How Ashford Borough Council Is Responding To The Situation

6th April 2020
Paul Brooks

Ashford Borough Council Leader Cllr Gerry Clarkson provides an update on how the council is supporting the community in these unprecedented times.

View video transcription [pdf] 569KB.

We have been closely monitoring the emerging situation and we would like to reassure our residents the council has contingency plans in place which set out how services will operate in the event there is any disruption to normal business. These plans are being regularly reviewed in light of Coronavirus and ongoing advice from central government. Officers are meeting regularly as this develops and working with partners in the Kent Resilience Forum which is continually monitoring the situation across Kent.

Our key responsibilities are to protect our communities (especially those who are vulnerable), our staff, to maintain priority service delivery and assist our business community where possible. This includes taking steps to ensure continuity of services by attempting to reduce the risk and this may mean we provide services in a different way and in some cases delaying areas of non-urgent work and postponing events to reduce the transmission risk.

Current guidance from Public Health England

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday 23 March, everybody must stay at home, unless:

  • You need to go to work (you cannot work from home);
  • You may go outside for one form of exercise a day on your own or with members of your household;
  • You may go out for essential food as infrequently as possible;
  • You are travelling for a medical need, or to support a vulnerable person.
  • You must not be anywhere in a group of more than two people other than those within your household.

If you, or anyone in your household starts to suffer either a high temperature or a continuous cough, you must self isolate for 14 days. This means not seeing anyone other than those in your household for two weeks. If you need any food or essential supplies, please contact neighbours or friends and ask them to collect and drop off at your doorstep. For each person who starts with symptoms, the 14 day isolation period starts again.

If you are in one of the at risk categories – over-70, or you get an annual flu jab, you will be being contacted directly by the NHS and must self isolate for the next 12 weeks. This means staying within your home or garden and not coming into contact with anyone you do not live with, except for carers or healthcare workers who you must see as part of your medical care.

These measures have been put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and minimise the load on the NHS to help prevent deaths and serious illness.

More information is available on the NHS website

Prevent Coronavirus spreading

There are some things you can do to help stop viruses spreading:

  • cover your mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze;
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away;
  • wash your hands often with soap and water, or hand sanitiser gel;
  • try and avoid close contact with people who are unwell;
  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands aren’t clean.

If you think you may have symptoms of the virus, use the online NHS 111 Coronavirus service or call 111. Do not visit your GP, pharmacy or hospital.

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