workers include NHS staff, police and supermarket delivery drivers who need to be able to go to work to support the country’s fight to tackle coronavirus. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with Education, Health and Care Plans – a legal document that describes a child’s special educational needs and the support they require.
Children who do not fall into these groups should remain at home with appropriate care.
Where schools are unable to look after these children, local authorities will work with the Department for Education’s regional teams to ensure an alternative option is available in the same area.
Registered early years providers, including childminders, private schools and sixth forms should also follow this guidance. We will provide financial support for these settings as required.
Where possible, we would encourage settings to also look after key workers’ children and vulnerable children throughout the Easter holidays.
The scientific advice shows that these settings are safe for this small number of children to continue attending – but asking others to stay away will help us to slow the spread.
To lift the pressure on schools themselves and to allow them to focus on supporting those children who need it most, Ofsted will cease all inspections of schools and colleges with immediate effect.
We will not go ahead with primary school assessments or secondary exams this summer, and we will not be publishing performance tables.
We will work with the sector and Ofqual to ensure children get the qualifications they need.
We recognise that many special schools and residential settings will need to continue to look after their pupils.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
Fighting Coronavirus and protecting the vulnerable and our NHS are the Government’s top priorities right now. That’s why we are asking schools, nurseries and colleges to close – except for vulnerable children and the children of key workers.
We are facing increasingly extraordinary circumstances, but by asking schools to support our key workers and vulnerable children I am confident we will help beat this virus.
I am deeply grateful for the civic spirit and dedication of everyone working in education, and I will continue to provide my full support throughout this crisis.
To support children eligible for free school meals, schools will be able to provide meals or vouchers for supermarkets or local shops.
The government has also confirmed that the total value of vouchers offered to each eligible child per week will exceed the rate it pays to schools for free school meals, recognising that families will not be buying food in bulk and may therefore incur higher costs. The final amounts will be confirmed shortly via guidance for schools.
Effective immediately, schools will be able to order vouchers directly from supermarkets or shops in their communities to be emailed or printed and posted to families, and they will have their costs covered by the Department for Education.
We know that many universities and other higher education institutions are already taking necessary steps to keep their staff and students safe. We are confident vice-chancellors are making the right decisions and the Department for Education continues to support them in doing so.
To support nurseries at this time, the Chancellor has also decided that they will also now be eligible for a business rates holiday for one year. That means non-local authority providers of childcare will pay no business rates in 2020-21, from 1 April.
Local authorities will be fully compensated for the cost of this measure. We are applying the Barnett formula to this additional support in England.
Guidance for local authorities on the application of the holiday will be published by MHCLG shortly.
Due to yesterday’s advice from the government we have taken the decision to cancel the rest of our markets for the month of March.
This means there will sadly be no birthday party Night Market this Friday, and no Saturday market on 28th March.
We’re awaiting further clarification on whether it will be possible to continue with our events in Levenshulme in the coming months. The situation is very much a live one at present and making any concrete decisions for our future is deeply challenging. But as a community hub our priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our customers, traders and staff.
The situation we find ourselves in comes as a huge blow both to the market and to our traders. Markets exist due to small businesses born out of passion and dedication whose survival depends on opportunities to trade. Cutting off those opportunities gives us no pleasure and we would like to take a moment to add our voice to those venues and events organisers who have highlighted how unreasonable it feels that a decision of such magnitude has been left in our hands.
We’re hopeful that there will be some clarification very soon on how businesses such as ours are expected to cope with the decisions we’ve found ourselves having to make, and any future plans for our markets will be made accordingly.
Due to the recent announcement as well as the University of Manchester’s decision to cancel all in-person seminars, we have also taken the decision to cancel all of the Tuesday lunchtime food markets we run at UoM for the time being.
However, while the market may not be open for business we will still be here for you, working away on ways for you to support independent traders, amplifying those doing good work for the community here in Levenshulme and looking forward to a future when shopping, street food and socialising are safe once again.
Until then, please be kind to one another, support independent local businesses where you can and look out for those who may need help in these testing times.