Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Local Communities

Protect yourself and others

The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

When we reduce our day to day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government is now (23 March 2020) introducing 3 new measures.

  • Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  • Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  • Stopping all gatherings of more than 2 people in public

Every citizen must comply with these new measures. 

The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them - including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • high temperature

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

It is very important that individuals with symptoms that may be due to coronavirus and their household members stay at home. Staying at home will help control the spread of the virus to friends, the wider community, and particularly the most vulnerable.

Those with symptoms and living alone should remain at home for 7 days after the onset of their symptoms (information on ending self-isolation). This will reduce the risk of you infecting others.

If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus, then household members must stay at home and not leave your house for 14 days. If possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials, other than exercise, and in that case at a safe distance from others. 

Ask friends or family to drop off anything you need or order supplies online, but make sure these are left outside your home for you to collect.

Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection

If you have a serious underlying health condition, you are at very high risk of severe illness as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) requiring admission to hospital.

Shielding is a practice used to protect extremely vulnerable people from coming into contact with coronavirus.

You are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face to face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks from the day you receive your letter. Please note that this period of time could change.

Ask family, friends and neighbours to support you and use online services. If this is not possible, then the public sector, business, charities, and the general public are gearing up to help those advised to stay at home. 

People who will be notified that they are to shield have been given advice to give to people who may visit the house and will be encouraged to draw on support they might have through your friends, family and other networks during this time to keep in touch with people over the phone, by post, or online.

Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19

Easy Read - Guidance on protecting people most likely to get very poorly from coronavirus (shielding)

Emergency Support Helpline for vulnerable people needing urgent help with food, medicines and essential supplies

Cumbria County Council and partners have launched an emergency support service and 6 welfare coordination Hubs for people at high risk of becoming seriously ill, as a result of COVID-19, and who do not have support available from friends, family or neighbours. If they have no alternative support, these people will now be able to call the Freephone number to request help with getting food, medicines, essential supplies and home deliveries.

Ways to get in touch:

  • Phone - The emergency telephone support helpline is 0800 783 1966.
  • Online - COVID-19 online support form.
  • Email your request for help to COVID19support@cumbria.gov.uk.
  • The telephone 'call' centre will operate Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and 10am to 2pm at weekends. The service will also accepts referrals from members of the public who may be concerned about people in their community.

The helpline is there to support those at 'high risk' and includes people over 70 years old, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions who should be protecting themselves by staying at home. The majority of these people will already be receiving support from family, friends or local voluntary groups with tasks like shopping or collection of medicines if they require it. But we know that a small number of people will not have this support. The helpline will also accept referrals from members of the public who may be concerned about people in their community.

Find out more about the emergency helpline.

We're working with partners and community groups to support local communities across Cumbria, and particularly vulnerable and isolated people, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Below, you will find guidance, resources and information which we hope you can share with your community to support each other as much as possible during this time.

Please only use and share official and trusted information and guidance from gov.uk, Public Health England, the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS and local agencies including councils and Police.


Useful links


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Choose the relevant district / borough and subscribe for updates:


Local area updates

5 things you can do:

People in every community will face the challenges of COVID-19 in some way - from needing basic provisions to help while they are unwell.

The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

Now we are all staying at home, we need to find new ways to stay connected and check in on one another for our physical and mental wellbeing. Share phone numbers, use social media and stay in touch.

Keep up to date, share information and be a positive part of your local community conversations.

Be kind to each other.

Different groups in our communities are at increased risk - social distancing, social isolation and loneliness are key concerns for all ages. There are things you can do like volunteering for official local support services or donating to food banks to help.

Look after yourself - eat, drink, sleep and exercise. It'll help you stay well and support others.

Stay safe when supporting others.

If you are volunteering, or planning on volunteering your time, whether that be shopping for someone self-isolating or picking up medication for those in need, it's important that you take safeguarding yourself and others seriously.


Volunteering in your community

Support Cumbria are looking for volunteers of all levels to support local charities and organisations in local communities. You might have specific skills to offer or may want to help with tasks like shopping, dog walking, collecting prescriptions or other help.

