Updates from the council on coronavirus

Check the latest advice on COVID-19 →

Coronavirus - advice and information

The tip at Shidas Lane is open every day, 9.30am - 2.30pm

Only visit if it's absolutely essential and read about changes to the tip's operation before you go.

Garden waste collections are back

We're now collecting garden waste - check your bin day and remember this is a fortnightly collection. Find out more about garden waste collections.

Car parking charges suspended

Car parking charges on all Sandwell Council town centre car parks have been suspended

Update on food waste bins

Food waste bin collections have now been suspended so we can prioritise general waste and recycling collections. Please put any food waste in your general waste bin or compost it at home.

Cemeteries 

Cemteries are now open from 9am to 7pm each day. Please do not gather in groups - you must keep 2 metres away from anyone not from your household. Find out more about funeral services during the current coronavirus outbreak.

Please do not light bonfires

We're asking people not to light garden fires/bonfires in the coming days and weeks - we need fresh air. Find out more about our advice on bonfires

Look out for older and vulnerable people

Sandwell Council has written to all residents giving advice and asking them to look out for older or vulnerable neighbours and anyone self isolating. The council will also do its best to provide urgent help to anyone who does not have any family, friends, neighbours or community support.

Funerals, weddings and register office appointments

We've updated families about arrangements for funerals. Weddings will be cancelled in line with government advice. Find out more about changes to funerals, weddings and register office appointments.

Support if you're hearing impaired

Our friends Sandwell Deaf Community Association are continuing to deliver their services - contact them on 07885 913225 or by email communication@sdca.co.uk

Staying well

Here's some advice from Healthy Sandwell on staying well at home.

Leisure centres and gyms are closed

In line with Government guidance, leisure centres in Sandwell are closed. For more information contact Sandwell Leisure Trust and West Bromwich Leisure Centre.

Trading standards advice

We've issued advice from our trading standards team on scams and price hiking.

  • Do not open the door to anyone claiming to offer testing for coronavirus. 
  • Do not to give money to strangers knocking doors and asking for cash upfront to do shopping for people who are self-isolating. Ask a family member, friend or neighbour, or seek help if you are self-isolating without anyone to help.
  • Stay alert to email scams – such as those asking you to renew their TV Licence online.

For more information visit the Coronavirus scams webpage.

Keeping children occupied at home

Check out the Family Information Service website for fun activities and learning resources for children.

Unregistered childcare advertised on social media

It has come to our attention that unregistered childcare providers are advertising on social media. If you need childcare support, please check The Family Information Service Hub for available registered childcare for the children of keyworkers and vulnerable children.

Help for businesses

You'll also find details of help for businesses on our Think Sandwell website.

Government coronavirus advice

See all government advice in one place here.

Make sure you check our coronavirus homepage for links to the latest information from the council and the NHS. We'll be adding more information to this as we get it.

Please - if you are online use our online services to request something or report a problem. Create a MySandwell account and use it to keep track of your requests.

This frees up our phonelines to help people without access to the internet, who are among some of the most vulnerable.

Help available from the council

Here's a message from Councillor Yvonne Davies, setting out help available from the council during the coronavirus outbreak.

Details of emergency help from the council 

We've issued advice for people who have no family, friends or neighbours and who are in urgent need of support.

We're also creating a list of helpful community groups who are offering assistance to people in isolation.

New NHS and Government guidance 

The NHS has issued guidance on when you should stay at home - including advice for people who are living with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new continuous cough).

The Government has also issued advice for everyone on social distancing (limiting your contact with other people).

You must stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms - check the latest NHS advice

  • if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
  • if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms

Read the NHS advice about staying at home.

Social distancing - check the latest Government advice

This guidance is for everyone. It advises on social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). People who are at increased risk of severe illness should particularly follow the advice on social distancing.

Check the advice on social distancing.

Suspension of court action on council debt

The Leader of Sandwell Council Councillor Yvonne Davies has announced the suspension of Council court action for debt during the Coronavirus crisis.

Anyone who is concerned about a debt to Sandwell Council who needs advice should call 0121 569 5333 from 9am on Monday 16 March.

Medical advice on coronavirus is available on the NHS website.

Coronavirus - advice and information

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

The NHS in Sandwell and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases.

Public Health in Sandwell have formed a coronavirus resilience group which is meeting regularly and co-ordinates our response across education, adult social care, children’s social care and other key council services.

This is linked up with the work being carried out by our NHS partners, as well as to the work of organisations across the wider region.

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms read the latest NHS advice

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.

Read our advice about staying at home.

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Use the 111 coronavirus service

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

Check the most up-to-date Government advice on coronavirus.

Read our five top tips to help protect yourself and your community from coronavirus

Advice for everyone

How to wash your hands

Washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to protect you and others from illnesses.

NHS has a useful guide about how to wash your hands thoroughly.

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Catch it, bin it, kill it
  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

NHS advice - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Your questions answered

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the name given to the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus. More information about novel coronaviruses.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are usually mild, but some people can become very unwell.

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.

Who is at risk of developing severe illness?

Older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others.

Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

To date, there is no vaccine that can be used to prevent COVID-19 (but there is international co-operation to develop one).

How does the virus spread?

The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then can become infected by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth or if they breathe in droplets.

Is it safe to receive a package / post from any area where COVID-19 has been reported?

Yes. The likelihood of catching the virus in this way is very low.

Can I get coronavirus from food or takeaways?

No. There is currently no evidence that you can catch coronavirus from food. 

How can I protect myself?

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – use alcohol hand gel if soap and water are not available 
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

What should I do if I have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?

The NHS has issued new guidance on when you should stay at home - including advice for people who are living with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new continuous cough).

The Government has also issued advice for everyone on social distancing (limiting your contact with other people).

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Use the online 111 service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

I am about to travel abroad, where can I get the most up-to-date travel advice?

The Government is advising against 'non essential' travel.

Latest Government advice about travelling abroad.