Last chance to take part in Bristol’s postcode Covid testing research

Photo of a young, White male putting the testing stick up his nose

Want to help ensure the new version of the Covid-19 virus found in Bristol doesn’t cause the problems we saw when the Kent version emerged? Then get down to one of the’Mobile Testing Units’ (in other words, temporary testing sites) tbefore 4pm this weekend, or pick up a home testing kit from a library and return it by 4pm this Weds, to take part.

Also, if you have picked up a home testing kit already, please do return it before 4pm on Weds.

You can drop in for a test until 4pm this Sunday, at:


a. Bristol and Bath Science Park, Dirac Crescent, Emersons Green, BS16 7FR.

b. Bristol City Council Testing Centre, 17-18 Wellington Road, BS2 9DA.

c. Imperial Retail Park, Hartcliffe Way, BS13 7TJ.

d. Shaftsbury Park, Frenchay Park Road, BS16 1LG.

e. The Imperial Sports Ground, West Town Lane, BS14 9EA.

f. Yate Common, Westerleigh Road, BS37 8RZ.


You can pick up a home testing kit from these Collect and Drop sites in Bristol, where you will be able to drop-off your completed tests until 4pm on Wednesday 24 February:
1. Fishponds Library, Robinson House, Hockey’s Lane, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 3HL.

2. Henleaze Library, 30 Northumbria Drive, Henleaze, Bristol, BS9 4HP.

3. Junction 3 Library, 138b Lower Ashley Road, Easton, Bristol, BS5 0FJ.

4. Whitchurch Library, 7 Oatlands Ave, Bristol, BS14 0SX.

5. Wick Road Library, Wick Road, Brislington, Bristol, BS4 4HE.

6. Marksbury Road Library, Marksbury Road, BS3 5LG.


Bristol Testing for the new variant of Coronavirus – does it affect you?

Bristol Testing for the new variant of Coronavirus – does it affect you?

From today (Sunday 7 February) Bristol introduced extra community testing, also known as ‘surge’ testing, to help us learn more about the Kent COVID-19 variant that has mutated in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. 

This extra community testing will act to help reduce the spread of infection by finding asymptomatic cases and prompting people to self-isolate. The
one-off testing will use PCR tests, which are analysed in laboratories, rather than lateral flow tests (also known as rapid tests).  

This testing is available to people living in specific postcodes and is running for two weeks from today (Sunday 7 February). It is open to those aged 16 and over, who do not have any symptoms of
COVID-19.  

The testing programme includes new mobile testing units (also known as MTUs), which are sites where you can drive-through or walk-up to take a test. There will soon also be locations where people can collect and return testing kits and the delivery of testing kits to homes in certain areas. 

Freephone 0800 694 0184.
Mon – Fri, 8.30am to 5pm.
Sat – Sun, 10am to 2pm.

Email your questions to coronavirus@bristol.gov.uk

Visit the Council website for the latest information. 

Jargon-buster

Mutated = changed into something different.

Asymptomatic = infected but has no symptoms.

Together with South Gloucestershire Council – and only since Friday night when the Government confirmed it wanted Bristol City Council to launch this extra testing – its staff teams in the community and partner agencies in public health have been working really hard to get these systems set up quickly and effectively for residents.

The Mayor Rees said,
“I understand that some of you may be feeling concerned or anxious about this new testing, and I want to reassure all of you that the actions we’re taking are to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
“Today, just 36 hours after we first found out that testing was needed, over 2,000 tests were carried out across all three sites. To those who attended, I would like to thank you for responding so positively and in some cases being prepared to wait whilst we worked to meet demand.
“We are extremely grateful to everyone for playing their part in helping to prevent the spread of the virus and protect our city. The sites will be back open at 9am tomorrow morning.”
There is nothing to be worried about if you live in one of the areas were testing is happening, we should just keep on doing what we are already doing – keeping to all the national lockdown rules:
⦁ Washing our hands thoroughly and often,
⦁ Keeping at least 2 metres space between ourselves and anyone else, and
⦁ covering our face – especially our nose and mouth. 

Postcode sectors
You can get tested at the new asymptomatic testing sites if your postcode starts with: 

BS1 3

BS2 0, BS2 8, or BS2 9  

BS3 5

BS4 4
BS5 0, BS5 6, or BS5 7
 
BS6 5, or BS6 6

BS8 2, or BS8 3 (only within Bristol City Council boundary – check yours at www.gov.uk/find-local-council)  

BS9 4

BS14 9, or BS14 0 (only within Bristol City Council boundary – check yours at www.gov.uk/find-local-council)   

BS16 1, BS16 2, BS16 3, BS16 5, BS16 6, BS16 7, or BS16 9

BS37 8. 

