Covid-19 reassurance after Maesteg concerns
Following concerns expressed on social media about a possible new case of Covid-19 in the Maesteg area, the council has issued reassurance and advice to residents as well as information about self-isolating if you have tested positive for coronavirus. Anyone who may believe they have come into contact with individuals who have returned from Zante must be alert to the signs of symptoms of Covid-19. Our Shared Regulatory Services will be in touch with various establishments where it is alleged these individuals were out over the weekend and we are providing support and advice. Anyone who is concerned about their health should arrange to be tested. Getting a coronavirus test is free and simple to do, either by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling the free number 119. For more details visit the council website.
Public Health Wales message over social distancing
Investigations by Public Health Wales into a number of cases of coronavirus in Wales have indicated that a lack of social distancing, in particular by a minority of the 20-30 year age group, has resulted in the spread of the virus to other groups of people. It has made a direct appeal to young people to remember that even if they feel that they would not be badly affected by Covid-19 were they to test positive, should they pass it onto older or more vulnerable family members, friends of colleagues, it could be extremely serious, and even fatal. It remains the responsibility of everyone to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus – that is, by self-isolating when asked to do so, staying two metres away from others, and by washing hands regularly.
60,000 face coverings for schools
Around 60,000 reusable face coverings are being distributed to schools for both pupils and staff. The three-ply, adjustable face coverings meet World Health Organisation-recommended specifications and can be washed at least 50 times. The council is recommending that all secondary school pupils wear a face covering on dedicated local authority provided home-to-school transport. It also recommends that secondary school pupils wear face coverings in communal areas of schools, in corridors and toilets. There is no recommendation for primary school pupils to wear a face covering in schools or on school transport, including those on vehicles carrying mixed-age groups.
Each secondary school pupil can request five face coverings from their school and a safe storage bag for the academic year – face coverings should be stored securely in the storage bag when not in use. The council is also recommending that staff wear face coverings in communal areas and in corridors in all schools. Schools will provide further information on the first day that pupils are back in school.
Alternative Christmas celebration plans
Following public safety concerns and ongoing Welsh Government guidance over the Covid-19 pandemic, the council is working with partners to develop an alternative celebration to replace this year’s Christmas lights event in Bridgend town centre which will not be going ahead as normal this year. Between now and November we will be working closely with our partners to put together an alternative way of celebrating the festive season, with the overall aim of supporting our local businesses and providing some of the magic and excitement of Christmas for residents. As part of the plans, we hope to provide an online platform both for local organisations, traders and businesses to engage with the general public, and also for communities to display events and relevant information. For more details visit the council website.
Give Blood at the Maesteg HALO Sports Centre
The Welsh Blood Service which relies entirely on voluntary donors to maintain supplies to Welsh hospitals needs to collect over 350 donations of blood every day. Anyone aged between 17 and 66, who weighs over 7st 12lbs (50kg), who is healthy and not subject to certain medical exclusions can volunteer to become a blood donor. You can give blood in Maesteg on Monday, September 7 and Tuesday, September 8 at Maesteg HALO Sports Centre where the Welsh Blood Service will be setting up a clinic. To book appointment visit the Welsh Blood Service website.
Schools prepare to welcome pupils back
The reopening of schools is being carried out in phases with teachers and staff having returned on Tuesday, September 1. From 1-3 September schools will make the necessary preparations for pupils to return to school and no pupils will attend on these days. On Friday 4 September, priority year groups will start to return to school. Individual schools will directly advise parents/carers which pupils should attend on Friday 4 September and also between 7–9 September. All schools will be open as normal to all pupils from 10 September. To help prepare parents, carers, guardians and pupils as they return to school, a set of frequently asked questions have been published on the council website covering information ranging from uniforms and school dinners to transport and health and safety. To access the frequently asked questions visit the council website.
Free parking to continue
Council-maintained town centre car parks will continue to be free to use throughout September. In Bridgend town centre, it is available at the Rhiw and Brackla Street multi storeys as well as the open air car park behind Wilkinsons. In Porthcawl, it is available at the Hillsboro and John Street car parks. Furthermore, from October 1 until March 31, the first three hours will then be free in the Rhiw car park in Bridgend. And in John Street car park, Porthcawl, parking will be free between midday and 3pm from October 1 until March 31.
Free school meal food parcels extension
Food parcels for pupils eligible for free school meals will continue to be delivered up until September 4 due to the phased return of pupils to school. Due to the bank holiday on Monday August 31 deliveries will be taking place one day later than normal for all areas. The food parcels which started at the end of April replaced the packed lunch provision that was put in place when schools closed in March. Around 5,000 food parcels are delivered each week to homes across the county borough. They include a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, pasta, sauces and tinned food.
Helping to keep people safe
If you suspect that a friend, family member or neighbour is at risk of abuse, don’t delay – call the council’s safeguarding team on 01656 642477 for adults and 01656 642320 for children. You can also call 01443 743665 if out-of-hours, and if you suspect a person is at immediate risk of harm, call 999. Find out more about emergency support at the council’s website.
Contacting the council
The Customer Service Centre at the Civic Offices in Angel Street, Bridgend remains closed to the public. Residents are asked to use the online My Account and Oggie webchat facilities, or to email [email protected] or call 01656 643643.