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coronavirus updates

Coronavirus (Covid-19) information and updates

Updated: 15th Jan 2021

Welcome to our dedicated Coronavirus page.

This is where we will post regular updates and advice relating to Coronavirus, including information on the measures we are putting in place to protect our customers and colleagues.

Current Halton alert: National Lockdown

  • Coronavirus (COVID‑19) is spreading fast.
  • Do not leave your home unless necessary.
  • 1 in 3 people who have the virus have no symptoms, so you could be spreading it without knowing it.

Read full breakdown of national lockdown rules here.

Service Status:

 

In light of the current situation with a sharp increase in the Coronavirus rate in Halton, from Monday 11th Jan, we will be operating an ’emergency only’ repairs service. We will also continue to operate our key compliance activities including Gas Safety Checks (LGSR’s) and communal cleaning/inspections; and where we have the resources, to deliver works to vacant homes and external works.

We have been tracking the Covid-19 data on a daily basis and will review the situation accordingly with the intention of resuming non-emergency services to customers on 25th January. During emergency visits, we will work in a COVID-secure and safe way at all times with our customer and colleagues’ safety our utmost priority.

Please help us in this, by ensuring a safe environment for our colleagues to carry out their work, and please follow the ‘face, hands, space’ guidance at all times

We are grateful to customers for their patience and understanding in these challenging circumstances.

Staying Safe:

We have put together a short video, showing all the measures we take when we carry out work or visits to a customers home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Colleagues working in any communal areas of our properties will be wearing a face covering. Our colleagues will also be wearing a face-covering whilst carrying out work in a customer’s home. A new face-covering will be applied to every home our staff visit.

Home visits:

Please do not be offended if we ask you a few questions before visiting your home to carry out an emergency  repair and work with us to answer these honestly. This is for everyone’s safety.

We will also reinforce the 2-metre rule in the workplace and when we are speaking with customers, including in their homes. If we are unable to observe the 2-metre rule, for example where a customer does not adhere to the guidance, we are asking our colleagues to leave the situation.

If customers are self-isolating or have symptoms, we will need to postpone the appointment until a later date or find another way to contact you, such as by phone.

Help Us to Help You:

During this difficult time, it is essential that we ensure safe working practices for our team members. Our preference is to communicate with customers by phone or email but on occasion we may still have need to visit you at your home or to visit the estate where you live.

Please can we ask that you do not approach Halton team members when on the estate without wearing a face mask and keeping to at least a 2-metre distance.

If one of our staff visits you at your home, then it is essential that they be allowed safe access to enter the home and to undertake the work they are there to do. Please help us. We want to provide services to you and to do that we need you to make sure your home is clean and safe to enter. You and your family members must respect the 2-metre distance rule and we ask that you always wear a face mask. We are asking you to do this to avoid any chance of spreading the virus.

Please note that our staff have been instructed to leave someone’s home should they feel at risk. So, for instance, if you remove your face mask then our officer will leave your home and not return until we are certain that it is safe for them to do so. Please respect the needs of our officers in the same way that we are trying to ensure that you are protected.

When in communal areas (such as stairwells, hallways, or communal rooms) we ask that you wear face masks and keep to social distance rules. This is essential to minimise any chance of infections spreading and particularly important in our sheltered and extra care facilities.

Where we have to end a visit for health and safety reasons or have evidence that you have not followed Government Guidance, we will consider whether to notify the police of your actions and see if a breach of Tenancy has occurred. Please help us to help you – let us get through this pandemic safely

Customer engagement activities:

Estate walkabouts, customer listening events and other planned events with customers are cancelled until further notice.

Further Guidance:

Read guidance from Halton Borough Council and the government.

Coronavirus Testing:

SMART testing is available in Halton. If you DO NOT have COVID-19 symptoms, you can get tested at Grangeway and Ditton community centres. To find out more please visit: www.halton.gov.uk/SMART.

Widnes chemist to be used for Covid-19 vaccine rollout:

Widnes is one of only a handful of places chosen for the pharmacy vaccine trial as part of the NHS pilot scheme to roll out Covid-19 jabs in chemists. Appleton Village Pharmacy is one of just six chemists in the UK which will start vaccinations on 14 January and will offer appointments to those invited by letter. Priority groups will be invited by letter to make an appointment through the NHS Covid-19 vaccination booking service.

Remember – nobody will be asked to make a payment for a vaccine. 

Rent and Money worries: Help and Support:

This is a difficult time for many people and we understand that this may be the first time you have had to claim benefits. We’ve tried to answer some questions you might have if you’re in employment and are ill or affected by coronavirus and where possible provide signposting and guidance to help and support that is available to help you claim. Find out more here.

Don’t get caught in a coronavirus scam:

To help you keep an eye out for coronavirus scams, we’ve pulled together details on some which are currently circulating and provide details of what to do if you think you have fallen victim. Find out more here.

Related Help & Support Articles

Find helpful articles on finding your next home with Halton Housing, and how to apply for a home here.

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