New mobile testing units 

Who are they for? 
If you are over-16, live in one of the postcodes above, and do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, you can get a COVID-19 test at one of the new mobile test sites.

Where and when? 
Extra community testing is running from Sunday 7 February, for two weeks.

There are three new test sites: 

  1. Bristol and Bath Science Park, Dirac Crescent, Emersons Green, BS16 7FR, 9am – 4pm.
  2. Bristol City Council Testing Centre, 17-18 Wellington Road, BS2 9DA,
    9am – 3pm.
  3. Imperial Retail Park, Hartcliffe Way, BS13 7TJ – 9am – 3pm.

How? 
At the test site you should wear a face covering and follow social distancing. For now, you do not need to book or to bring ID or proof of address. 

Frequently Asked Questions 
Q. Do I need to book a slot? 
You do not need to book an appointment, although the Council may introduce a booking system soon. They will provide more details in the coming days. 

Q. Are the sites walk-in or drive-through? 
You can walk-in or drive-through at all three testing sites. 

Q. I can’t access these sites for medical reasons/because I’m shielding. What do I do? 
As not everyone can get to a test site there will be other ways for people who live in one of the areas above to get a test arranged soon.  

Q. What test will I have if I visit the site? 
Standard PCR tests will be used at these testing sites. These types of tests involve a swab of the nose and throat and are sent off to laboratories to be analysed. 
 
Q. An existing test site for people with symptoms is closer to me. Can I go there? 
No. If you do not have symptoms and live in one of the areas above, you must use the new sites which have been set up for this purpose. This is to help keep you safe.  

Q. How and when will people be informed of the results? 
NHS Test and Trace will tell people whether or not they have a positive test result by text or email. Most people get their result the next day, but it may take up to 3 days. 

Q. Do you have to isolate after having on one of these tests?  
No. You should only need to self-isolate if you test positive, have any symptoms, or are contact traced following contact with someone who tests positive.  

Coronavirus Vaccination: Disabled and Older people’s Information and Questions event, 7-8.30pm 10th February 2021


Tickets (free) from https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/covid-19-vaccines-information-and-accessibility-tickets-138770808223

With more COVID-19 vaccines approved and more trials taking place, this is a good time to get all the information you need.
Many people have got their information about vaccinations from the internet, and others have plenty of unanswered questions about COVID-19 vaccinations. Are you one of these people?
If so, this event is your chance to find out more about COVID-19 vaccines and support to make an informed decision about having one.
Dr Rajeka Lazarus (Consultant in Infectious Diseases at University Hospital Bristol & Weston) and a panel of experts, will be there to talk about how vaccines work and help answer many of the concerns and questions Disabled and older people have around getting access to the vaccine.
We want this event to be accessible to as many older and Disabled people as possible so:
If you use a screenreader, use the ‘contact the organiser’ function (at the bottom of the listing) when you book your ticket;
If you communicate using BSL or are a deafened person you will be fine because BSL interpreters, and captioning, will be available;
If you have a vision impairment, you should be OK because no-one will be relying on a presentation to get their information across.
If you have other access needs contact the organiser.
You can find their contact details by:

  1. following the same Eventbrite link as you use to book a ticket,
  2. scrolling down to the bottom of the page – just above the other events you might like message and
  3. clicking on the contact button.
    This will take you to a contact form you can use for your message.

This event is being run by Bristol, North Somerset South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Healthwatch Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Covid-19 Vaccine Accessibility event – 10th February

Please see below information on an event about the COVID-19 vaccine which will be held on  Wednesday 10th February, from 19:00 – 20:30.  This event will have a specific focus on people with disabilities, mental health conditions, and older age groups. 

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/covid-19-vaccines-information-and-accessibility-tickets-138770808223

This event is an opportunity for you to find out more about COVID19 vaccines and allow you to make an informed choice.

With three COVID-19 vaccines approved and more trials taking place, Dr Rajeka Lazarus, Consultant in Infectious Diseases at University Hospital Bristol & Weston, and our expert panel, will be available to discuss how vaccines work and help answer many of our concerns and questions around getting access to the vaccine.

