Herefordshire residents told to STAY AT HOME now as COVID-19 case rates rise

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Herefordshire residents are being urged to STAY AT HOME now in order to protect the NHS and save lives, following the Government’s announcement of a third national lockdown.

The instruction comes in the wake of a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases across the country, including Herefordshire, in recent weeks.

The latest guidance stipulates people should only leave home for specific reasons:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise once a day locally with one person from your household (or support bubble) or one other person
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare - for those eligible

The lockdown is due to last until at least mid-February. For full details of the Government’s lockdown rules visit www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

Herefordshire’s Acting Director of Public Health Dr Rebecca Howell-Jones said: “Throughout this pandemic, the vast majority of Herefordshire residents and businesses have shown extraordinary levels of compliance to the COVID-19 rules in order to protect themselves, their loved ones and wider communities against this highly contagious and sometimes lethal virus. 

“But, with the new variant spreading rapidly in our communities, the pressure on our health and care services is now greater than at any other time in this pandemic.

“We ask that Herefordshire residents step up to the plate once again and STAY AT HOME to protect the NHS and save lives. We know this an extremely difficult time for many people but there is help for our most vulnerable members of society.”

Anyone who has medical appointments should attend as normal, while people concerned about their physical health and/or mental wellbeing are advised to seek the help and support they need, for example through the NHS 111 phone number.

Dr Howell-Jones added: “I want to remind everyone to continue following the guidance on washing their hands regularly and thoroughly, always using a face covering in shops and other indoor public settings, and social distancing. This plays a vital part in reducing the spread of COVID-19.”

Shielding
If you or your child has been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable, you will receive a letter from the Government addressed personally to you. This letter is to let you know about the new guidance that will be in place for you.

In general, if you're at high risk from coronavirus:
do not go to work, school, college or university
only go out for medical appointments, exercise or for essential reasons

Local support for vulnerable people
We recommend anyone who thinks they may struggle to cope during the lockdown should prepare a support plan. Think about the support you will need on a daily basis and those who can help you. This could include family, friends, neighbours or people you know in your local community. Your plan might include help with things that you usually take for granted such as shopping, collecting medication, pet care, posting mail, picking up urgent items, someone to check in on you or just someone to have a chat with.

If you need to isolate and there are gaps in your plan which means that you require additional support, please contact the Herefordshire Council Talk Community Helpdesk by calling 01432 260027 or email talkcommunitycovidresponse@herefordshire.gov.uk.

The WISH website has lots of information on where you can find local support if you are on your own or you are struggling financially. For advice on money, debt and budgeting and information about the council’s Better Off Service and financial support visit www.wisherefordshire.org/money

For information on community support, including ordering groceries and meals for home delivery and the location and how to access your local food bank, visit www.wisherefordshire.org/communitysupport


School meals
During the national lockdown, Herefordshire schools will continue to provide meal options for pupils, such as vulnerable children and the children of critical workers, who are eligible for free school meals and are continuing to attend face to face education.
 
Schools will also provide replacement meal options for pupils who are eligible for free school meals but are not attending school. Parents and carers should contact their child’s school direct for more information.

Shopping and business
Herefordshire enjoys a great range of local producers, retailers and other businesses so please support them whenever possible throughout this latest lockdown. Many offer delivery services and/or a click and collect option enabling customers to limit their journeys. A map showing where you can find some of these businesses as well as local foodbanks can be found on the Love Local section of the Herefordshire Council website. Businesses wishing to add their details can do so by visiting this section of the website.
 

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