Go to SupportCumbria to register as a volunteer or to register a volunteer group.

Please also see more information for volunteers and volunteer groups on our Volunteering web page.

Download, print and share up to date campaign resources and help us to share vital messages in communities - access campaign materials.

Support anyone who may be anxious about COVID-19. Sign post them to the correct advice from gov.uk, NHS and Public Health England and encourage people to follow the correct hygiene practices.

Useful social media links:

Organisation

Facebook

Twitter

Department of Health and Social Care

https://www.facebook.com/DHSCgovuk/

@DHSCgovuk

Public Health England

https://www.facebook.com/PublicHealthEngland/

@PHE_uk

NHS

https://www.facebook.com/NHSwebsite/

@NHSuk

 

 

 

 

Cumbria County Council

https://www.facebook.com/CumbriaCC/

@CumbriaCC

NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

https://www.facebook.com/nhscumbriaccg/

@NHSCumbriaCCG

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

https://www.facebook.com/NCICNHS/

@NCICNHS

Morecambe Bay NHS Trust

https://www.facebook.com/UHMBT/

@UHMBT

NHS Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

https://www.facebook.com/morecambebayccg/

@MorecambeBayCCG

Cumbria Police

https://www.facebook.com/cumbriapolice/

@CumbriaPolice

Allerdale District Council

https://www.facebook.com/Allerdale/

@allerdale

Barrow Borough Council

https://www.facebook.com/BarrowCouncil/

@BarrowCouncil

 

Carlisle City Council

https://www.facebook.com/CarlisleCityCouncil/

@CarlisleCC

 

Copeland Borough Council

https://www.facebook.com/Copelandboroughcouncil/

@copelandbc

 

Eden District Council

https://www.facebook.com/EdenDistrictCouncil/

@EdenCouncil

 

South Lakeland District Council

https://www.facebook.com/southlakelanddistrictcouncil/

@SouthLakelandDC

 

 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If are self-isolating or have been asked to 'shield', ask friends or family to drop off anything you need or order supplies online, but make sure these are left outside your home for you to collect.

Volunteering guidance

The latest government guidance for staying at home and away from others says people may leave home 'to provide care or to help a vulnerable person' - we hope this will reassure people that it is still OK to shop for neighbours, friends or family members. We would advise volunteers to make themselves familiar with the guidance below and the latest guidance on gov.uk.

Please also see more information for volunteers and volunteer groups on our Volunteering web page.

The UK's largest supermarkets have issued a joint letter to let people know they are doing everything they can to ensure people have the food and essentials they need. 

The supermarkets have asked people to be considerate in the way they shop, buying more than is needed can sometimes mean that others will be left without. There is enough for everyone if we all work together.

Use phone, NHS online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services.

Anyone wishing to make an appointment with their GP, practice nurse or healthcare assistant in primary care will be called back by a healthcare professional.

This will enable them to handle the query over the phone or assess if they are well enough for a face to face appointment which can then be made.

This is to keep patients and NHS teams safe to continue to run primary care services.

You can still collect prescriptions but please do not go into a GP surgery if you feel unwell or have symptoms of coronavirus.

Alternatively you can nominate a pharmacy for your prescription to be sent to and pick it up from there.

Some patients using repeat prescriptions may already have their medication delivered to their home, work, a carer or neighbour whenever they need it.

Yes. Please don't go into a pharmacy if you are showing signs of coronavirus.

Food - Many local suppliers offer a home delivery service - WCF offer delivery on own brand foods and Pets at Home offer delivery on all brands.

Vet care - If your pet is unwell while you are self-isolating - Ask one of your friends or a family member if they can take them to the vet clinic. If not, contact your veterinary surgeon direct to find out your options. Please do not go into the clinic yourself.

If you can't walk your dog - Self-isolation can be hard on your pets as they won't be used to staying indoors for such extended periods of time. Without their usual exercise many dogs will need alternative ways to channel their energy, see the Oak Tree Animals' Charity blog.

Support Cumbria are looking for a number of volunteers to support local charities and organisations work in local communities.