Some common questions which will be addressed will be:

•      How did the vaccine get approved so quickly?

•      Is the vaccine safe? What ingredients does it contain?

•      What are the side effects of the vaccine?

•      Will the vaccine give me COVID-19?

•      Will the vaccine be effective against all the new strains of the virus?

•      I’m fit and healthy, why should I have the vaccine?

•      Where will I receive the vaccine? How do the vaccine centres operate? How will I get there?

The event, run by Bristol, North Somerset South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Healthwatch Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire will feature updates from keynote speakers and a panel discussion to address some of the questions above and more.

If you have queries in relation to the event, or are unable to access Eventbrite to book directly, please email bnssg.engagement@nhs.net.

*This event is one of several developments that have come out of the work Bristol Disability Equality Forum (and other voluntary sector organisations) have been doing with the local NHS, throughout the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, to ensure that all their Covid-19 information and services are accessible to Disabled people.

Coronavirus over Christmas and New Year

We are asking communities across Bristol to make sure they have a safe and careful festive period over Christmas and the New Year.

Last weekend the Government announced changes to the rules over the festive period.

This means: 
⦁ A maximum of three households can create a Christmas bubble for one day only on 25 December.

⦁ Households should not stay over on Christmas Day and you should try to keep visits short.

⦁ You may only form one Christmas bubble, and once it has been formed, you cannot change it.

⦁ Keep your bubbles as small as possible, three households (including your own) should be the maximum, but you should avoid creating a Christmas bubble if at all possible.

⦁ Try to only form bubbles within your local area – you may not form a bubble with anyone in a tier 4 area. It is also safest to avoid forming a bubble with anyone living in a tier 3 area.

⦁ Limit social contact with anyone outside of your household for at least five days before and after forming a bubble.

From 26 December, we will have to go back to Bristol’s local restrictions. On 30 December the government will decide whether Bristol stays in tier 2 or moves to tier 3 or 4. This will depend on how many people catch Coronavirus over the two weeks leading up to 30 December.

Bristol is in tier 2 at the moment, which means that for New Year’s Eve, people must not mix socially indoors with people not in their household and hospitality venues will close at 11pm.

However, we would strongly recommend that Disabled people do not go to hospitality venues for Christmas or New Year celebrations. The
re-opening of these venues was a big factor in the big rise in people catching Coronavirus over late summer and early autumn.
 
Please do the most you can over the festive period to protect our city and keep infection rates down and ensure that 2021 is as coronavirus-safe as it can be.

Are you heading out to celebrate this Christmas?

If you are planning to go out one evening this week to celebrate Christmas please remember that Bristol is still in tier 2 and there is guidance you must follow if you’re visiting any hospitality venue.

⦁ Wear a face covering at all times, unless exempt, apart from when seated at a table.

⦁ Scan the QR code to use the COVID-19 app.

⦁ You can only sit inside a venue with those from your own household or support bubble. 

⦁ The rule of six must be followed outside a venue and social distancing should be followed.

⦁ You can only order alcohol with a substantial meal.

⦁ You must leave the venue by 11pm.
 
When you have left the venue it is important that you go straight home and do not stand around in groups outside.

This guidance is in place to protect you and your loved ones and to make sure we all have a safe Christmas.

We know this is the time of year you want to celebrate, but would ask you to keep in mind that hospitality venues e.g. pubs, restaurants, bars etc. are places where there is a high risk of catching coronavirus.

Hospitality venues are places like pubs, bars, restaurants, or almost anywhere you might usually go to when you want drink or eat (or both) with friends or family.
Household. A household is a home where one or more people live. It can be a flat, a house, a group home or shared student accommodation.

Bristol’s COVID-19 testing sites will be open through Christmas

Coronavirus testing sites will be open over the Christmas and New Year period, including on Christmas Day, but will be operating at slightly reduced hours.

Visit the Gov.UK website to find out more.
 
If you develop symptoms of coronavirus over the holiday period, including a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, it is essential that you get tested.
 
We have four testing sites in Bristol. They are:
 
• Brislington Park and Ride (note a 2.1m height restriction)
• Hengrove Leisure Park
• Netham Park
• Rear of Victoria Rooms, Clifton
 
If you do have symptoms or you test positive you must
self-isolate in order to protect your loved ones and keep the city safe. 

