Lockdown #2 – We’ve been here before but we can’t be complacent

What is the current advice?
The advice for Covid 19 is:

  • Wash your hands. Wash them frequently with soap and water, and wash them for 20 seconds.
  • Keep your distance from others.
  • If you have sanitiser gel, you can use it, but washing your hands is enough.
  • Wear a mask when entering any premises, or if meeting with others

There are two ways the pathogen can get into your body. The first is through droplets in the air, caused by coughing or sneezing. The second is via contaminated surfaces. A high alcohol content (60%+) sanitising spray will clear surfaces and washing your hands properly will clean your hands.

It is now a legal requirement, in many places, to wear a mask. In particular, people who are at higher risk through long-term conditions or frailty, should take care to wear a good mask (three layers if homemade, preferably with a filter) and maintain good social distancing.

HM Government and NHS-branded information will appear in radio and print media, as well as social media. ‘Hands, face, space’ encourages everyone to be more aware of their own situation and wash their hands regularly, wear a mask and maintain good social distancing.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

Our highly trained and experienced clinicians are working round the clock to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the UK. The government has detailed plans for how to deal with an outbreak like this. We can all play our part.

Basic hygiene such as washing our hands regularly, and using tissues when we cough and sneeze, can play an important role in minimising the spread of the viruses. It worked in most areas during the first lockdown and, if everyone plays their part, it should work in this one too.

We need to be vigilant without panicking. When there is any more guidance from the Department of Health and Health England we will let you know.

What should you do?

  • Wear a mask.
  • Wash your hands more frequently than you have before.
  • Use an alcohol-based spray on surfaces at home, if available. This includes door handles and other often used items. (you can ask your caregiver to do this).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid going out if you are able to. If you do need to go out, maintain your distance and wear a mask. Wash your hands when you return home.

Luckily, domiciliary care is often an isolating role anyway: our caregivers see a small amount of clients who, in turn, will see a very limited amount of people such as family or friends. This reduces the risk considerably.

NHS advice, if you are unwell, is to call 111. They may arrange for testing and will take action if appropriate. In many cases, this will mean self-isolation for 10 days.

What we are doing
We are monitoring the different sources of information daily. We receive several updates every week from NHS (Chief medical Officer), Dept. of Health & Social Care (and Health England) and Kent County Council, and if the advice changes substantially, we will let you know as quickly as we can.

We will continue to take advice from NHS, government and Health England, and consider whether individuals can do without calls (companionship or home help visits), or whether other procedures need to be put in place (for clients with personal care needs).

What is likely to happen
The government has said this second lockdown is to end on December 2nd 2020. If the R number reduces in that time and the NHS is able to keep on top of new cases, there is every reason to believe the target date is realistic. Unfortunately, we are not going to know until we nearer the time.

Without wishing to resort to clichés, “keep calm and carry on” really is the order of the day. However, please take the hygiene advice to heart, as it is the best way to prevent infection. If you have any queries, call us and we will try to answer your questions.

Maddie and Hazel.

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Coronavirus Bulletin Thursday 5th November 2020 10.15am

Today we are entering into our second lockdown, in an attempt to ensure the rising R number does not overwhelm the NHS.

Restrictions are back in place and people are advised not to make journey’s unless they absolutely need to. Masks are now compulsory in most places, and people are urged to respect social distancing and maintain good hand-hygiene.

We are continuing, as before, to provide care in the community to people living at home. Our procedures have not changed and all caregiving staff are required to wear masks, aprons and gloves when visiting clients. There is additional PPE to be worn when visiting people suspected or confirmed COVID positive.

We hope, vehemently, this lockdown is successful and we can return to the new normal that we had before. During the last lockdown we noticed a significant increase in the amount of people feeling isolated and/or depressed and, wherever possible, we have tried to support those in need.

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Update 16th March 2020
Coronavirus and Ibuprofen

Hi all, I’ve just been made aware (thanks Joy!) of a FB post that seems to be doing the ’rounds regarding avoiding ibuprofen during the coronavirus pandemic.

This link explains it well and avoids scare tactics.

In essence, ibuprofen has more side effects than paracetamol which is why it might be unsuitable for some people, but NHS still suggests both paracetamol and ibuprofen can be used by most people.

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Coronavirus Bulletin Friday 13th March 2020 11.15am

Today, the advice has changed. We have received notification from the NHS this morning about best practice in going forward:

From today the public are being advised to stay at home (self-isolate) without any testing for COVID-19, regardless of travel history or contact with confirmed cases, if they have:

  • A new continuous cough
  • OR
  • High temperature (of 37.8 degrees centigrade or higher)

Individuals should stay at home (self-isolate) for 7 days from the onset of symptoms following the current advice. If someone has serious symptoms they cannot manage at home they should use NHS 111 online (people should only call NHS111 if they cannot get online).

After 7 days of self-isolation, people who feel better and no longer have a high temperature can return to their normal routine.

If they have not had any signs of improvement after 7 days and have not already sought medical advice, they should use NHS111 online (people should only call NHS111 if they cannot get online) before they leave their home or let visitors in.

It is important to note that a cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the coronavirus infection having cleared. A persistent cough alone does not mean someone must continue to stay at home for more than 7 days.

Testing will not be offered routinely to individuals staying at home.

Healthcare workers who come into contact with a COVID-19 patient whilst not wearing
personal protective equipment (PPE) can remain at work. If they display any symptoms of
lower or upper-respiratory tract infection they must immediately stay at home for the
duration of the illness or 7 days, whichever is longer.

Healthcare workers do not need to be tested for COVID-19, prior to returning to work

What does this mean for us?
On March 5th, the government listed Covid 19 as a notifiable disease. This means that if we become aware of anyone (client or staff) who have tested positive, we have a duty to notify Health England.

Currently, testing is being increased from 1500 per day to 10,000 per day. Testing is arranged via NHS111 online and, we believe, there are testing stations at all hospitals.

A positive test for coronavirus still requires 14 days isolation.

What does this mean for us?

  • We continue to operate in the community, as before.
  • We have stopped taking new clients for the interim, and are concentrating on meeting the needs of our existing clients.
  • Caregivers are continuing to follow Best Practice and wash their hands frequently.
  • All staff are aware of the need to observe strict infection control practices, including using gloves and handgel where appropriate, and disinfecting surfaces more often.
  • All staff are aware they need to report any symptoms immediately.

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