In an effort to keep as many people up to date with the latest information relating to the COVID-19 virus measures, including how these measures are impacting the Westray community, WDT has pledged to keep this webpage updated with the latest news and advice. Representatives from many different corners of the island have come together in an effort to keep everybody as well informed as possible and this webpage is being put together with their invaluable assistance. It has been a heart-warming experience to see so many people come together to help those of our community in need, but this shouldn’t really be a surprise, the kindness, and generosity of Westray residents is always without question.
Current Government advice is:
Stay safe, protect others, save lives:
- stay at home as much as possible
- only go outside for limited purposes
- stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people
- wash your hands regularly and as soon as you get home
- wear a face covering on public transport and enclosed public spaces
- self-isolate if you have symptoms and book a test
Scotland is now in Phase 2 of the route map for moving out of lockdown, the easing of restrictions during this phase will be introduced in stages rather than all at once, more information on which can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance/.
The above link is where you can find detailed information on what restrictions have been eased and what is still in force. If you are unsure about what you can and cannot do under Phase 2, please read the information on the gov.scot webpage
Test and Protect
Test and Protect is NHS Scotland’s approach to controlling the spread of coronavirus in our communities and was rolled out from Thursday 28th May 2020.
Everyone aged five and over who has COVID-19 symptoms of a new continuous cough, temperature or loss or change in sense of taste or smell should go to NHS Inform online or call 0800 028 2816 to book a coronavirus test. You and your household should not leave home, if the result of your test is positive, help NHS Scotland to identify who you’ve had contact with (this will be done confidentially).
If you are phoned by the Test and Protect service as you have been identified as having been in close contact with someone with coronavirus: Do not leave home for 14 days. A test will be arranged if appropriate. Also, other members of your household do not need to isolate unless they have also been contacted by Test and Protect service or you start to develop symptoms.
When new information becomes available we will do our best to update as soon as possible, but please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions or concerns you may have.
Travel Restrictions and Advice
The following announcement from Orkney Ferries: ‘Phase 2/3 transport roadmap timetables: We are pleased to announce our increased timetable offering effective 6 July. These are available on our website at the Published Timetables link to the left of this message and will be able to be booked from 10h00 on Mon 29 June.’ Please see the Orkney Ferries website for further information.
Please note that from Monday 23rd March 2020 the Trust office will close. Staff will be working from home and we do not expect this to hinder our ability to coordinate the community assistance efforts. This page will still be updated regularly when new information becomes available.
Update from OIC
Some island residents are facing new hardship situations as a result of the Covid-19 situation so the following information has come from OIC and may be useful:
Crisis Grants from Orkney Islands Council
Orkney Islands Council now offer online applications for crisis grants on MyOrkney https://orkney-self.achieveservice.com/MyServices – residents experiencing hardship, especially due to lockdown, can apply for a grant online and in most cases will get a decision the same day and payment the next day if the application is approved. To access this click on the link above or go to the Orkney Islands Council website – click on My Orkney (you may be asked if you want to create an account) – Online Services – Benefit Applications.
Assistance with Council Tax Payments
Anyone who has concerns over paying their Council Tax should make contact with Council Tax and Benefits Section of OIC to discuss whether they may be eligible for Council Tax discount, or to make a payment arrangement or to find out whether they may be eligible for benefits or a grant:- You can contact the Council for advice on Telephone: 01856 873535 Extension 2133 or Direct Dial Tel: 01856 886 322 or email the Revenues Section at firstname.lastname@example.org They can also write to the Revenues Section, Corporate Services, Orkney Islands Council, Council Offices, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY.
