Our MP sends advice on Covid-19
I know not everyone will have been able to watch yesterday afternoon’s briefing from the Prime Minister and the Chief Medical Officer. I wanted to ensure you all have the relevant information, so we all are as informed as possible.
I will email again with any updates or changes to the advice.
Please do share these updates with anyone you think may not have access to the information.
What are our priorities?
Our priorities are to protect those most vulnerable to Covid-19 and ensure we keep as much pressure off the NHS as possible (including the 111 service) to enable our healthcare teams to focus on those who are struggling to manage the disease.
What is the new advice?
The new advice is that we should all be practising “social distancing” which means:
- Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough;
- Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible;
- Work from home, where possible;
- Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs;
- Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
- Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services. Please do not contact NHS 111 unless who are struggling to manage symptoms at home.
What about the most vulnerable?
Those who are most vulnerable – those who are over 70, pregnant or have medical issues – should be doing all of the above and severely limiting their face-to-face contact with others for a period of at least 12 weeks.
There is full guidance on this, and which people are thought to be most vulnerable HERE. The guidance also tells you what do and how to manage.
What if I or someone in my family develops symptoms?
If you or anyone in your household develops symptoms (a fever OR a new continuous cough) you must all stay at home for a period of 14 days. There is very detailed guidance on how to manage this and what to do if anyone else in the home develops symptoms HERE.
Please do not contact 111 unless you are unable to manage your symptoms at home. We need to keep the NHs resources available to those who cannot cope.
Why are schools still open?
At the moment, the best scientific advice is to keep schools open, which will be kept under review. If your child develops any of the symptoms, they and you need to stay at home for 14 days.
What about support for employers and businesses?
The current guidance is HERE. The Chancellor is making a further statement later this evening.
These new measures will be really tough, especially for those who are being asked to stay away from others for a long time. We must do all we can to support each other, and maintain contact virtually where possible. Please check on your neighbours and offer to help with groceries or collecting prescriptions.
The present health situation has provoked a great deal of concern, and the media are reporting the hour by hour the news as they see it.
Advice from our own government is based on up to the minute scientific assessment, and hopefully takes an objective view that we can rely on – appropriate to the UK. Follow the link that has been shared with local councils below.
Can you handle the white stuff? Can you help your neighbours who are besieged when it snows? Keeping Connected is co-ordinating the squads of volunteers needed to maintain a serivce for neigbours when it snows again – hopefully now not until next winter!
Last month we appealed for volunteers to join a local snow warden scheme – we were looking for people who were happy to clear paths and access ways for members of the community who struggle to do this when snow blocks their contact with the outside world.
Each volunteer gets a County Council supplied snow kit – shovel, bag of salt, hi-ziz vest, torch, etc., and some training.
Keeping Connected has decided there should be three “teams” – in Lowick, Bowsden and Fenwick. The team members are asked to clear the path and pavement outside any person in their immediate vicinity who needs help in bad weather, if thjey are able to do so.
If you are prepared to help – declare yourself fit, sign the list in Lowick Village Store, or contact the scheme coordinator – Julie Gibbs at firstname.lastname@example.org. It would help if you could add your address, when you put your name down.
Sadly we have to report that the Community Day suggested by Northumberland has come to nought, as far as Lowick is concerned. With no communication or encouragement from the organisers, and no sign of enthusiasm for celebrating anything in April, the PC has decided to withdraw from the project.
Which is a pity, since we are all loyal Northumbrians, and it’s always good to fly the flag. The PC spent a while discussing celebrations members enjoyed in the past and a number of us had photos and footage of previous village fetes and festivals – so instead of a making a new one in the winter, we decided to produce a video of 50 years of Lowick’s Fairs and Fetes.
If you have pictures, memories or film/video of local events in this period – email them to me at email@example.com, and I’ll put them to good use.