We've all had to make sacrifices but it is vital that we all continue to do what we can to combat this deadly disease. Health officials in Luton are currently seeing a slight increase in the number of cases identified through NHS testing so we're urging everyone to be cautious and vigilant.
Lockdown may be easing but the crisis is not over and our advice to residents is:
If you have certain health conditions you are considered 'clinically vulnerable', meaning you are at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
As restrictions are eased, you should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household.you should continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household if you are in this group.
Clinically vulnerable people are those who are:
aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (that is, anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds): nder 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (that is, anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
chronic (long-term) mild to moderate respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
chronic kidney disease
chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), or cerebral palsy
a weakened immune system as the result of certain conditions, treatments like chemotherapy, or medicines such as steroid tablets
being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
Never visit a clinically vulnerable person if you think you have coronavirus symptoms, however mild. Never visit a clinically vulnerable person if you have been advised to isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you have been in contact with a case.
People who are clinically extremely vulnerable should have received a letter telling them they’re in this group or been told by their GP and that they need to be shielded.
Previously, people in this group had been strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact with anyone else. This is called ‘shielding’.
The government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding.
People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but can now leave their home if they wish, as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing.
If you choose to spend time outdoors, this can be with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household. Ideally, this should be the same person each time.
From Monday 6 July those shielding from coronavirus can gather in groups of up to 6 people outdoors and form a ‘support bubble’ with another household. For more information on the changes, see the government’s clinical guidance explainer.
If you do go out, you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping two metres apart.
The government will continue providing support to this group through the delivery of food, medicines and support from volunteers until the end of July when people will no longer be advised to shield.
In order to control the spread of the virus it is important you follow the guidance below if you have symptoms of coronavirus Please follow the four steps below:
Isolate: as soon as you experience coronavirus symptoms, self-isolate for at least 7 days. Anyone else in your household must self-isolate for 14 days from when you started having symptoms
Test: order a test immediately at NHS.uk or call 119 if you have no internet access. When you order a test, you will get information on the testing options available to you. See government guidance on testing for more information.
Results: if your test is positive, you must complete the remainder of your 7-day self-isolation. Anyone in your household must also complete self-isolation for 14 days from when you started having symptoms. If your test is negative, you and other household members no longer need to self-isolate
Share contacts: if you test positive for coronavirus, the NHS test and trace service will send you a text or email alert or call you with instructions of how to share details of people with whom you have had close, recent contact and places you have visited. It is important that you respond as soon as possible so that appropriate advice can be given to those who need it. You will be told to do this online via a secure website or you will be called by a contract tracer.
If you are in contact with someone who has tested positive
If you are contacted by the NHS test and trace service because you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus you will be alerted by the NHS test and trace service.
The alert will usually come by text, email or phone call. You should then log on to the NHS test and trace website or a trained call handler will talk you through what you must do.
You will be told to begin self-isolation for 14 days from your last contact with the person who has tested positive.
Your household doesn’t need to self-isolate with you, if you do not have symptoms, but they must take extra care to follow the guidance on social distancing and handwashing and avoid contact with you at home.
If you develop symptoms of coronavirus you must book a test and other members of your household must self-isolate immediately at home for 14 days (see above).
Protect yourself from test and trace scams
Bedfordshire Police is asking the public to stay vigilant of NHS Test and Trace scams. Genuine contact tracers will never ask you to provide any financial information such as bank details or passwords and PINs.
Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000.
Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service.
The NHS Test and Trace service will never ask you:
to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
for any details about your bank account
for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS
The government has updated its guidance asking people to wear face coverings in places where:
it is hard to maintain social distancing measures
you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
From 15 June, face coverings are required while using public transport in England. Guidance remains to work from home if you can and avoid public transport wherever possible - walk, cycle or drive, but if this is not an option, you must wear a face covering on your journey.