Council Caution to Protect Customers, Services and Staff
South Tyneside Council has confirmed that current Covid practice will continue across council services until at least 16 August, in order to maintain and protect customers, service delivery and staff.
With cases in the North East continuing to increase significantly and hospital admissions rising, the Council will generally maintain current working practices. South Tyneside has the highest number of cases in the country and the highest number of cases in the Borough at any point in the pandemic to date.
Tom Hall, Director of Public Health said: "We have a duty of care to both staff and service users to take a precautionary approach. Many people rely on the delivery of council services and we need to try and minimise the number of staff who may become unwell or need to isolate which could have a devastating effect on service delivery.
"Council and South Tyneside Homes employees will maintain Covid secure practices and will continue to observe any workplace mitigations that have been put in place, such as social distancing and wearing face coverings.
"Over the coming weeks we will continue to assess the situation and will advise the public of any changes, but at this moment in time residents and service users will see no change with how they engage with council services from 19 July."
Visitors are strongly encouraged to continue to use test and trace in all council buildings and to wear face coverings, unless exempt.
Council and South Tyneside Homes employees will continue to operate in a Covid secure way including using face coverings and social distancing.
Life events held indoors at council buildings (such as funerals and wedding) are expected to continue at the current capacity.
Trade Unions are in support of the Council's approach, given the high case numbers across the Borough and current pressures on the system.
The Council also has a duty to ensure it meets its statutory obligations and to ensure that democracy continues. The next meeting of Borough Council (22 July) will again be held at Temple Park rather than in the council chamber to ensure that there is sufficient ventilation and that the public can attend safely if they wish.
The Council website will continue to be updated with advice and guidance for service users.
Everyone is reminded to continue to observe basic hand hygiene at all times, avoid crowded indoor places and get vaccinated.