**PLEASE READ AND SHARE: Corona virus update, advice and community news in Richmond and Kingston for 13 March 20
UPDATES: 1. The Government has announced that we are moving out of the contain phase and into delay, in response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. 2. We are expecting a significant rise in diagnosed cases, especially in the next two weeks. But that increase will likely continue for many weeks yet. 3. The Government has advised that anyone with a "new, continuous" cough or high temperature should self-isolate for seven days. For those with symptoms, please read guidance on exactly what this means here: https://www.gov.uk/…/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-… 4. So far we have one resident of Richmond Upon Thames and one resident of Kingston Upon Thames with confirmed diagnoses of COVID-19.
SOURCES OF ADVICE AND INFORMATION
1. Medical: Please ONLY take medical advice from the NHS. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/. Please continue to follow NHS advice on precautions. If anyone is concerned about their health, they should use the NHS 111 service and follow official expert guidance.
2. Misinformation: There is a LOT of misinformation about COVID-19 out there, including posts being shared on Facebook. Please don’t believe what you read UNLESS it's from the NHS. However if you are determined to check out a rumour, and can't find it on the NHS pages, you can check the Full Fact pages on Coronavirus https://fullfact.org/health/wuhan-coronavirus/
3. RICHMOND LOCAL INFO: The latest statement about the Richmond Council response can be found here: https://www.richmond.gov.uk/…/richmond_council_statement_on… You can also sign up to the Council’s enewsletter or follow the Council on social media (@LBRUT) for regular updates.
4. KINGSTON LOCAL INFO: Kingston's Director of Public Health has today said "We have now had two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kingston, one in a resident and one in an employee who works in the borough. We fully anticipate an increase in numbers over time, which is why our services have planned for, and are ready, for this situation." Further news will be posted on the Kingston Council website at https://www.kingston.gov.uk/news.
5. Asthma: Asthma Uk has an information page here: https://www.asthma.org.uk/ad…/triggers/coronavirus-covid-19/ 6. Elderly people: Please can I encourage you to think about people in our community who might need extra support? Do check up on vulnerable neighbours and family members- are they OK, do they need anything? Please take social distancing precautions while speaking to elderly people or those with existing health conditions to avoid any risk to them of exposure.
7. Financial issues: Barclays Bank has sent customers this message: “Any customers suffering hardship as a result of COVID-19 can contact our specialist support colleagues if they are experiencing problems making repayments to their mortgage, overdraft, personal loans or credit cards. These customers can also access their fixed savings accounts early without paying any penalty charges.” (Please note: I have no interests to declare in Barclays Bank; they are the only bank to have contacted me about this. Please check with your own bank for their policies.)
8. Posters: Public Health England's Coronavirus hub has more in depth information and even allows you to download posters that you can print yourself. https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/…/c…/101/resources/5016
9. Schools: A new Coronavirus helpline has been opened for teachers, parents and young people. The number is 0800 046 8687.
10. Further assistance: If you are unable to get the information or help you need, please do email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name, address, post code and issues. Please note that I can only reply to Richmond Park and North Kingston constituents.