CORONAVIRUS HELP & ADVICE
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SUPPORT IN THE COMMUNITY
HELP FOR THE VULNERABLE
If you are vulnerable and have no friends, family or neighbours to support you, or if you are worried about someone in this situation, contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 07563 883327 and volunteers will try and find someone in the community who can help.
What can you do?
You can help your neighbours who are isolating, or those who you know may be vulnerable or at risk, or you feel may be unable to cope under the present restrictions, by simple acts of good neighbourliness. It is, however, essential that you only provide support to people who are in isolation if:
- You are well and have no symptoms like a cough or high temperature and nobody in your household does
- You are under 70
- You are not pregnant
- You do not have any long-term health conditions that make you vulnerable to coronavirus.
Importantly, you should not go inside the homes of anyone you do not live with, especially vulnerable people or people who believe they may be infected and are isolating themselves. Breaking these rules could put you at risk of infection, or risk spreading it to others.
Shopping – if people staying at home because of coronavirus need basic necessities, you could make a special trip although you should try to limit the time you spend outside your home by picking up essential items for others only when you do your own shopping. Alternatively, you could help those who aren’t as familiar with online shopping by placing an order for them or by talking them through the process over the phone.
Medication – you can pick up prescriptions on someone else’s behalf although people should only request medication that they need, in their usual quantities.
Well Being – staying at home for a long time can be a lonely experience and may impact on people’s wellbeing. Just saying hello and regularly checking in over the phone or by video-chat is important and helpful in making people realise that they are not alone.
Safety – Remember to keep a safe distance (2m or 6ft away from anyone you do not live with) when leaving any items on the person’s doorstep or drop off area, and make sure that they have collected the shopping or medication before leaving.
You should also regularly wash your hands with soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
If you have offered to help other people, please do not place yourself in positions where you may feel unsafe, for instance helping late at night.
If you or someone in your household has shown symptoms, or if you are more vulnerable to coronavirus yourself, then you must stay home. You can still play an important role but will need to do this from home.
Details of home suppliers who undertake home deliveries can be accessed by clicking here
NEW RULES ON STAYING AT HOME AND AWAY FROM OTHERS
The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government has now (23 March 2020) introduced three new measures.
- Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
- Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
- Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public
Every citizen must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.
These measures are effective immediately.
STAYING AT HOME
You should only leave the house for one of four reasons.
- Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must
be as infrequent as
- One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
- Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
These four reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
If you work in a critical sector or your child has been identified as vulnerable, you can continue to take your children to school. Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes
CLOSING NON-ESSENTIAL SHOPS AND PUBLIC SPACES
The Government has previously ordered certain businesses – including pubs, cinemas and theatres – to close. The Government is now extending this requirement to a further set of businesses and other venues, including:
- all non-essential retail stores – this will include clothing and electronics stores; hair, beauty and nail salons; and outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets.
- libaries, community centres, and youth centres.
- indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities.
- communal places within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms.
- places of worship, except for funerals attended by immediate families.
- hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use (excluding permanent residents and key workers).
More detailed information including a full list of those businesses and other venues that must close is available on the Government’s Coronavirus webiste . Businesses and other venues not on this list may remain open.
STOPPING PUBLIC GATHERINGS
To make sure people are staying at home and apart from each other, the Government has also stopped all public gatherings of more than two people.
There are only two exceptions to this rule:
- where the gathering is of a group of people who live together – this means that a parent can, for example, take their children to the shops if there is no option to leave them at home.
- where the gathering is essential for work purposes – but workers should be trying to minimise all meetings and other gatherings in the workplace.
In addition, the Government is stopping social events, including weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies. This will exclude funerals, which can be attended by immediate family.
DELIVERING THESE NEW MEASURES
These measures will reduce our day to day contact with other people. They are a vital part of our efforts to reduce the rate of transmission of coronavirus.
Every citizen is instructed to comply with these new measures.
The Government will ensure that the police and other relevant authorities have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings where people do not comply.
These measures will initially last for the three weeks from 23 March, at which point the Government will look at them again and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.
Advice regarding this virus is being updated regularly and rather than try to keep copying the information and have instead provided links to the sources that we were using.
CORONAVIRUS ADVICE LINKS
Advice from the UK Government can be accessed by clicking here
Advice is available on the Yetminster Health Centre website which can be accessed by clicking here
Advice from Dorset Council (includes disposal of contaminated tissues) can be accessed by clicking here
Advice re Cleansing and Disenfection can be accessed by clicking here
CLEANING & DISINFECTION ADVICE
WHAT TO DO ABOUT LETTERS AND PARCELS
The advice is not particularly clear but in theory it appears that, as the Coronavirus can survive for up to 72hrs on hard surfaces – softer materials, such as fabric or carpeting, are less likely to pass on the virus than frequently-touched hard surfaces – letters and parcels could become infected. However, the roughness of transportation and the associated mechanical, temperature, and humidity changes may kill the virus before they reach their destination.
As there is not (as of 28 March) any specific advice it is probably worthwhile, where a person is likely to be at risk, considering disinfect a parcel with an alcohol-based wipe before handling it, minimise contact with the packaging and then wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water (or with hand sanitiser) after opening and discarding the boxes. If practical letters should be treated in the same way.
HOW TO ISOLATE IN A FAMILY SITUTATION
WHAT TO DO ABOUT TAKEAWAYS ?
Many local restaurants have repurposed their businesses as takeaways. Because of the normal inspection routines there would be minimal risk from a freshly cooked takeaway meal.
The risk of packaging contamination can be minimised it is advised, by “emptying the contents [into a clean dish], disposing of the packaging into a refuse bag and washing your hands thoroughly before you eat”.
“Take food out of a container with a spoon and eat it with a knife and fork – not your fingers.”
It might be better in the current circumstances to order hot, freshly cooked food, rather than cold or raw items. The Food Standards Agency does stress that the risk from food is low and that “there is no reason to avoid having ready-to-eat food delivered if it has been prepared and handled properly”.
For the most cautious and the most vulnerable though, careful preparation and cooking may be reassuring. “With a pizza for example, if you wanted to be really safe, you could even pop it into the microwave for a couple of minutes,” it is advised.