Council encouraged by shielding progress
Cheshire East Council is encouraged by the easing of shielding guidelines for its clinically extremely vulnerable residents, who are most at risk from coronavirus.
There are around 2.2 million clinically extremely vulnerable people in England with underlying severe health conditions, who must be protected from coronavirus and have been advised to follow shielding guidance. These are people of all ages with specific medical conditions identified by the NHS, who are at greater risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
The government have now reviewed the latest evidence and as of 6 July those shielding have been able to spend time outdoors in a group of up to six people including those outside of their household, while maintaining social distancing.
Those who are shielding and live alone or are single parents with children, are now able to create a ‘support bubble’ with one other household of any size, following the same rules that are already in place for the wider population.
Support for those shielding will be extended to the end of July and this includes the delivery of food and medicines. Clinically extremely vulnerable people will continue to have access to priority supermarket delivery slots as long as they have registered online at www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable before 17 July for a priority delivery slot.
The NHS will continue to maintain the Shielded Patient List, allowing the government to continue to maintain targeted advice and support to this cohort and to change advice and support if the number of incidences rise.
From Saturday 1 August, the shielding advice will relax further, allowing those shielding to do even more, such as visit shops and places of worship, provided they take particular care to maintain social distancing rigorously and minimise contact with others outside their household.
Councillor Jill Rhodes, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for health, said: “To date our shielding hub has supported more than 3,000 vulnerable residents and we have delivered almost 300 food parcels.
“Relaxing the shielding advice and ultimately pausing shielding from the beginning of August is a positive step forward and will provide welcome news for many.
“But I would still strongly urge everyone to support our clinically extremely vulnerable residents by continuing to follow social distancing measures wherever possible, maintain a thorough regime of handwashing and disinfect surfaces along with wearing face masks where appropriate, or if advised to do so.”
Updated advice will continue to be reflected in the guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people.
If residents are vulnerable or at risk and need help with shopping, medication or other essential supplies, please call the government helpline on 0808 196 3646 from 8am-8pm or go to: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/peoplehhelpingpeople