Message from Julia Burrows, Director of Public Health, Barnsley – 2 October 2020

Barnsley update

Barnsley’s weekly rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population tested is 47.3 (as of 2 Oct). See how this compares with the past couple of weeks below:


Number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population tested

2 October


25 September


18 September


The increase in cases is seen across all areas of Barnsley.

Other local areas

Sheffield has been made an "area of enhanced support" by Public Health England following a continued rise in Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and Rotherham has also been added as an "area of concern".

Being geographically close to these areas, as well as those areas in West Yorkshire which also have seen a vast rise in cases puts Barnsley at more risk and it’s vital that we continue to regularly wash our hands, stay at an appropriate distance from others and wear a face-covering where advised.

Thank you for continuing to follow guidelines 

My sincere thanks go to the vast majority of you who are following all the guidance and rules around preventing the transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19). I recognise how hard it is for everyone and that people are making personal sacrifices and experiencing individual hardship to keep themselves, their families, their neighbours and Barnsley safe. 

This responsible behaviour is no doubt contributing to the slower rise we are seeing in Barnsley. If we keep going, we can hopefully avoid the really large increases we are seeing elsewhere in the country, although we have to acknowledge we will continue to see a steady increase due to the existing level of infection in the borough and the infectiousness of the disease itself. 

New legal duty to self-isolate

The government has announced that from 28 September, people in England are required by law to self-isolate if they test positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

This law has been introduced to ensure everyone follows self-isolation rules and to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Test and Trace payments scheme

The Government has announced that from 28 September, people in England are required by law to self-isolate if they test positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

As a way of supporting people on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result of this new law, an NHS Track and Trace payment scheme has been set up where a person may be eligible for a one-off payment of £500. 

We are currently working on setting up our Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, and it is expected to be in place by Monday 12 October. However, if you have been told to self-isolate on or after Monday 28 September, you will be able to claim a backdated payment. 

I know that this new regulation may cause concern for people around their income and how it will affect their finances however the scheme is in place to help alleviate those fears and to support you during the isolation period. It is vitally important that you self-isolate if you are told to do so, this will help to stop the spread of the virus and protect your loved ones and our communities.

Read more about the Test and Trace payments scheme on our website

Guidance on isolating

Two key pieces of guidance have been updated to include the new legal requirements for self-isolation.

Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus infection who do not live with the person. This guidance is for people who have been notified by NHS Test and Trace that they are a contact of a person who has had a positive test result for COVID-19.

It explains what you should do if the NHS Test and Trace service notifies you that you are a contact of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and you do not live with that person. The NHS Test and Trace service will notify you by text message, email or phone.

Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection. This guidance is intended for:

  • people who have received a positive test result of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • people with symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • those waiting for a test result, or who have not been tested and do not require hospital treatment
  • people living in households with someone who shows symptoms of or who has received a positive test result for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Public Health Matters blog issued this week covered self-isolating and has some really useful information and advice, including: 

Self-isolation is not the same as social distancing

Terms like “self-isolation” and “social distancing” are now regularly used by us all and are rarely out of the media so it’s easy to use the terms interchangeably, but it’s important to understand that they are not the same thing.

Self-isolation means staying at home, and not leaving your home, because you could be at greater risk of passing Coronavirus (COVID-19) on to others.  Self-isolation is a critically important step for people to take when they are at most risk of passing on the virus to other people.

Social distancing is about everyone remembering to keep a safe distance from others when we’re out and about, at work, shopping, on public transport, in the park and so on. 

We can all support each other

Self-isolation can be difficult, and you should check-in with your family, friends and neighbours if you know they’re self-isolating and see if you can help them. Maybe they need some shopping or perhaps they’re feeling lonely and need someone to talk to on the phone. Self-isolation should not mean social isolation. Even small actions can have a big impact.

You can read the Public Health Matters blog in full here

Covid-19 conversations - our new video

I know that the advice and the rules around Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be confusing. Our Public Health team wants to share clear and easy to understand information to all people in Barnsley to prevent the spread of this very serious virus.

To support this, we’ve created a short, 10 minute video alongside a list of useful information based on a variety of topics relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines. 

This aims to support people to share some simple messages in their everyday conversation with families, friends and work colleagues that will help to stop the spread of the virus and keep us all safe and well.

You can find this training video, along with the additional information on our website. 

Dedicated web page for Barnsley data

We’ve been working hard to fulfil your requests for a dedicated council webpage showing Barnsley data on Coronavirus (COVID-19). I’m pleased to announce that this will be available from early next week and we will publish more details via social media and on our news page as soon as it is ready to access.

Please leave us some feedback

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