It was announced this week that an additional 4,333 residents in Cornwall have been identified as being more vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19 and have been advised to shield in letters sent to them by the Department of Health and Social Care.
They will now be asked to stay at home as much as possible except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend health appointments in the same way as people who have been shielding throughout the current lockdown.
The clinically extremely vulnerable group includes those previously told to shield because of reduced immune systems, such as due to organ transplants, or those with specific cancers or severe respiratory conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, chronic kidney disease (stage 5), those undergoing dialysis, and adults with Down’s Syndrome, but it also takes into account a variety of factors including age, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), other health conditions and also postcode.
All clinically extremely vulnerable residents have now been advised to stay at home until Wednesday 31 March.
We have highlighted the support available to all vulnerable residents who are shielding.
Shielding residents have been asked to work from home if possible and if they cannot work from home, they should not attend work. They may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or furlough through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Free medicines delivery
Those in the clinically extremely vulnerable group are eligible for free medicines delivery from community pharmacies during this period if friends and family are not able to collect prescriptions or medicines on their behalf. Prescriptions should continue to be ordered from the GP as normal, either electronically or via telephone.
Residents new to shielding who have not already been offered the Covid-19 vaccination will now be prioritised to receive a vaccine as part of the current vaccination cohorts.
Supermarket delivery slots
Supermarkets are continuing to provide priority delivery slots to vulnerable individuals and if residents need help getting online, for example to register for an online supermarket account, they can ring Cornwall Council’s support line for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable on 0300 1231118 or contact Volunteer Cornwall.
Volunteer Cornwall can also help collect and deliver food shopping and medical prescriptions, as well as provide befriending support and volunteers who can help with other low level needs.
Emergency food support is available at foodbanks throughout Cornwall. An interactive Help with Food map has been created in partnership with community organisations.
Health and mental health
Health services remain available and residents with a complex need or medical question should contact their GP or health consultant.
Anyone who may be worried about their own or someone else’s mental health can contact 0800 038 5300 for help and support.
For more information or advice on shielding contact Cornwall Council on: firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0300 1231118.
You can also contact Volunteer Cornwall on 01872 266988 or email: email@example.com