Sunderland’s Director of Public Health is urging people to plan and prepare for times when they may need to self-isolate, to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Gerry Taylor, Executive Director of Public Health and Integrated Commissioning at Sunderland City Council said that case rates in the city are slowly reducing, and thanked people in Sunderland for all they are doing to help bring rates down.
In her weekly video to residents, she said: “Rates are reducing slowly, but they are reducing. So, thank you, for all that you’ve been doing to bring this virus, under control – it is starting to work, we just need to keep going and make sure we’re all following all of the guidance, all of the time.
“That includes, self-isolating when you need to, and this is one of the things I wanted to talk about because it’s really important to think about having a plan ready for what you would do in case you ever need to self-isolate.
“You might need to self-isolate because you have symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19. Or because you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
“Self-isolation is different to lockdown. If you are self-isolating, you need to stay home at all times. It’s one of the most important actions we can all take to stop the virus from spreading.
“If you are told to self-isolate you must stay at home by law for 10 full days, so my message to you this week is to make sure you are prepared in case that happens to you.”
To help plan for self-isolation, Gerry encouraged everyone to look at the council’s website for useful tips and advice on managing essential supplies, financial information and advice, and ways to look after their wellbeing.
While this information may help people to isolate more easily, Gerry also highlighted what people can do to help reduce the risk of passing on COVID-19 to those they live with.
“Again, we’ve put information on our website to help but in short it means trying to keep your distance from others in the household and using separate household items like towels, plates and cutlery.”
Gerry added that residents who have been added to the shielding list are advised to stay at home following a change in Government guidance this week could expect a letter from the Government advising them of this as well as a call from the council to make sure that they have the support they need.
She said: “We’ve also heard this week that the Government has identified more people who may be at risk of becoming seriously unwell from Covid-19 following new research. If you now fit into this category, you will be receiving a letter from the Government soon with more information about what this means for you, including advice to begin shielding.
“We know this might be a challenging time, so we will be making calls to all residents newly added to the clinically extremely vulnerable list to talk through what support might be available to help you and we can help you register on the government’s service.
And she thanked residents for continuing to follow the guidance in place to keep everyone safe.
She said: “So once again, I would just like to end by saying a huge thank you for everything you are doing. The hard work is beginning to result in fewer people with this dreadful disease but we still have many more cases than we would like to and have more cases than many other places in the region.
“So please continue to do all that you can to help stop this virus spreading further within Sunderland.”
Information on making a self-isolation plan is available at Self-isolation guide – Sunderland City Council