Covid-19 - Update from our Chief Executive 9 June 2020

9 Jun 2020 Seamus McAleavey    Last updated: 9 Jun 2020

NICVA Chief Executive, Seamus McAleavey gives an update on the COVID-19 Charity Fund and the work of the PHA on Testing and contact tracing.

COVID 19 Charities Fund Update

I am pleased to update you that the detailed work around the establishment of this £15.5m scheme has now been completed and approved by the Minister. It will be announced on the Department for Communities website today.

NICVA has been consulted and we have engaged extensively with the team of officials working on the fund. We have encouraged speed but recognise that it is a difficult process especially as we know the fund will not be sufficient to meet all the needs.

Its focus is on helping those most affected in terms of financial losses caused by the crisis.

COVID 19 Testing and contact tracing

This is a massive piece of work currently in progress. Northern Ireland wide testing is currently going on in Care Homes using mobile testing units. Testing is also on-going for those with COVID 19 virus symptoms.

The Public Health Agency have a Contact Tracing Steering group overseeing all aspects of contact tracing development and I represent NICVA on the Steering Group.

Contract tracing is the key to easing the lockdown restrictions safely. More information is available here.

You will know that NHS England plan to launch a proximity app for smart phones to help alert people who may need a test. When launched it will be available in Northern Ireland but Health authorities here are also investigating a dedicated Northern Ireland App that can cope with the all island dimension of protecting public health.

As we get more information we will keep you informed.

Stay safe everyone,

Seamus McAleavey
Chief Executive

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