This note provides basic guidance on the welfare support which may be provided to the elderly members of our Village, those who live alone or those who self-isolate having either experienced the symptoms of Coronavirus or as a method of preventing infection from the virus.
• Check regularly on the more elderly and vulnerable members of your neighbours, especially those that live alone, remembering that a phone call is probably safest for them rather than visiting in person.
• If it is absolutely essential for a visit to be made only do so with the express permission of the individual being visited and/or their relatives and follow the recommended hygiene guidelines for the protection of both yourself and the person being visited.
• Be aware that if a visit involves the delivery of shopping, although considered unlikely by the medical authorities, you may be taking the virus into their home.
• If they are capable, suggest they wipe down non-porous containers, if not offer to do it yourself. Fruit and vegetables should be washed before consumption. It is highly unlikely that a cardboard container will harbour the virus for more than a couple of days so they are best left on the shelf for that length of time or the hands washed immediately after handling.
• The official Public Health England and NHS guidance is that any individual who is unwell, particularly if they have a fever, cough or shortness of breath, should self-isolate for seven days or until they are fully recovered. This is standard procedure for infection control.
• This is the ‘Delay’ phase in managing the response to the coronavirus.
• While continuing to reiterate the critical importance of regular hand-washing and good hygiene practices, they are suggesting those who may be most at risk – the elderly and those with underlying respiratory conditions – should consider staying away from public spaces with high volumes of people.
• Please 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.
If you require medical advice please but either, follow the guidance issued by the Public Health England and NHS or speak to your GP.
I hope this helps to summarise the present position, in these unprecedented times, and assure you that this issue is being taken very seriously. Advice and policy from Government are continuing to evolve on a daily basis, and, as this changes, this shall be passed on to you.
20th March, 2020.