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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Half of new Devon Covid cases from University of Exeter

    Johanna Carr

    BBC News Online

    A little over half of the new coronavirus cases identified in Devon this week are attributable to the University of Exeter.

    Registrar Mike Shore-Nye, said the university's rapid testing system provided results within 24 hours and allowed them to identify positive cases coming into Exeter and ensure individual isolation and support immediately.

    He said: "The Public Health teams have made a careful analysis of all of the cases so far and their assessment is that a number of students have arrived from their home towns and cities, carrying the infection with them, and this has been passed on to their close contacts and housemates."

    View more on twitter

    Mr Shore-Nye said there was no evidence of wider community transmission and said while there had "been pictures and reports of young people breaking the rules, the vast majority of our 25,000 students have behaved impeccably".

    He added: "I also want us to remember that many of these young people are away from home for the first time and already had a difficult start to adulthood with now further pressures and consequences to face.

    "Some will receive sanctions and fines but most deserve our understanding and support."

  2. Urgent appeal for missing parrot

    Claire Gilbody-Dickerson

    BBC News

    People are being urged to look out for a parrot which went missing after the wind blew him off course.

    Staff at Paradise Park have issued an urgent appeal for Skittles, a scarlet macaw, which went missing on Wednesday after a "sudden sharp increase in wind".

    Curator David Woolcock explained their flock of scarlet macaws regularly flies free around the park for up to four hours a day.

    Skittles the parrot

    But the strong wind on Wednesday blew the flock off course.

    "Three of the four were located and retrieved within two hours of them going missing thanks to the help of local people who called in and reported their whereabouts.

    "But Skittles has not been seen and we are now asking the public for their help in reporting any sightings to us," Mr Woolcock said.

    Anyone who may have seen the bird has been urged to contact the park on social media or call staff on 01736 753365.

  3. Covid-19: Cornish pub scoops top prize for community work

    BBC Radio Cornwall

    A Cornish pub has collected a top national award for its efforts to help the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

    The Golden Lion at Stithians, Redruth, was honoured at the British Pub Awards after it set up a bank of fridges where anyone in need of a meal could grab one and go.

    Landlord Sarah Sear told BBC Radio Cornwall: "We are absolutely thrilled, we never thought we'd actually win.

    Golden Lion

    "We were up against some seriously big pubs but it was down to voting. Over 65,000 voted for that category and we obviously had the majority share - so the South West did get behind us."

    She said the meals were initially offered to NHS workers, then extended to other front-line workers "and generally anyone who needed our help".

    "If we need to do it again we will."

    Video content

    Video caption: Sarah Sear from The Golden Lion explains how they were hailed as "Community Heroes".
  4. Covid: Coronavirus cases in England up 60% in a week

    BBC News Health


    Coronavirus cases in England have risen by 60% in the past week, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures suggest.

    A random survey estimated there were 9,600 new cases a day in England in the week to 19 September, three times that being picked up by general testing.

    And it represents an increase from 6,000 a day, according to the same survey conducted the previous week.

    Infections rates are highest in the north west of England and in London.

  5. Government and employers 'chipping in' could save jobs

    BBC Radio Devon

    It is hoped thousands of jobs will be saved in Devon thanks to the new job retention scheme announced by the government on Thursday.

    The Job Support Scheme will replace the furlough scheme once it ends on 31 October and will see employees' pay topped up by the government. Under the plans, employees will have to be able to work at least one third of their normal hours in order to access the funds.

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak

    Patrick Togwell, from Thomas Westcott Chartered Accountants in Exeter, welcomed the government's new scheme, while echoing Chancellor Rishi Sunak in saying "he can't save every job".

    "You can be put on reduced hours and with your employer and the government chipping in it could well last you through this period until hopefully times get better in the spring," he told BBC Radio Devon.

  6. Torbay Hospital A&E 'safe and open'

    BBC Radio Devon

    People are being reassured the emergency department at Torbay Hospital is open and safe after staff tested positive for coronavirus.

    Two members of staff tested positive after showing symptoms 10 days ago.

    Coronavirus testing

    A total of 250 staff members have been tested since - five have come back positive.

    The trust said the department has been cleaned twice and it has reviewed its personal protective equipment.

    Medical director Ian Currie told BBC Radio Devon there will also be a second round of staff testing.

    "We are confident that the department remains a safe place to come."

  7. Cornish beaches to get lifeguard cover until November

    Lifeguard cover on 24 Cornish beaches will be extended until 1 November following negotiations between the RNLI and Cornwall Council.

    Under the agreement, 16 beaches will have daily cover, while eight will be monitored at weekends and each day during the school holiday - between 17 October to Sunday 1 November.

    Cornwall Council said the extension recognises the shorter holiday season due to the original pandemic lockdown.

    Lifeguards in West Cornwall have reported a 100% increase in beach use and a 200% increase in numbers of people entering the water, with hotels and holiday accommodation providers experiencing good bookings for September, it added.


    Full time cover will continue on the following beaches:

    • Tregonhawke
    • Praa Sands
    • Fistral
    • Towan
    • Watergate Bay
    • Mawgan Porth
    • Porthtowan
    • Perranporth
    • Gwithian
    • Porthmeor
    • Sennen
    • Constantine
    • Harlyn
    • Polzeath
    • Widemouth
    • Summerleaze

    The below beaches will have weekend and half term holiday cover:

    • Poldhu
    • Porthcurno
    • Treyarnon
    • Sandymouth
    • Hayle Towans
    • Chapel Porth
    • Holywell Bay
    • Crantock
  8. Royal Navy sailors in Plymouth test positive for Covid-19

    BBC Spotlight

    Several Royal Navy sailors in Plymouth have tested positive for coronavirus.

