As Coronavirus continues to spread, it is vital that we come together as a community and do all we can to protect the most vulnerable in society, our loved ones and ourselves.
Hitchin, Harpenden and surrounding villages are places where people look out for one another. I have been heartened to see such extraordinary reserves of kindness and goodwill – several individuals and local businesses have come forward to offer support to those who may need it. For example, Kings Walden Store in Lay Green is offering an out of hours services for the elderly and the vulnerable (01462 768 511) and Ansel Village Stores in Pirton (Pirton Village Shop) is delivering to those in the village self isolating or unable to get to the shop (01462 711 676). St Albans District Council are directing those who want to help to sign up here. please keep up to date with my social media for information on the many more services offering this.
Each day my team and I receive hundreds of emails from constituents. While my office will still continue to do our best to answer them, all priority will now be given to answering messages and helping residents with regards to the Coronavirus.
In his first daily brief, the Prime Minister alongside the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser announced the latest measures we all need to take. These include:
INCREASED SOCIAL DISTANCING
– Work from home where possible.
– Stop unnecessary travel.
– Avoid gatherings with friends or family and crowded places. This includes pubs, clubs, cinemas, restaurants, bars and all other social venues.
THE ‘VULNERABLE’ SECTOR
– In a few days time, those who fall into the ‘vulnerable’ sector in society will be asked to shield themselves from social contact for around 12 weeks.
– You fall into this category if you are over the age of 70, under the age of 70 but usually advised to have the flu vaccination each year (such as those with chronic heart, lung or kidney disease) and pregnant women. To see if you fall into this category, see this list.
– If anyone in the household has either or both of the two key symptoms (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough) then everyone in the household must self-isolate for 14 days. This includes not going out other than for exercise, maintaining a safe distance from others. This will mean relying on either relatives, friends or our wonderful communities (keep up to date with my social media for more information) to help out where they can (e.g. fetching food or essentials and delivering them outside your doorstep).
– If you live by yourself and have either or both of the two key symptoms, you must self-isolate for 7 days.
– It is important to stress that we should all only use the NHS hotline 111 when we really need to. The majority of those who have symptoms will only have a mild or moderate disease and thus do not need to rely on the NHS for support. Instead, please go to the NHS website and follow the appropriate advice. It is important this line is kept clear for the small minority who will suffer significant disease.
My Facebook, Twitter and Website will continue to provide regular updates and information that may be useful to residents, so make sure to check these regularly over the upcoming weeks and months.
I will continue to provide updates, if you’d like to receive this straight to your inbox then please sign up here.