All households in Caerphilly County Borough are to be written to in a bid to find out who needs help during the current coronavirus outbreak.
In an email sent to council staff, leader Cllr Philippa Marsden and chief executive Christina Harrhy said they were looking for volunteers to help develop a ‘buddy’ system for people being asked to self-isolate.
They said: “We are currently working with a range of organisations, charities and voluntary organisations to help support the community response to coronavirus for those residents who don’t require social care, but are in groups that are particularly vulnerable (are aged over 70 or have a serious health issue) and are being asked to stay at home.
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“We are writing to all households in the county borough to establish where those residents – that is those who have no alternative support available to them – live, so that we can consider how a community response can help support them during this time.
“The community response isn’t a council service, but we’re working to provide as much help and support to those in real need, and with no family or support network, during this unprecedented period of time.”
Plaid Cymru councillor James Fussell backed the plan and said: “While the email was sent to employees of the council, I know there are many people that will want to help.
“Having a central point, via the authority, is a good starting point to maximise effectiveness of what could become a limited resource.”
The council has yet to detail how its services will be impacted by the crisis, but widespread changes are expected.
It is already advising staff who are either pregnant, over 70, or with an underlying health condition, to stay away from council work places.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, March 17, Welsh Local Government Association leader Andrew Morgan said key services like social care were the priority.
Bin collections could change from fortnightly to monthly, but that councils would keep any potential changes under review as the situation develops.
Former social care workers willing to return to work have also been urged to contact their local council.
There’s been a “fantastic” community response to the coronavirus outbreak, Labour councillor Jamie Pritchard has said.
Cllr Pritchard has been co-ordinating with fellow Morgan Jones councillor Shayne Cook on how best to get supplies to the elderly and vulnerable.
Cllr Pritchard said: “The response from the community has been fantastic
“There have been lots of Facebook groups and a lot of people have been putting their name down there to help out.
“I have got a list of about 30 names of people who say they will help.
“If elderly people are going to take the advice it’s going to be elderly people without any immediate family who rely on the charitable work of others.”
Cllr Pritchard and Cllr Cook have been putting together postcards that volunteers can use to let other neighbours know they’re there to help. The postcard will contain the volunteer’s contact information and what they’d be comfortable helping out with.
Cases rise and another death
So far there have been 136 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Wales. Fifteen of these are in Caerphilly – the third highest in Wales – although the true figure is probably much higher.
It was confirmed today that a second patient has died from coronavirus.
The 96-year-old patient was being treated at Morriston Hospital in Swansea.
Latest information on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Most cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) seem to be mild.
Coronavirus is a viral disease that can cause coughing, fever and difficulty breathing. It can be more severe in older people, those with weakened immune systems and some long-term conditions like diabetes or cancer.
Source: Public Health Wales