    A unspecified number aboard HMS Richmond are said to have the virus and are currently isolating away from the warship.

    The Type 23 frigate was seen coming into Plymouth on Tuesday and it is understood the ship returned to Devonport Naval Base after the positive cases were identified.

    The frigate has been tied up in the base since then.

    A spokesman for the Royal Navy confirmed the cases.

    He said: “We can confirm that a number of personnel from HMS Richmond have tested positive for COVID-19. Those individuals are ashore and are under medical supervision. The remaining crew are following appropriate guidelines while the Royal Navy continues to manage the situation.”

    Sailors having been working in "family bubbles" while at sea, many of them living in small spaces among the mess decks.

    All of the ship's company are reported to be isolating.

    It is also understood further cases have been identified on an international warship that had been in Plymouth working with the Royal Navy's Flag Officer Sea Training organisation.

    Usually Type 23 frigates have about 200 sailors on board dependent on the exact role of the ship.

  9. Covid-19 confirmed at Newquay school

    Amy Gladwell

    BBC News Online

    A case of Covid-19 has been confirmed at a Cornwall secondary school.

    Eight pupils at Newquay Tretherras are self-isolating and the case was confirmed on Wednesday, Cornwall Council said.

    An authority spokesperson said: "Public Health England South West and Cornwall Council are working together with local NHS colleagues to support staff and pupils at Newquay Tretherras, following a confirmed case of COVID-19 at the school.

    "Following advice from Public Health England, the school has carried out a full deep clean of the facility In line with their own Covid procedures, a small group of eight students have been required to self-isolate."

    Newquay Tretherras School
    Quote Message: This school has acted quickly in response to the confirmed case and we are working with the school to provide advice and guidance in line with our Local Outbreak Management Plan. To stay Covid safe everyone should wash their hands regularly for at least 20 seconds using soap and water or using hand sanitiser, follow social distancing measures keeping 2 metres apart if you can, keeping to school bubbles and wearing face masks in line with government advice.” from Rachel Wigglesworth Interim Director of Public Health for Cornwall Council
    Rachel WigglesworthInterim Director of Public Health for Cornwall Council
  10. Dawlish sea wall construction completes first phase

    The first phase of the £80m Dawlish sea wall project has been completed by Network Rail.

    The project began in June 2019.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the project was part of the government's "ambitious plan" to improve rail journeys in Devon and Cornwall.

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    Network Rail spent £40m repairing the track following devastating storms six years ago.

    But the line, which is used by Great Western Railway and CrossCountry, has since proven susceptible to flooding, forcing services to be suspended on multiple occasions.

    Image caption: Dawlish Station was closed after high tides washed over a sea wall in November 2018
  11. Councillors call for more data on police stop and search

    Daniel Clark

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Councillors have called for more information to be provided to see the direction of travel after it was revealed that in Devon and Cornwall, if you are black, you are 12 times more likely to be stopped and searched than if you are white.

    Black people also are nearly 10 times more likely to be the subject of use of force and six times more likely to be designated as a suspect and half as likely to receive a community resolution.

    The internal performance figures produced this week are from April 2019 to March 2020 and reveal how individuals from ethnic minorities are disproportionately dealt with.

    It has prompted Devon & Cornwall Police to launch a new drive to combat discrimination in policing after listening to the concerns and experiences of people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

    But discussing the findings at Teignbridge’s overview and scrutiny meeting on Tuesday morning, councillors said they gave no information as to whether things were getting better or worse.

    Councillor Alison Eden said the findings were shocking and were an example of "ingrained racial prejudices", but that more details were needed to find out what the direction of travel was.

    She proposed the police and crime commissioner be asked to disclose what the figures were for the previous four years, so year-on-year changes could be revealed.

    In response, Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: "The most recent PEEL inspection of the force by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) reported that the disproportionality between white and ethnic minority stop and search rates in Devon and Cornwall (2.6 searches per 1,000 population) was lower than the England and Wales average (6.4).

    "It is vital that every single one of our police officers behave fairly to all of our residents and visitors and do so within these rules.

    "It is why my office scrutinised use of police powers last year and publishing its findings and recommendations to the chief constable.

    "Recommendations included publishing more stop and search data."

  12. Teignmouth to get new hotel and restaurant

    Planning permission has been granted for a Premier Inn and Beefeater restaurant in Teignmouth.

    Work is likely to start on the three-storey, 68-bed hotel at the derelict Brunswick Street car park site at the end of this year, with an estimated completion date towards the end of 2021, the council said.

    Once open, about 50 new jobs are expected to be created, with recruitment focused in Teignmouth and the surrounding areas.

    Brunswick Street plans

    The council will construct the hotel, with the final building being leased to Whitbread, Premier Inn’s parent company, for a minimum of 25 years.

    Councillor Nina Jefferies said the "much-needed facility" will bring jobs and holiday accommodation "at a time when the tourism sector needs investment more than ever".

    Also as part of the town regeneration plans, the facility at Northumberland Place will be sold to the Teignmouth Arts and Community Group, which has rented the premises for years.