Advice for people who are at higher risk of illness from COVID-19 virus (e.g. older people, people with health conditions and pregnant women)
Dudley Council encourages residents to continue to remain vigilant as Coronavirus cases remain high. Whilst most legal restrictions have been lifted for the general public, cautious guidance to reduce the spread of Covid-19 remains.
See Government website and Dudley Council webpages for further information and advice on the current guidelines and recommendations. See information for people who were previously identified as clinically extremely vulnerable.
People are encouraged to take personal responsibility to protect themselves and others and to consider the following:
- Regular hand washing, or using hand sanitiser when unable to wash your hands.
- Carry out thorough cleaning and focus on touch points e.g. handles, light switches.
- Meet outdoors where possible and if you do meet indoors ensure it is well ventilated.
- You should wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed areas where you come into contact with people you do not usually meet.
- Take up the vaccine when offered. Find your local vaccination centre.
- Take twice weekly lateral flow tests even if you don’t have symptoms. One in three people with COVID don’t have symptoms and could be spreading the virus without knowing it. Pick up your lateral flow tests.
- Mixing with fewer people, keeping your distance and limiting the time of our social contacts can help reduce spreading the virus.
- If you do develop symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, isolate and book a PCR test. Find your local test centre.
Help and support if you're staying at home
If you find yourself having to isolate at home and need help and support
- If you need medical help, the NHS is still here for you. It’s important not to delay seeking help if you have symptoms that you are worried about.
- If you need medical help from your GP practice, contact them either online, by an app or by phone. Many patients can be assessed over the phone or through video consultation without having to attend the practice but your GP will see you face to face if required.
- If you need urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 service either online or by calling 111.
- If you are experiencing symptoms of a serious or life-threatening emergency such as a heart attack or stroke, call 999.
- It’s important that babies and children continue with their routine immunisations and that pregnant women still attend antenatal appointments. If you have concerns about your mental health you can contact your GP or key worker. If you are stressed or anxious you can get advice from the NHS.
- You can order repeat prescriptions online or by telephone without having to visit your GP.
- You should continue to attend your GP and hospital appointments, unless you have been told not to attend.
- In primary care and in hospitals the NHS is taking stringent precautions to protect patients – and staff – from catching coronavirus, for example by having far fewer patients in waiting areas to ensure social distancing and by ensuring all staff and patients are wearing face masks.
For further information on how to get NHS help.
Helplines and more information to support you
Information for informal carers
Advice for people who care for a family member or a friend.
If you care for a family member or friend you can continue to visit them, unless they or you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus.
- View the latest national advice for unpaid carers
- Contact Dudley Carer’s Hub on 01384 818723 for advice and practical support. There are also lots of organisations who can provide support.
- You should wash your hands for 20 seconds on arrival and often during your visit as well as when leaving
- If you sneeze or cough don’t forget to ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’
- If you become unwell, you need to make other arrangements for care of the person that you care for, this should be planned for in advanced by creating a contingency plan. This should include your details, the cared for person's details, information about any medication and treatment, any medical appointments and details of who can step in during your absence. Dudley Carers Hub has created a contingency planning toolkit (download PDF). Alternatively you can request a printed copy by calling 01384 818723.
- Make sure the person you care for has the information they need about who they should call if they feel unwell, for example NHS 111
- Look after your own well-being and physical health. Take the Caring For Me and You course
- Information to help young carers and young adult carers (aged under 25) is also now available. The government guidance is designed to help young carers understand the changes they need to make and details the assistance available during the pandemic. View the guidance for young carers.
- Carers can also access our virtual groups for carers, which take place via Zoom. There are a number of different groups depending on your situation, the sessions provide an opportunity to meet and chat with other carers, for more information contact the hub.
- Our Young Carer Service is provided by Sandwell Crossroads, who can provide information, advice and support to young people who provide care to family member. Please call 01384 886429
- Carers are able to access PPE for Covid-19 related needs if they provide personal care to another individual. Please contact Dudley Carers Hub for more information on 01384 818723 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are pregnant and worried about coronavirus you can find specific, expert advice from the NHS and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. The national recommendations are for all eligible pregnant women to have the COVID vaccine. Your midwife will discuss this with you during your antenatal care. This leaflet also has lots of information.
When you are 28 weeks pregnant your midwife can sign you up to a free text service called Flo which will send you useful tips and information via text during your pregnancy and up to six weeks after your baby is born. If you’d like to know more about Flo have a look at our introduction to Flo video.
It is also recommended that pregnant women have a flu and whooping cough vaccine. The flu vaccination will help protect both you and your baby. There is good evidence that pregnant women have a higher chance of developing complications if they get flu, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy. The whooping cough vaccine protects babies and children from getting whooping cough. Again your midwife will discuss this with you during you antenatal care.
If you are pregnant it is important that you still attend all antenatal appointments and continue to seek advice from your midwife or maternity team. Up to date information can be found on the Dudley Group Maternity Services Facebook page.