Orkney Food Bank
Orkney Foodbank remains well-stocked both in Kirkwall and Westray. During the lockdown, all supplies donated in Westray have remained on the island and several Foodbank deliveries have been made locally. If anyone wishes to donate items they can do so in the green boxes at either the Parish Kirk or W. I. Rendall shop. Other items such as toiletries, washing powder, etc. are always welcome too. Please do not donate fresh food as this can spoil before needed. Any surplus stocks when lockdown eases will be sent to the main store in Kirkwall as normal. If anyone wants to donate cash for fresh food top-ups that can be done to the Foodbank account at Rendall’s shop or directly to Iain MacDonald (677357) who is Foodbank agent for Westray and Papay. All requests for Foodbank help are dealt with in strict confidence. The Foodbank is very grateful to all who’ve been so generous during this time of extra need.
Dog Waste Bags
OIC will continue to supply island communities with Dog waste bags, free of charge, and as the local island shop(s) are the best places for these bags to be located right now then we have arranged for supplies to go out to the shops that have asked for a new supply of these bags.
Update From Westray Surgery
At Westray Surgery, we want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement during this challenging time. You will be aware that we have made a number of changes to the service we provide to limit face to face contact and therefore limit the risk of spreading the coronavirus:
- We are using telephone triage. If you contact the surgery for an appointment, the nurse or GP will phone you back to discuss the problem and give advice. If medication is required, this can often be prescribed over the phone. For those with internet access or a smartphone, we can now offer video consultations. This is a new service which we have introduced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In some circumstances, it still may be necessary to see you at the surgery or at home. If this is the case, please wear a mask or face covering.
- We have reduced the number of people seen for blood tests (some folk may be relieved by this!). If you do attend for a blood test, please wait in your car outside the surgery until the nurse or GP calls you in, to reduce the risk of contact with others (this also applies when attending the surgery for pre-arranged appointments).
- All prescriptions are now delivered to your home – we are very grateful to the Posties for providing this service to the community
Lots of useful advice about coronavirus, how to stay safe, and changes in lockdown measures are available at NHS inform.
Golden Rules for using the Westray Shops
Covid-19 pandemic – Golden Rules for using the Westray Shops
Here are some recommendations, based on best advice from the Scottish Government and NHS about how stay we keep ourselves and our community healthy
It is very simple to arrange a delivery of shopping to your home by either contacting the shops directly or contacting the Westray Development Trust (01857 677858 or 677561 or email email@example.com).
If you are not at high risk, and choose to go to the shops, please, only one family member to enter the shop – no group shopping trips.
No children to join parents on shopping trips.
Maintain the 2 meter rule – always remain at least 2 meters (6 feet) away from other customers and shop staff.
Wash your hands thoroughly before and after visiting the shop.
Westray’s Retained Unit of Scottish Fire & Rescue Service remains working as normal. Whilst practical training has stopped, for the time being, all crew members continue with online training. Additionally, all equipment is being maintained and tested regularly and remains ready for use. Home Fire Safety Visits and other community activities are all suspended but if
you need local advice on something please contact Wullie (677222), Denis
(677509) or Iain (677357). For an emergency response always call 999.
Westray’s Coastguard Service will also continue to respond to emergency calls as normal. Although practical training has stopped for the time being all equipment is still being maintained and inspected to ensure it all remains ready for use. If you have an emergency please call 999 as always.
If you are self-isolating and would like some more information on what this actually entails please click here for the latest advice from the NHS.
This page from the BBC news website also gives a comprehensive overview of what social distancing and self-isolation actually mean: BBC Coronavirus: What are social distancing and self-isolation?
If you are self-isolating and need support, please contact WDT by:
phoning: 01857 677858 or 677561 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please do not come into the office, the office is now closed with staff working from home. Our email is the best way to contact us, however, messages on the answering machine will be checked daily. If you know of someone who needs this support but who cannot access this information themselves, please let them know that help is available.
Due to the current restrictions, we will no longer be asking for volunteers to help with childcare and relief care. As any informal childcare or care for the elderly is no longer allowed. Arrangements for childcare for key workers can be arranged through the School. Any social care needs can be passed on to the Surgery and/or the council.
Community volunteers can still play an important role in helping with deliveries and making needed phone-calls. The latter we strongly encourage you to do. The movements of all of us, not just our most vulnerable, are now heavily restricted. Therefore pick up the phone and call, facetime, or message a friend or family member. Keep connected so we can get through this together.
