Coronavirus update - protect yourself and others

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Latest advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) 

A message from Mayor John Biggs:

I understand these are unprecedented times and that many of you will be worried about the spread of coronavirus. The UK is in the 'delay' phase of dealing with the outbreak, and for all of us this means there are things we must do differently. 

I want to reassure you that we are working closely with Public Health England, the NHS, the police and a wide range of organisations.

We are doing everything we can to help stop the virus spreading and make sure that residents across the borough, particularly those most vulnerable, are protected as much as possible.

As a local authority, we have robust business continuity plans in place to ensure the continued delivery of our critical services. 

The NHS advice to individuals is clear. You must stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.

Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.

How long to stay at home

  • if you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
  • if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
  • If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days. If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

You can read more about this on the NHS website, which we would encourage you to check regularly for any updates.

Please remember, for most people coronavirus will be a mild infection. However, for vulnerable people or those with pre-existing medical conditions, coronavirus can result in significant illness.

That's why it's crucial that we all follow the government's advice and do what we can to stop the spread. This includes all of us reducing social contact, which is called social distancing.

Please read the NHS dos and don'ts, which includes that you should:

  • only travel on public transport if you need to

  • work from home, if you can

  • avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas

  • avoid events with large groups of people

Don't forget good hygiene remains vital for all of us, especially washing your hands with soap and water often and for at least 20 seconds. Please read more about precautions you should be taking on the NHS website

The council will keep you updated as the situation evolves, but please do check the NHS website regularly to stay informed. 

And finally, it is really important that we are looking out for our neighbours and thinking about the community we live in. We all need to support each other at this time - and it is great to hear about such great community spirit that is already coming to the fore in Tower Hamlets.  

We are in the process of setting up a hub to support community action and volunteers. We'll send out another update in a day or two with more details, along with key contacts and other useful information to keep you up to date with our response.

Take care,

Mayor John Biggs

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