With reports of large groups of people out enjoying the sun over the weekend, Bay Health and Care Partners are urging the public to take government advice seriously and for everyone to stay home.
The coronavirus outbreak is the biggest public health emergency in a generation, and it calls for decisive action which should help reduce the spread of the virus.
Government guidance was issued Monday evening urging members of the public to remain at home and to only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely can’t be done at home). If you do come across someone else, then you must keep at least 2 metres (6ft) away and wash your hands as soon as you get home.
Dr Andy Knox, Director of Population Health at Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group said: “This isn’t just government advice, this is the best advice of our most senior, and experienced medical and scientific professionals coming together with one very clear voice.
“This is a major outbreak of a virus which could have devastating effects for many people, so we need to do our best to suppress it and the only way to effectively do this is by locking ourselves in our homes.
“We’re aware this isn’t an easy thing to ask of a nation but as part of the community that is trying to serve and care for the population of Morecambe Bay, I’m pleading with you to take this guidance seriously, as it will not only save lives, but reduce pressure on your local NHS.”
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is highly infectious, and the droplets are spread through the air and by touch, this is why keeping a distance of two metres from anyone you don’t live with is strongly urged.
Dr Knox explained: “It’s also important to remember the virus can be carried on clothes so remember to keep changing your clothes and to wash them more regularly.
“This isn’t just about avoiding large gatherings, it means no play-dates for the kids, no games of football, no hanging out with your friends, no popping in and seeing relatives, no shaking hands and no hugs. This is how it has to be for the next 12 weeks; we need to be taking national guidance seriously.”
If you are over the age of 70, have an underlying health problem or you’re pregnant you are strongly advised to follow national guidance and significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family.
Dr Knox added: “The weather was beautiful this weekend and we understand that people want to be out in it, but ignoring national guidance is dangerous.
“We need to slow the spread of this virus down so our NHS can cope.”
For further information on government guidance, visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Remember if you start showing symptoms of having coronavirus (COVID-19) which include a high temperature and/or a new, continuous cough, you need to stay at home and self-isolate for 7 days. If you live with someone else, you need to self-isolate for 14 days.
You do not need to contact NHS 111 if you are self-isolating, only if your symptoms worsen after 7 days.