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Chelmsford residents asked to protect each other during the Covid-19 crisis

April 9, 2020 6:30 PM

Residents are being urged not to put themselves - and others - in danger over Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Leaders from public sector and voluntary organisations in Chelmsford have joined together to make the plea.

Coronavirus has already killed 7,097 people across the UK. It can be spread through the air when people cough or sneeze. Evidence also suggests that it can live on surfaces for some time, which makes it easier to get infected. So staying home keeps us safe. Each time we leave our homes, we risk transferring the virus to somebody else or bringing it home with us to our loved ones. For many, any illness is mild, but for some it results in hospitalisation and, for a few, even death.

The law states that people can only leave their homes if they have a reasonable excuse. This can include: to buy essential supplies, for medical needs, for exercise near your home, to help others in need, or to get to work if you can't work from home. Driving long distances to exercise e.g. to beauty spots is not a reasonable excuse, neither is meeting up with anyone you don't live with. Police have powers to enforce these rules.

COVID-19Councillor Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council, said, "This Easter we all have to focus on the fight against the coronavirus. Every time we distance ourselves from others, we are helping to stop the virus spreading. Touching things that others touch, or visiting people you don't live with, could kill. Our normal Bank Holiday activity of going out and seeing friends and family will have to wait.
"Outdoor exercise is important for mental and physical health, so our fantastic parks remain open. But Chelmsford residents need to continue to use them responsibly, observing social distancing guidelines. When the pandemic is over, we can all be relieved that we did the right thing and stayed at home."

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Wells, of Essex Police, said: "I'd like to thank the residents of Essex who are sticking to the government guidelines. By staying home, you're not only saving our NHS and protecting the health of other key workers, like our officers, but you're also acting in the best interests of your loved ones and the most vulnerable in our communities. Our officers are continuing their work to protect and serve the people of Essex. Please do us proud by staying in this Bank Holiday."

Dr Anna Davey, Chair of NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "It is vital that all residents across Chelmsford play their part this Easter, in following social distancing guidance, staying at home and using the NHS responsibly so that services are there for those who really need it. Over the bank holiday weekend, please be reassured that the NHS is still seeing patients who need it, if you have a non-Covid related health issue, it is important you still seek the appropriate medical attention, we can and will help you. If you have a life-threatening emergency it is important you call 999.

"If you do have the symptoms of Covid-19, you should not go out at all for seven days and your family or flatmates should not go out for 14 days. If you are concerned with your symptoms and want advice you should go to 111 online. If you don't have internet access call 111.

"This year many local pharmacies will be open on both bank holidays, however some pharmacies may have adjusted their usual opening times so we would advise you check before you travel. You can find your nearest pharmacy by visiting www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy.

"I would like to sincerely thank all the NHS staff and volunteers across mid and south Essex who continue to do their jobs in this concerning time to keep the rest of the community cared for and secure."

Lorraine Jarvis, Chief Officer, Chelmsford Centre Supporting Voluntary Action, said, "Volunteers across Chelmsford and through our Community Response Hub are helping vulnerable people through these difficult times. You can help too by following Government advice and staying close to home this Easter weekend."

The Government's guidance for staying at home is here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others

For all the latest updates and news from Chelmsford City Council, follow @ChelmsCouncil on Facebook and Twitter or join the mailing lists at www.chelmsford.gov.uk/mailinglist. You can also check for updates on particular services at www.chelmsford.gov.uk/coronavirus.