We already have a large, diverse pool of volunteers who are willing to help with a variety of tasks so if you think you may need assistance, please get in touch.
We can help with:
- Deliveries (shopping, prescriptions etc.)
- Daily befriending phone calls to isolated individuals
- Relief workers in hospitality/retail if required to maintain essential services
Orkney Foodbank is able to help those on low income and financial difficulty with short-term food supplies. This is a confidential service. You can contact the Foodbank on 07719293378 or contact the local agent (Iain MacDonald) on 677357 or email@example.com
Pierowall Hotel and Cleaton House are both offering a meal service for delivery if needed by isolating households.
Westray Playpark – The playpark and playing field are now open but the latest government guidelines around social distancing must be observed..
Westray Junior High School – From Friday 20th March 2020 the school will close until further notice. Provision is being put in place to allow those children who currently get free school meals to continue to get some support and we will add more information on this when we have it.
The Hofn – As a youth centre and community space, the Hofn will not be reopening until Phase 3 of the government’s route map and only if WDT feels that we are able to follow government guidelines adequately to ensure the safety of users and staff.
Kirks – services have been suspended until further notice. The Church of Scotland and Baptist kirks both remain open as places of prayer or quiet spaces – please follow guidelines at the door.
Pierowall Hotel and Cleaton House – Following government announcements bars and restaurants are now closed until further notice. However, takeaway services are still available along with meal delivery for those in self-isolation. Please contact the hotel or Cleaton house directly for more information on the services available.
Jacks Chippy – The Chippy is open on Saturdays from 4.30-7.30. Please phone in your orders and either collect outside or delivery options may be available.
Healthy Living Centre – The gym and swimming pool will be closed from 4.30pm on Friday 20th March 2020 until further notice.
Learning Centre and Community rooms – the learning centre, consultation room, community classrooms, and other community facilities within the school are closed until further notice. Any sessions already booked have been cancelled and no new bookings are being taken at this time. These facilities may be able to reopen during Phase 3.
Kalisgarth – Following National guidance, visiting to Kalisgarth is now permitted, but restricted to immediate family only. The visit has to be booked, take place outdoors and the visitor needs to wear a facemask. Other PPE and hand sanitiser will be provided by Kalisgarth, and national physical distancing measures need to be maintained during visits. Families have been notified of the visiting process, which will change as lockdown restrictions ease so please contact Kalisgarth to book a visit or to learn more about the current visiting restrictions. Folk are encouraged to keep in touch by phone, e-mail, letters, and Kalisgarth are willing to explore contact by social media/skype (or alternatives). To use the phone/skype route, please contact Kalisgarth Office Mon-Fri, 9-1230 to arrange a slot. If you send a message via text, phone or letter/e-mail, they will ensure it is passed on to clients and read out to them if they need this assistance. Keeping in touch emails can be sent to- firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com – please phone to advise if you have sent an urgent email/attachment. All community events/gatherings at Kalisgarth including Kirk, citizens advice, knitting and spinning group are now cancelled until further notice.
RBS – the bank will not open in Westray until further notice. The Kirkwall branch of RBS is still open. The Westray Post Offices at Tullochs & Peter Miller’s (Skello Shop) can perform the majority of banking services.
Bargain Box – Street-access retail outlets were able to open as of Phase 2, however, it is felt that, at this time, WDT are unable to implement the legislation relating to the protection of staff and customers sufficiently to be able to reopen the Bargain Box. If any groups have a specific project that they are fundraising towards we would like to remind them that the WDT community grant scheme welcomes applications to fund community projects. If your group is a regular fundraiser in the Bargain Box and your group is now missing out due to the closure of the Bargain Box we have set up a grant for you to apply for £260 to replace these lost funds, more information can be found on our website: here
Westray Playgroup – the playgroup is cancelled until after the Easter holidays, however, this will be subject to a review of the current guidelines.