People self-isolating must ask for help says Norfolk’s public health chief

PUBLISHED: 12:19 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:19 17 March 2020

Louise Smith, director of public health in Norfolk. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Louise Smith, director of public health in Norfolk. Picture: Ella Wilkinson


The director of public health in Norfolk has urged people who are self-isolating to ask other people for help.

This newspaper, together with Norfolk County Council, has launched our Here to Help campaign, in a bid to create an army of helpers to step in to offer extra support.

Government measures announced on Monday included that if one person in a house has symptoms, including a continuous cough or fever, the whole family should stay at home for 14 days.

They should avoid even going to the shops to get essentials, prime minister Boris Johnson said.

People should only go out for exercise and ensure they do not come into contact with people while doing so, the government said.

The period of self-isolation for people who live on their own remains at seven days.

In coming days, everyone classed as vulnerable will be asked to ensure they are “largely shielded from social contact” for around 12 weeks, or possibly longer.

This includes people over the age of 70, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions.

And Dr Louise Smith, director of public health in Norfolk said people would need to give support to those not leaving their homes - from a safe distance.

She said: “The new advice - if you have symptoms such as dry cough, a high temperature you’ve been being asked to stay at home for seven days,

“The new advice is that everybody else who is in your household should also stay at home as well and therefore the time period you are being asked to self-isolate for has been extended to 14 days.

“What the government is saying is that everybody should be making a plan in case they need to do that.

“If you are self-isolating, ask other people for help, for example to fetch groceries, collect deliveries, post mail and walk the dog.”

People helping should maintain good hygiene, such as regularly washing their hands and should leave items outside people’s homes, rather than seeing them in person.

The Here To Help campaign includes a postcard which people prepared to help can put through the doors of people who are self-isolating.

You can download the postcard here.

MORE: ‘Work from home and avoid pubs and theatres’ - government advice over coronavirus

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