Staff at Calderdale Council issued with holiday booking warning
A Calderdale Council directorate is advising its staff to think about where they book their holidays, given rises in new more transmissible COVID-19 variants.
Members of Calderdale Council’s Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Board were receiving updates on the virus and its impact on the borough’s young people, including schools, and the way work was carried out, including using social media.
Although social workers had been able to undertake some face-to-face work safely, using technology and social media had also helped, said the council’s Director of Young People and Children’s Services, Julie Jenkins.
A parent had been able to sing a lullaby to their baby in care which the foster parent had been able to play to the child, she said.
Ms Jenkins told councillors that new variants were officially changing names – the World Health Organisation is now using letters of the Greek alphabet, for example the Kent variant becoming Alpha and the latest Indian variant becoming Delta.
“What we know about both these variants is they are more contagious than the original COVID variant we had in Halifax.
“We are seeing an increase in numbers in the borough, they have been slowly going up over the last few weeks,” she said.
This has seen increasing cases in the workplace and in schools.
This period has seen a number of school “bubble” closures, whole year closures and some children having to self-isolate following a young person using school transport who had tested positive, said Ms Jenkins.
Council directorates were now awaiting the Government’s road map announcement due on June 21, she said.
“We know that travelling abroad is a dynamic situation and we are advising our staff to think very carefully about where they are holidaying, particularly over the next coming month, looking at the ‘green, amber and red’ situation and the need to self-isolate,” said Ms Jenkins.
The council was looking at ways to enable more directorate staff to return to their offices, using social distancing, she said.
Councillors heard 92 per cent of children had been in attendance at schools and remote learning was continuing where necessary, with support including that for Year 11 and 13 students who would be taking exams this summer.