Exeter News

Health Secretary urges everyone in South West to download new NHS Covid-19 app

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has called on people across the South West to download the new NHS Covid-19 app, which has now launched across England and Wales following rigorous testing and successful trials. The NHS Covid-19 app will alert users if they have been close to someone who later tests positive for coronavirus, as well as providing risk alerts based on a user’s postcode, allow users to scan QR codes to check in at venues on the app and allow people to book tests, if they have symptoms. The app works by logging the amount of time you spend near other app users, and the distance between you, so it can alert you if someone you have been close to later tests positive for Covid-19 – even if you don’t know each other. The app will advise you to self-isolate if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case. The UK’s major mobile network operators, including Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, Sky and Virgin, have confirmed that all in-app activity will not come out of customers’ data allowance. Businesses are now required by law to display NHS Test and Trace QR code posters so customers with the NHS Covid-19 app can use it to check in to venues. So far, more than 90,000 businesses have already downloaded QR codes. The app has been through successful trials in the Isle of Wight, Newham and among NHS Volunteer Responders and lessons learned have informed the final version. The Health Secretary said: “We are at a tipping point in our efforts to control the spread of this virus. “With infection rates rising, we must use every tool at our disposal to prevent transmission, including the latest technology. “We have worked extensively with tech companies, international partners and privacy and medical experts – and learned from the trials – to develop an app that is secure and simple to use and will help keep our country safe. “The launch marks an important step forward in our fight against this invisible killer and I urge everyone who can to download and use the app to protect themselves and their loved ones.” The Exeter Daily…

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Quay Words Autumn 2020: Writer-in-residence Patrick Gale

Literature Works and the Exeter Canal and Quay Trust are delighted to announce Quay Words Autumn 2020, celebrating words and stories at Exeter Custom House. They can also announce that bestselling novelist Patrick Gale is Quay Words Autumn 2020 writer-in-residence for October/ November. The theme of the Quay Words Autumn season is ‘Wellbeing’, which is at the heart of Exeter’s programme as a UNESCO City of Literature and Quay Words is a pillar of that programme. Patrick will host a series of events and opportunities exploring the pleasure and the many positive impacts of reading and writing. Patrick will host events with bibliotherapist and writer Ella Berthoud and another with novelist and psychotherapist Salley Vickers. At his own solo event, Patrick will look at how mental health runs as theme through his writing. During the residency, Patrick will work also with six emerging writers, who will read alongside him at the end of his residency at a ‘Quay Voices’ event, our strand showcasing emerging writers on the same bill as the established writer who has mentored them. Patrick said of his residency:“I’m thrilled at the prospect of being writer-in-residence in such a stunning and atmospheric old building as the Custom House and of helping put together a series of public events there around the theme of Wellbeing. Now more than ever we need the healing power of reading and writing and I’m looking forward to roping in some old friends to help me spread the word.” Exeter Custom House has recently reopened to the public and a small socially-distanced audience will attend the events in person. The events will be simultaneously broadcast live from Exeter Custom House, free of charge to an online audience. Key Dates: Wednesday 21st October, 6.30 – 8 pm: ‘Reading and wellbeing’ with Ella Berthoud, hosted by Patrick Gale. Wednesday 11th November, 6.30 -7.30 pm: Author event with Patrick Gale. Wednesday 18th November, 6.30 -8 pm: ‘Writing, creativity and therapy’ with Salley Vickers, hosted by Patrick Gale. Wednesday 2nd December, 6.30 – 8 pm: Quay Voices hosted by Patrick Gale.
Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight in 1962. He studied at Winchester College and New College, Oxford. In 1988 he moved to Cornwall where he lives with his husband, the farmer and sculptor, Aidan Hicks, on their farm at Land’s End. He is a keen cellist, gardener and artistic…