UPDATE AS OF 18/3/2020

We would like to inform you of important changes to the way we will be working in the coming weeks as a result of the Coronavirus situation.

This week the Government has given strong advisory measures, a summary of these are:

Association of Carers has therefore taken the decision that from 18/3/2020 all face to face activities (Respite & befriending, Computer Help at Home, lunch clubs and Carers’ Cafes) be put on hold for the foreseeable future.

Those carers receiving our Talk & Support service should be able to continue with these calls from their volunteers.  We would suggest that our Respite/Befriending volunteers could call the carers they support on a regular basis, if this is something that both parties would like.

All Carers Lunch Clubs and the Carers Café will also stop for the time being.

Our team and staff (and volunteers who are able to) will aim to call carers at regular intervals.  If volunteers feel they would benefit from a regular call, please let us know.

The Association of Carers staff will be working from home for the majority of the time, we are able to access our computers and phones from home, therefore contact with our staff is still possible via the normal telephone numbers or emails.  Our office telephone number is:  (01424) 722309.  General email – info@associationofcarers.org.uk

We will have updated information and links to several organisations on our website.  www.associationofcarers.org.uk

Useful contact information:

NHS

NHS information – www.nhs.co.uk

NHS 111 – advice line

Adult Social Care – (advice/guidance for carers)

Health & Social Care Connect – 0345 60 80 191

HSCC@eastsussex.gov.uk

Carers UK – (advice/guidance for carers)

0808 808 7777

If you have any concerns during the coming days, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We will of course keep you informed as best we can.

Yours sincerely,

Sue Palmer

Director of Charity

PREVIOUS STATEMENT

This is our current advice as dated 11th March 2020, we will communicate any further guidance as and when it is issued by the government.  

What is Covid-19 (aka Coronavirus)?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

The symptoms?

The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has covid-19 infection:

•           A cough

•           A high temperature

•           Shortness of breath

If worried about symptoms call NHS 111.

How COVID-19 is spread

From what is known about other coronaviruses, spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact with an infected person.

There are 2 main routes by which people can spread COVID-19:

  • Respiratory secretions containing the virus are most likely to be the most important means of transmission; these are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, in the same way colds spread.
  • It is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

The latest advice and developments on the covid-19 situation can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Preventing the spread of covid-19

•           Wash hands often with soap (or soap substitutes) and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. This is particularly important after taking public transport.

•           Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

•           Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.

•           Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home or work environment.

•           Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Who should self-isolate?

Volunteers should inform the AoC if they cannot volunteer due to needing to self-isolate or feeling unwell with any of the symptoms described above.

Volunteers whom have been in close contact with a person with Covid19 will be required to stay at home to self-isolate for 14 days.

The government has listed high risk areas/countries by category 1 (highest risk areas) and category 2 areas.

Therefore those who are symptomless but have returned from category 1 areas within the last 14 days should self-isolate for 14 days from their return. 

People who have returned from a category 2 area within the last 14 days and who develop symptoms should self-isolate.

The latest advice and developments on the covid-19 situation can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Advice for staff and volunteers visiting Carers homes

Generally, infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions and some people AoC support may be more at risk or highly concerned about the virus.

AoC would ask that staff or volunteers:

  • who are feeling unwell with any of the symptoms listed above, should not visit carers in their own home or in the community (Lunch Clubs etc).
  • check with the carer immediately before visiting, that no one at the home is showing symptoms of the virus.
  • ensure regular washing of hands when visiting carers in their own homes (preferably on arrival and throughout the visit) and follow the other protocols of preventing the spreading of the Virus listed above.

Advice for staff and volunteers at the Charity shop

AoC would ask that staff or volunteers:

  • Use gloves whilst handling money
  • Wash hands regularly, before their shift, before taking a break and after going to the Toilet. Water should be warmed up in a kettle.
  • Any staff or volunteers feeling unwell with the symptoms above should go home and contact NHS 111
  • Posters will be displayed on the door and rest areas and Toilet

Carry out good infection control listed in section (Preventing the spread of covid-19)

The shop may need to close if a number of volunteers or staff are diagnosed with the virus.          

Concerns about the Virus

Some volunteers may have concerns about catching the virus and may not wish to carry out their roles. All concerns will be listened to by an appropriate person and taken seriously.

The AoC will try to resolve genuine concerns and protect the health and safety of its staff and volunteers.

If you would like to discuss any of the information above please do not hesitate to contact the office.

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