New Lockdown, Says the Prime Minister

On Saturday 31st October the Prime Minister said he is going to ask members of parliament (MPs) to agree to another England-wide Lockdown, for one month from Thursday 5th November.

MPs will vote on the Prime Minister’s proposals on Wednesday (4th). If the majority do support the proposals, the Lockdown will begin at 00:01 GMT on Thursday 5th November and stay in place until Wednesday 2nd December.

Some scared and selfish people are already buying much more food than they need from the shops. Please remember that this buying in a panic was the cause of shortages that caused some of those most at risk to have to go without food. Once people stopped panic buying we got back to everyone being able to buy what they needed on a week by week basis.

So, please think of others and only buy what you need until the next time you will go shopping for essentials.

What are the proposals for a new lockdown in England?

These are the Prime Minister’s Lockdown proposals:

  1. People will be told to stay at home and only travel when it is essential. Essential travel includes travel to go to school or university, work that can’t be done from home, medical reasons, shopping for food and other essentials, or to care for others. People can go out for exercise and recreation but it is expected that you will have to do in places near your home.
  1. All pubs and restaurants will have to close (takeaways and deliveries can continue).
  1. All non-essential shops will have to close (supermarkets can sell non-essential goods).
  1. Households will not be allowed to mix with others indoors, or in private gardens.
  1. Individuals can meet one person from outside their household in an outside public space.
  1. Support bubbles for people who live alone and households made up of single parents and children can continue.
  1. Children will be able to move between homes if their parents are separated.
  1. Schools, colleges and universities will remain open.
  1. Workplaces will be asked to stay open if people cannot work from home – including construction and manufacturing.

10. Outdoor exercise and recreation will be allowed, but gyms will have to close.

  1. Clinically vulnerable advised not to go to work if they are unable to work from home.

However, government will not be promoting ‘shielding’ for people at very high risk of dying if they catch Coronavirus (also called COVID-19), during this Lockdown.

The Prime Minister hopes that after 2nd December, we will be able to relax the Lockdown rules. But, many think that the Lockdown may need to last longer than this.

The government also announced that it will pay 80% of the wages of anyone who can’t work because of the Lockdown rules (furlough) –the same scheme as we had during the last Lockdown. Workers on furlough will mostly be those who work for businesses that have been forced to close until the Lockdown ends, including workers in restaurants, cafes, shops selling things other than food or medicines, etc.

The government has said it will give us more information about its plans over the next few days, including what other support there will be for people who can’t work and businesses.

You can now help fight the spread of Coronavirus by downloading the free NHS Test and Trace App onto your smartphone .

The new NHS Covid-19 app for Apple and Android devices has launched today and can be downloaded from your app store. The app is free and is part of the NHS Test and Trace service in England and Wales.

The app has a number of tools to protect you, including contact tracing, local area alerts and venue check-in via QR codes.

The Thomas Poklinton Trust have been involved in ensuring that the app is as accessible as possible for blind and partially sighted people.

If you need access to information about the app in large print, braille or another format, you can request it by emailing nhscovid-19accessibilityissue@nhsba.nhs.uk .

The link below takes you to a BBC news story with more information.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-54270334

New Covid -19 information films in multiple community languages are now available

Covid-19 information videos in community languages including English http://ow.ly/tQF350BezGf

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG), with Community Access Support Service (CASS) in partnership with community groups and volunteers, has made two videos in more than ten community languages about Covid-19 and the lockdown.

These were made to address the need for information for non-English-speaking people in the community who did not have access to reliable information about the outbreak in their own languages.

The videos are:

• Protecting others – with a number of key messages about social distancing, gatherings, where you can go and so on

• Mental health – about looking after your mental health and wellbeing at this time.

The languages are:

Pashto, Kurdish Sorani, Arabic, Farsi, Albanian, Urdu, Bengali, Tigrinya, Somali, Punjabi, Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Mandarin), Turkish [please note the videos in Albanian and Trigrinya are not available yet, so any help to find volunteers in both languages would be appreciated].

We hope these videos are helpful and that you will share them with relevant members of the community.

CASS has been working closely with @BNSSG_CCG and local volunteers to help create 2 Covid19 videos, each in Bristol’s key community languages including English. One is on Protecting Yourself, and one on Looking after Mental Health. 

Please watch and share more widely  http://ow.ly/tQF350BezGf

Translated text used for the videos will be available shortly, please get in touch via info@cassbristol.org to request hard copy printed materials for distribution out into the community.