Key Advice for BME communities

Over the past few months, West Berkshire has seen a significant rise in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19

Our Public Health team has informed us that cases amongst our BME communities are disproportionately high right now and we need your help to bring them down.

This is especially important as soaring infections, alongside the usual winter pressures, are creating a really challenging environment for the NHS. We must work together to stick to the Government guidance and help to alleviate some of this pressure.

Please acknowledge the following key messages:

  • Act like you’ve got it – one in three people with coronavirus won’t have symptoms so please continue to follow the hands, face,  space rule; wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, wear a face covering where you’re required to do so and make space (two metres) from others
  • The new strain of coronavirus is easier to catch and easier to pass on – infection rates will not go down unless we follow the rules, so we must all stay at home and only go out for a limited number of reasons. This includes to:
    • Shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person;
    • Go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home;
    • Exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area;
    • Meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one;
    • Seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse);
    • Attend education or childcare – for those eligible.

You should not meet anyone that you do not live with, or who you have not formed a legally permitted support bubble with (please note that a support bubble is not a social bubble).

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only leave your home for medical appointments or exercise if it is essential; you should not attend work.

Travel for essential reasons only, such as shopping and medical appointments, and where possible you should try to stay as local as possible to your home (ideally do not leave your town or village).

Places of worship can remain open for communal worship; as this is now one of the very few legal exemptions that allow larger numbers of people to gather, it is crucial that those attending comply with both law and the Covid-19 Secure guidance.

While we know that the vaccine is being rolled out, including across West Berkshire, it will still be many months before we see the benefits of this.  So until then, we must ensure that we all follow the advice provided to us.

Remember, we are in it together.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling, help is available through the West Berkshire Hub.  The team can connect you with the support you need, such as local befriending services, community groups who can collect items such a medication, mental health support, help for families who have been financially impacted by the pandemic, and much more.

Simply call the Hub on 01635 503579 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) – your call will be treated confidentially.  Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding.

 

Advice current as of 18:00hrs on 15th January 2021 – subject to change.

For further local information, please go to info.westberks.gov.uk/coronavirus.

For updates from the Government, please go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus

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