A new support team starts knocking on doors across Hertfordshire this week, offering advice and support to people who are required by law to self-isolate for 10-14 days to help contain the spread of coronavirus.
Public health professionals will be visiting people across the county who national and local contact tracing teams have been unable to reach by telephone. The aim is to ensure that people self-isolating – which means staying at home and not going out unless it’s an emergency – understand the rules, and can get the help they need.
Those who cannot be contacted the first time will be left a letter which clearly explains the purpose of the visit and reminds people that it is against the law to leave the home under self-isolation. Those who still cannot be contacted a second time risk being referred to the police for further action to be taken.
This is the latest in a series of measures introduced in Hertfordshire to help people understand when and how to self-isolate, how long for, and why it’s important. It is part of a wider ‘Self Isolate Means Stay At Home’ campaign of activity that includes:
- Hard-hitting reminders on social media that self-isolate means staying at home, and pointing them to HertsHelp (hertshelp.net) if support is needed.
- Clear guidance and contact details for those who can help being handed out at testing centres throughout the county.
- The launch this week of the online #HertsIsolationChallenge which gives guidance and encouragement on maintaining physical and mental wellbeing when isolating.
Cllr Tim Hutchings, the county council’s public health and prevention lead, said: ‘Self-isolate means staying at home for 10-14 days, and for many people that can be tough. It is, however, extremely important to follow the rules otherwise you are putting others at risk of serious illness or worse. It’s one of the key tools we have to help contain the spread of the virus, saving lives and livelihoods and preventing us all from going into Tier 3 which would mean even tougher restrictions for everyone.’
Cllr Linda Haysey, who heads the community reassurance work of the Local Resilience Forum, added: ‘If you’re in self-isolation now, please stick to the rules. You may not even have symptoms but you could still be a risk to others. Ask for help if you need it and make sure you look after yourself and your family. Maintaining your physical and mental wellbeing during a period of self-isolation is really important too, and if you use social media look out for the Herts Isolation Challenge we’re also launching this week which aims to encourage you to do that.’
For advice on self-isolation, visit bit.ly/SelfIsolateHerts.