Friday, March 27, 2020

This update includes:

  • Information about changes we’ve made to our group and website
  • Summary of local news
  • Key national/international points

Team updates:

Local updates:

  • An 85-year old man who had tested positive for coronavirus died on Wednesday, it was announced today. The main, who had underlying health conditions, was the first patient to have tested positive for coronavirus to die in Gloucestershire. (Stroud New and Journal report)
  • A total of 78 people in Gloucestershire have now tested positive for coronavirus, an increase of 14 (Gloucestershire Live report)
  • Gloucestershire Live also noted that the “Aneurin Bevan University Health Board has the highest concentration of confirmed cases per 100,000 people outside the capital. As of today the health board has 358 confirmed coronavirus cases, more than half of the 628 infections in Wales.” This area borders the Forest of Dean.

It is important to say that these are confirmed cases only, and that since testing has been suspended for all cases but those needing hospitalisation, we do not have an accurate number for the actual number of cases in the community.

  • Ecotricity have offered three locations for NHS and key worker use. Dale Vince said “A lot of front line people need somewhere to stay overnight, away from their families, to keep them safe. That’s becoming difficult as overnight accommodation is shutting down. Our first guest tonight is a midwife – we have room for 12 people in total.” The New Lawn – home of Forest Green Rovers, recently-vacated town-centre office Unicorn House, and FGR’s player hostel have all been made available.
  • There is a “Stroud area housing offers and requests” Facebook group for anyone needing accomodation or able to make some available on a smaller scale. “A group to introduce those in need of accommodation (due to self distancing/moving to keep someone else safe/homelessness) to those who have spare annexes/cottages/summer houses/yurts etc during this time of locking down. Lots of Airbnb accommodation is available as so many cancellations and many needing separate accommodation to others. Reasonable rates please as this is a community”
  • The NHS organisation that runs our local major hospitals in Gloucester and Cheltenham (Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) – where patients with coronavirus will be treated – launched a video featuring NHS workers asking us to Stay at Home to help protect them. Read the full NHS Stay at Home advice.
  • Gloucestershire County Council have launched a Community Help Hub.
  • Individuals, organisations and businesses can offer help on the Gloucestershire County Council Community Help Hub.
  • People who need help are encouraged to register with the County Council system.
  • Gloucestershire County Council also have a phone line available – if you cannot use the online form, please call 01452 583519. The lines are open Monday – Friday 8.30am – 5pm and Saturday – Sunday 9am-4pm. They emphasise: “This is a priority telephone line for people who  need help or are volunteering, please do not use it for reporting other issues”.


  • “The UK has recorded its biggest daily rise in coronavirus deaths for the second day running. In the last 24 hours, 181 have died after testing positive for Covid-19. It comes after 115 deaths were recorded the day before.” (Guardian) 
  • 759 people who had tested positive have died in the UK
  • “UK infections are now doubling roughly every three to four days” 
  • 33,000 hospital beds have now been freed up – or created in field hospitals – to treat patients (Above three points from linked BBC article).
  • 113,777 people have now been tested for Covid-19; of those 14,543 have tested positive (tweet from the Department of Health and Social Care. This represents an increase in the last day of 2,885). You can track UK cases via the government website.
  • Health workers on the frontline in England will start being tested this weekend to see if they have coronavirus, the government has announced” (BBC). This follows a wave of criticism and campaigning including a petition signed by 1.25 million people.
  • As Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock tested positive for coronavirus, and the government’s Chief Medical Officer, Prof Chris Whitty, also reported symptoms and went into self-isolation, Public Health experts criticised the government’s approach so far. Dr John Ashton, a former regional director of Public Health England, said: “The government has been too slow to act on this, and they’ve been slow as individuals. I was surprised to see prime minister questions going ahead this week – it was clearly unnecessary. It reinforces the view that lockdown measures taken earlier this week should have been taken sooner, and raises questions about the ability of people in power, including the prime minister, to discipline themselves. They should all have been more careful.”
  • Prof Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Leaders need to lead by example. It wasn’t a good thing that he was telling people that he was going around shaking hands and being quite nonchalant about the virus.”


  • The total global number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed half a million
  • 46,484 people were confirmed to have the virus – bringing the total to 509,164 
  • 2,501 people died who had tested positive. A total of 23,335 people have now died after testing positive.
  • The United Nations World Tourism Organization launched a Crisis Committee to review the impact of the outbreak on the aviation, shipping and tourism sectorsand propose innovative solutions for recovery
  • (above points from the World Health Organisation daily Situation Report, where you can find out more and see a detailed breakdown by country)
  • France: 32,964 confirmed Covid-19 cases – 3,809 more than the previous day. There have been 1,995 deaths in hospital, an increase of 299 in 24 hours. “There are 15,732 people in hospital, with 3,787 in intensive care. One third are under 60 years old and 42 of those in intensive care are under 30 years old… about 5,700 people who had the Covid-19 virus had recovered”  
  • Italy: another 919 people died – the highest daily rise in COVID-19 deaths. 9,134 people who had tested positive for coronavirus have now died in Italy.

Please remember we have a (growing) list of resources to support your emotional and mental health during this time on our website.