Go to SupportCumbria.org.uk if you would like to volunteer or you are a group/organisation looking for additional volunteers.

We need all volunteer and community support groups across the county to make themselves known and to register on the Support Cumbria site. This will help the agencies behind Support Cumbria to link volunteers and local groups and ensure we have the right support options in each district for people in need.

Agencies in each district across Cumbria are working together with community groups to ensure local communities are well supported, and particularly vulnerable and isolated people, during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

Please see more information for volunteers and volunteer groups on our Volunteering web page.

Cumbria CVS is here to help you through these unprecedented times.  This support includes helping you apply for funding relating to COVID-19, setting up a new group that supports people dealing with issues relating to COVID-19 and recruiting volunteers to support you deliver your services.

SupportCumbria.org.uk

We need all volunteer and community support groups across the county to make themselves known and to register on the site. This will help the agencies behind Support Cumbria to link volunteers and local groups and ensure we have the right support options in each district for people in need.

Agencies in each district across Cumbria are working together with community groups to ensure local communities are well supported, and particularly vulnerable and isolated people, during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

Go to SupportCumbria.org.uk to register as a volunteer or volunteer group.

Please see more information for volunteers and volunteer groups on our Volunteering web page.


Do I need to have a DBS check to volunteer?

Volunteer organisations and group will decide if a DBS is necessary for the roles they are recruiting to.

Some roles will require a DBS check but others won't. A volunteer working with older people or vulnerable adults and handling cash through shopping or paying bills role would be classified as a regulated activity role so a Disclosing and Barring Service check would be necessary.

With the sudden recruitment of new volunteers, if they don't have a DBS check they might be paired up with a volunteer who does have a DBS check. More details about DBS.


I'm organising a group of volunteers. I understand that there isn't a legal requirement for me to have my volunteers DBS checked, but should I do so anyway?

Many of the roles that volunteers will carry out in their local communities do not raise safeguarding issues and do not need a DBS check. You can have a look at the DBS eligibility guidance to confirm whether the activities your group propose to do are captured.

If your group's activities are captured, under normal circumstances we would advise that having volunteers DBS checked is a prudent safeguarding step. There is, however, no legal requirement for you to have a DBS check. Regardless of whether you choose to have volunteers DBS checked, you should ensure your group follow simple, practical precautions such as working safely in pairs, keeping records of money spent and providing shopping receipts to safeguard all involved.

If they are not from the same household, volunteers must stay two metres apart at all times.

Please remember that gatherings of more than two people in public are currently banned, with these measures being enforced by the police.

Safeguarding and DBS Factsheet: FAQs

Draw on support you might have through your friends, family and other networks during this time. Try to stay in touch with those around you over the phone, by post, or online. Let people know how you would like to stay in touch and build that into your routine. This is also important in looking after your mental wellbeing and you may find it helpful to talk to them about how you are feeling.

Remember it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust and in doing so you may end up providing support to them too. Or you can use a NHS recommended helpline.

You may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. Check with your employer if you're unsure.

If you're not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, you may be able to apply forUniversal CreditorEmployment and Support Allowance (ESA).  You can access support through your localCitizens Advice and there's more information at gov.uk.

You may be eligible toapply for Universal Credit.

Please also see gov.uk for up to date information.

There are food banks located across Cumbria, find your nearest foodbank.

People are already giving generously to local funds to help charitable groups support vulnerable people affected by coronavirus.

Response Funds

The Government has agreed measures with the energy industry to support vulnerable people through COVID-19 and to ensure customers who may fall into debt remain supplied with energy while in self isolation. 

Cumbria Police have issued a reminder to the public urging people not to display posters on their doors or windows to let people know they are vulnerable. We are concerned that criminals will use this as an opportunity to target those who are vulnerable within our communities.

Please also be aware of Coronavirus related scams which are on the rise. Watch out for scam messages online, don't click on links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to unsolicited texts or calls asking for personal information.

Shopping online - If you are purchasing form a person or company you don't know, do some research beforehand or ask a family member or friend for advice before purchasing. Where possible, use credit cards to complete the purchase.

If you have been a victim of fraud you can report to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/.


Resources