COVID-19: Advice for people shielding

NEW Government advice has been updated for people who are shielding from coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Government has this week relaxed some of the shielding measures to allow those who have been shielding to go out once a day and, if they live alone, to see one person from outside their household. Social distancing must be maintained at all times.

While the initial request was for the most vulnerable people in society to stay at home and cease contact with anyone they don’t live with for 12 weeks, the Government recently extended this. Anyone shielding is now asked to continue to do so until 30 June 2020.

And despite the slight relaxing of the shielding requirements, people living in Blackpool and the Fylde coast who are the most vulnerable to the virus have been urged to remain vigilant and to keep their distance from other people.

People shielding, who are clinically extremely vulnerable or at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus (COVID-19), were notified by letter, text or by a GP or hospital clinician in March or April.

Dr Amanda Doyle OBE, GP and Chief Officer for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System, said: “We know that it’s a really difficult time, particularly for those who are shielding. But it is vital to follow the updated advice by continuing to shield until the end of June and following social distancing guidelines to ensure that everyone remains as safe as possible.

“People who are shielding are strongly advised to stay at home as much as possible but can now go outdoors once a day with people they live with or if they live alone, with one person from a different household. This will help people to stay in touch with friends and loved ones, albeit from a 2 metre distance.

“We would like to reassure people who are shielding that the NHS is here for them. GP and pharmacy colleagues are working incredibly hard to provide advice and medicines to those who need it.

“I’d like to thank local residents who are shielding for following guidance and staying at home as much as possible – this helps you stay well, supports the NHS and ultimately saves lives.”

The updated shielding guidance is as follows:

People classed as clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to take additional action to prevent themselves from coming into contact with the virus. If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, you’re strongly advised to stay at home as much as possible and keep visits outside to a minimum (for instance once per day).

  • If you wish to spend time outdoors (but not in other buildings, households, or enclosed spaces), you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres apart.
  • If you choose to spend time outdoors, this can be with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household – ideally the same person each time.
  • You should stay alert when leaving home – wash your hands regularly and maintain social distancing.
  • You should not attend any gatherings, including with friends and families in private spaces – for example, parties, weddings and religious services.
  • You should strictly avoid contact with anyone who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, your sense of taste or smell).

Read the full Government guidance on shielding.

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