With the government’s recent announcement of shielding coming to an end there is some important information about how eligible residents can access or continue to access priority supermarket delivery slots.
Access to priority supermarket delivery slots for shielding residents will continue to be available, if they signed up for support. If they are not already signed up, registrations for food support will close on 17 July. All government food parcels will stop on 31 July.
If they still need support to access food, the BCP Together We Can helpline can provide advice and arrange volunteers if they need help with shopping. Phone 0300 123 7052.
For Hampshire residents contact The Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline – Hantshelp4vulnerable, phone 0333 370 4000. (Calls charged at local rate.)
For those who are still shielding
Following the government’s updated guidance for people who are shielding, we know some people are worried about what this means for them. You can see the guidance on the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
The advice has been updated taking into account that COVID-19 disease levels have decreased over the last few weeks, but people who are shielding still need to take extra care.
The change to guidance means you can now leave your home to spend time outdoors if you wish. This can be with members of your household, or if you live alone with one other person, ideally the same person each time, as long as you keep 2 metres apart.
Spending time outdoors whilst taking precautions to stay safe can be great for your mental and physical wellbeing.
Whether you do this is your choice. You may also choose to remain at home at all times if you don’t feel comfortable leaving your house. This is also fine, and feeling anxious about leaving your home during the COVID-19 outbreak is completely normal. Every Mind Matters has lots of advice on how to manage anxiety, as well as top tips to help with worries about coronavirus.
If you do leave your home, don’t visit other buildings, households or enclosed spaces, where the risk of transmission is much higher. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or hand sanitiser, and avoid gatherings of any size. You should keep your number of visits outside to a minimum, and ideally go out at quieter times of day when there are fewer people around.
Whatever you choose to do, support is still available to you. You can call the Dorset Community Response helpline on 01305 221000, 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. Or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Full details of voluntary and community groups able to help with shopping, medicine collection and befriending services can be found on our website: www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/coronavirus.
For those who are no longer on the shielding list
We know that as lockdown restrictions are eased many people have concerns about what this means for them, especially those who have recently been told that they no longer need to shield.
As scientists learn more about the virus over time and COVID-19 levels have decreased over the last few weeks, the government has updated advice and changed some restrictions.
This can be worrying for those who have been shielding at home for a long time. It’s normal to feel this way and many people will have concerns about leaving the house more. Every Mind Matters has lots of advice on how to manage anxiety, as well as top tips to help with worries about coronavirus.
It’s important to remember that what you do is your choice. If you feel that you want to continue staying at home at all times, you can do this and support, such as help with food or prescription deliveries, will still be available to you. You may also want to speak to your clinician about what’s best for your circumstances.
If you do want to leave your home more, you must keep 2 metres apart from anyone you don’t live with, wash your hands regularly and follow the government’s guidance on protecting yourself and others.
If you need support, you can call the Dorset Community Response helpline on 01305 221000, 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. Or you can email email@example.com. Full details of voluntary and community groups able to help with shopping, medicine collection and befriending services can be found on our website: www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/coronavirus.
COVID-19 antibody tests
NHS staff in Dorset are being tested as part of the government’s national antibody testing programme.
The antibody tests are used to see if someone has previously had the virus. It is different to the general test for COVID-19 as it is a blood test and not a swap test.
The test lets us know if someone has had the virus and developed antibodies, but it does not tell us if someone is immune to COVID-19.
Over the next few weeks we are testing all NHS staff in Dorset using our specialist lab at Poole Hospital. The testing will then be rolled out to social care staff.
If you receive a positive antibody result it does not mean that you’re immune, or that you cannot pass on the virus to others. It also does not mean that you can ignore social distancing measures.
Clinicians may be able to request a test for patients in both hospital and social care settings if they think it’s appropriate.
There is more information about antibody testing on the .Gov website.
Since the 8th June 2020, the Government have reviewed those patients that are considered at Risk from Covid 19 and changed their advice.
Patients removed from Shielded Lists will no longer receive their food parcels. Patients have been referred to Foodbanks. Foodbanks are unable to offer this service and can only respond in a crisis. We therefore refer patients to the respective COVID-19 Response Helplines in Dorset and Hampshire, where you will be able to access support.
The Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline – Hantshelp4vulnerable, phone 0333 370 4000. (Calls charged at local rate.)
BCP: Phone 0300 123 7052 or https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/Home.aspx