Coronavirus: Council advises vulnerable groups to be prepared

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Hampshire coronavirus
Hampshire County Council HQ in Winchester

HAMPSHIRE County Council has advised older people and vulnerable groups to prepare now for developments in the coronavirus outbreak.

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The authority said at-risk groups, including those aged 70-plus, should be prepared, along with their families.

HCC’s director of public health, Simon Bryant, said: “I know people have particular concerns at this time for the elderly and those with long-term health conditions.

“I would urge everyone to increase and enhance the same precautions they would take to keep themselves safe and well during flu season, with an emphasis on following the hygiene advice – particularly hand washing often and for 20 seconds.

“We can also help the elderly and vulnerable in our families and communities to be prepared by making sure they have supplies of their usual medication and day-to-day items.”

At the weekend the government indicated people over 70 might be among those advised to self-isolate in the coming weeks to avoid catching the coronavirus, which has a more severe effect on older people.

The advice from HCC for elderly and vulnerable residents, their families, friends and communities includes:

  • get ready now with supplies such as usual medication, household and personal items
  • medical supplies to treat fever and other symptoms
  • phone contacts ready in case you need extra help
  • stay in touch with family and friends
  • try to remain fit and healthy by carrying on with usual health and fitness routine
  • be prepared to self-isolate if feeling unwell

HCC also echoed advice that anyone with coronavirus symptoms of a persistent cough and/or high temperature should stay at home for seven days

Everyday precautions include avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or hand sanitisers containing at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands

People should cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue, and dispose of it in a bin immediately afterwards. Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces.

Advice has also been issued for elderly or vulnerable people receiving visits by friends and family:

  • maintain social distancing and avoid personal contact
  • ask visitors to observe good hygiene habits in your home, such as washing their hands

To find out more go to the online NHS 111 service www.111.nhs.uk/covid-19 or call NHS 111. For more information from Hampshire County Council, go to www.hants.gov.uk/coronavirus.

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