An update from Greenwich Council’s public health team on the developing coronavirus situation…
As of yesterday, there were 1,188 confirmed new cases of coronavirus in Greenwich borough. Cases are increasing rapidly across London and the South East, and this is happening in Greenwich too. We need to tackle this increase by following the guidance explained in this update.
87 people are in hospital right now in Greenwich because of coronavirus. Although this may seem a relatively low number, to have to go to hospital because of coronavirus means your case is very serious. We need to make sure that this number doesn’t rise, and eventually ends up at 0 by following the guidance in this update and supporting each other.
As you will be aware, the situation has developed significantly in the past week. Coronavirus cases have continued to accelerate very quickly, a new strain of the virus has emerged, and the government has placed much of the country, including Greenwich, in the highest Tier 4 restrictions.
Everyone needs to stay at home, except for essential activities.
You can read all the details about Tier 4 on the official website here: www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home
Free holiday meals for children will continue as planned. Find out more about the Holiday Meals service.
The festive period
For those who were planning to celebrate Christmas, Tier 4 changes mean you will probably not be celebrating the way you had intended. We hope that for those celebrating, and those not, there is an opportunity to at least get some rest over the next couple of weeks.
Thank you for all your involvement and hard work over the past few months – we could not have made the progress we have without you, and we thank you for helping to keep our communities safe at this difficult time. Here’s hoping for a happier 2021! Take care and stay safe, and we look forward to continuing to do lots of good work together in January.
Mental health support
Whether or not Christmas is part of your life, your mental health might be affected by it happening around you. It’s a time of year that often puts extra pressure on us, and can affect our mental health in lots of different ways. This year especially may be even harder due to the effects of coronavirus.
Mind has some great information specifically around coping with mental health at Christmas, and also specifically around Coronavirus and Christmas: mind.org.uk
Live Well Greenwich also has lots of local support, advice and information if you, or someone you love, are struggling at this time of year. Visit the Look After You hub for local support, ranging from top tips and self-help to support if you’re struggling to cope with difficult feelings or behaviours. livewellgreenwich.org.uk
You can also call 0800 470 4831 to talk to a friendly, local advisor. Open every day 8.30am – 6pm, but closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Sunday 27th December, New Year’s Day and Sunday 3rd January.
Getting tested for coronavirus
If you have coronavirus symptoms: (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste), even if they’re only mild, it’s important to get a test and stay at home until you get your result. Please go to gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. If you have problems using the online service, cal 119. Lines are open 7am to 11pm.
Testing is not available at the Emergency Department at the hospital or at your GP practice, so please do not attend here trying to get a test.
Fast testing is now available for those without symptoms – this must be booked via the Greenwich Council website.
Support if you test positive and have to self-isolate
If your test result is positive, you and your household will need to stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days. (This has changed from 14 days.) This is important to stop the virus spreading and to keep your community safe.
This can be stressful and worrying when you need to go to work. If you are unable to claim sick-pay from your employer and are a low income household, a one-off £500 payment may be available from the government to support you and your family during these 14 days. Find out if you are eligible to apply for this payment or call 0800 470 4831.
If you’re interested in helping your community through volunteering, a short training programme is available to introduce and prepare volunteers for the role of Neighbourhood Champion. This is an opportunity to learn, ask questions, share information and practice.
For more information, please email victoria.smith[at]royalgreenwich.gov.uk.
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