You will all be aware of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Neighbourhood Watch exists to look out for communities across England and Wales and at a time like this we encourage you to consider ways to keep yourself, your loved ones and those in your community safe, particularly the isolated and vulnerable. We are following the advice from the government and encourage you to do the same: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
10 ways you can protect yourself, your loved ones and your community:
1. Meet with household members, other relatives, friends and neighbours to discuss what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community and what the needs of each person will be.
2. If your neighbourhood has a website or social media page, consider joining it to maintain access to neighbours, information, and resources. Alternatively, share phone numbers and email addresses particularly with those who are isolated or vulnerable.
3. Consider establishing a ‘buddy’ system within your community to ensure everyone stays connected to COVID-19 related news, services and can receive support safely, such as essentials deliveries.
4. Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications.
5. Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy.
6. Learn how to self-isolate. Guidance can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/
7. Create a list of local organisations that you and your neighbours can contact in the event that one of you need access to information, healthcare services, support, or resources. Consider including organisations that provide mental health or counselling services, food, and other supplies.
8. Create an emergency contact list of family, friends, neighbours, healthcare providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
9. Learn about the emergency operations plan at your child’s school or childcare facility, and your employer’s emergency operations plan.
10. Practice everyday preventive actions including regular hand washing.
The NHS provides guidance on how to wash hands: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/
The World Health Organisation provides guidance on basic protective measures: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidance on handwashing for families https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/handwashing-family.html
Some of the key points above have been sourced from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/get-your-household-ready-for-COVID-19.html .
The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention also published (14th February 2020) Interim Guidance for Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Homes and Residential Communities which you may find useful: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html .