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How the new guidelines will help protect us all

Published
30.09.2020

I am Sarah Scott, Director of Public Health at Gloucestershire County Council. You will have probably seen (or heard) a fair amount from me recently, as I do my best to keep you up to date with the Covid-19 situation in the county.

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As well as working in the county, I am also a Gloucestershire resident. My children go to county schools, and I too have had the same struggles as you during this pandemic; not being able to do all the things I love and not being able to be close to family and friends. And despite being the county’s champion for the preventative measures that have been put in place, at times I realise how restrictive it all can be on our lives.

More importantly though, I know that every sacrifice we make will help to protect ourselves and our loved ones. If we all work together, follow the guidelines and stick to the advice, we can save lives.

You will have seen through our own Twitter (@GlosCC), county council Facebook (@GloucestershireCountyCouncil) and Instagram (@GloucestershireCC) accounts, as well as in the media that cases in our county are rising, and despite being low compared to the rest of the country, there is no room for complacency.

The additional measures put in place by Government will further support us in our bid to keep cases low, but they are all dependent on what action each and everyone one of us take. Are you up for taking control? I know I am. I want to be able to hug my family again and to be able to meet up in person with my ‘book club’ friends. .

I know some of this will cause issues for people and businesses – those booked to get married, the hospitality sector, sports fans and others, but if we can all play our part and work towards and minimise the need for further restrictions by following the guidance  - they aren’t big things when you consider the implications of not following them.

I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to continue to push the main public health messages again too. You all know it by now, but the main ways to protect yourself and others has little changed, and it is still just as important as it was before to:

  • wear a face covering (especially on public transports and in pubs and restaurants),
  • wash your hands (we should all be doing this anyway) and;
  • keep your distance - stick to six people

It also remains just as important to get tested if you or anyone you live with has any of the Covid-19 symptoms – it doesn’t have to be all three. These include: a high temperature (you can tell this just by touch), a new and continuous cough or loss or change in sense or smell and taste).

I appreciate there is much frustration felt across the county about Department for Health and Social care testing availability, but we are assured that more testing is being made available every day. It’s just as important to note that anyone who hasn’t got symptoms should not get tested – this will free up appointments for those who really need them. If you have been in contact with someone who has symptoms, you should self –isolate for 14 days (it can take this long for symptoms to appear). And only get a test if they do.

To sign off, I want to say thank you to our fantastic Gloucestershire schools , the incredible health and case sector and our wonderful community for all you have done.

If you only take three things away from this, I want them to be:

  • Take action now
  • We are all responsible for our actions
  • Protect yourselves and your loved ones

Sarah Scott, Director of Public Health

 

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