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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Guidance for those at higher risk regarding coronavirus

You may have noticed that we are shifting away from using the term ‘vulnerable’ towards language around ‘risk’. This is to emphasise that with current low levels of coronavirus (COVID-19) higher risk Islanders are more empowered to make their own choices about the activities they chose to engage in.

Advice for higher risk groups is constantly under review. It currently reflects the very low levels of virus in Jersey, but if the level increases, guidance may change.

Islanders at high and moderate risk should strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying coronavirus symptoms and if you develop symptoms immediately phone the coronavirus helpline: on +44 (0) 1534 445566.

Islanders at moderate risk

For people of older ages, and for people with certain medical conditions, there are additional risks if you become infected with COVID-19. Conditions that put someone in the moderate risk (vulnerable) category include:

  • less severe respiratory conditions
  • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  • chronic kidney disease, such as kidney failure
  • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
  • diabetes type 1 or type 2 requiring insulin or oral hypoglycaemic drugs or diet-controlled
  • problems with your spleen, for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
  • seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above)
  • currently pregnant

The way people are affected by the virus varies largely across different individuals. In terms of age, the impact will likely be most linked to level of frailty, strength of immunity and the presence of underlying conditions and ill-health, rather than a person's exact age as a number alone. Individuals should see the risk as higher the older they are, but also be aware that this can vary from person to person. For this reason we are no longer using any particular age as threshold in highlighting risk relating to COVID-19.

Islanders at high risk

If you have one of the health conditions listed below, you are considered high risk of severe illness as a result of COVID-19 and more likely to need hospital treatment if you're infected.

Conditions that mean people are high risk (severely vulnerable) are:

  • solid organ transplant recipients
  • people with specific cancers:
      • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
      • people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
      • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
      • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
      • people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
      • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  • people with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • people with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell)
  • people on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
  • women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired

Activity risk guide

The below guidance is designed to help Islanders considered to be clinically high risk (severely vulnerable) and moderate risk (vulnerable) to make personal choices and balance risks relating to the everyday activities they engage in.

Activity risk guide for print

Table 1. The below table sets out the principles that determine whether an activity is higher or lower risk. These principles also apply to children and young people who are higher risk.

​Higher risk activity ​Lower risk activity
​Activities with people you don't live with are higher risk. The larger the number of different people you encounter and spend time with, the higher the risk.​Activities done on your own or with people you live with are lower risk. If you're going to spend time with people you don't live with, the smaller the number of people, the lower the risk.
​Activities where you can't follow physical distancing guidance is higher risk.

This becomes higher risk still if the time spent not following physical distancing guidance is longer than 15 minutes.

​Activities where you can follow physical distancing guidelines is lower risk.

If you can't follow physical distancing guidance, the risk is lowered if the time spent not physically distancing is limited to less than 15 minutes.

​Not wearing a face mask increases risk, especially when you can't follow physical distancing.
​Wearing a face mask reduces risk, especially when you can't follow physical distancing.
​Activities that are indoors are higher risk. ​Activities that are outdoors are lower risk.
​Activities associated with increased production of respiratory droplets, such as singing, shouting or coughing are higher risk, when done amongst a group of people.​Activities associated with less respiratory droplet production, such as normal speech, are lower risk.
​Activities where you will have to touch surfaces or items that people you don't live with have also touched, are higher risk.

This risk is lowered when you follow good hand hygiene guidance such as washing your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser(with 60-70% alcohol content).

​Activities where you won't have to touch surfaces or items that people you don't live with have also touched, are lower risk.

Following good hand hygiene guidance, such as washing your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, or using hand sanitiser(with 60-70% alcohol content) further lowers risk.

Activity guidance

Education and childcare

High risk
Moderate risk

Children and young people who are at high risk are not expected to attend school.

Parents are advised to contact their child's specialist doctor to discuss their situation if they feel this is not in their child's best interest.

If it's decided following this discussion between the doctor, child and parents that the benefit of returning to school outweighs the risks, the child should do so, that the level of risk means children are likely to benefit more from returning to school than staying at home, they are advised to do so, whilst maintaining stringent physical distancing and otherpublic health information and advice, where they are able to understand and follow this.

Children and young people who are at moderate risk are encouraged to return to school.

It's likely that the benefits of attending school will outweigh the risks for these children. They should adhere to strict public health guidance including physical distancing and otherpublic health information and advice.

Parents, or a child or young person, who feels that they should not return to school because they are at higher risk should speak to their GP or their child's care provider for further advice and guidance.


Business and returning to work

High risk
Moderate risk

High risk Islanders should continue to undertake work from home where this is possible.

If you're at high risk, going out to work is currently not recommended, unless for example you work alone and don't need to take public transport to travel to your work place.

Moderate risk Islanders should continue to undertake work from home where this is possible.

If you're at moderate risk and home working is not possible, you may return to work where it's been agreed with your employer that this can be done safely.


Shopping, dining, eating out and leisure

High risk
Moderate risk

High risk Islanders can undertake outdoor activities but are advised to avoid indoor activities outside their home. However, decisions are personal and the benefits of different activities should be weighed against the risk by each individual.

If you're at high risk you may choose to avoid shopping and to seek support from Connect Me by phoning the Coronavirus Help Line on +44 (0) 1534 445566 to organise for groceries or other essentials to be delivered. You'll also still be eligible for any medicine you're prescribed to be delivered to you.

If you do go out shopping, you should carefully follow key public health information and advice. You may wish to do so when shops are quieter, or only go to those shops where you feel confident that you can easily follow physical distancing guidance.

Dining outside as opposed to inside is advised when dining outside your home.

Moderate risk Islanders can undertake both outdoor and indoor activities outside their homes, but are advised to carefully follow keypublic health information and advice, particularly when undertaking indoor activities.

If you're at moderate risk, it is strongly advised that you only take part in activities you are confident can be carried out while following this guidance. For example, you may choose to only go shopping, to a restaurant or a hairdresser, where you are confident there is strict physical distancing and public health measures in place. You may also choose to do these activities less often where possible.

You may also choose to make adjustments to your routine such as going shopping at quieter times, or eating outdoors if you go out for a meal.

Travel

​It's recommended that Islanders at high and moderate risk avoid public transport unless it's essential, as it may be harder to maintain physical distancing and avoid touching surfaces that people you don't live with have also touched.

If you do use public transport wearing a mask will help reduce your risk.

Car-sharing in private vehicles is discouraged unless it is with people you live with.

Health and dental care

Islanders at high and moderate risk should attend any medical appointments they have and seek medical advice and support where needed, whether this is COVID-19 related or not. Those at higher risk don't need to worry about additional COVID-19-related risk when attending the hospital and should not avoid seeking treatment.

Visitors and carers in your home

​Islanders at high and moderate risk are advised not to have visitors in their homes at this time unless it's to deliver essential care or other services.

Essential care should continue to be delivered and care workers must carefully follow key public health information and advice. Carers should stay away if they have any of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), ensuring that alternative care is arranged.

Gatherings

Those at high and moderate risk should try and keep the number of people they socialise with, that they do not live with, to smaller numbers and avoid situations where they will not be able to follow physical distancing guidelines. Gatherings with larger groups of people and those that are indoors should be avoided.

Recommendations for Islanders at moderate risk

In light of the current very low levels of COVID-19 in Jersey, if you're at moderate risk (vulnerable) you're encouraged to return to your routine where it is safe to do so, but to be especially cautious to follow public health information and advice.

If it is not possible for you to work from home, you may return to your work place, if it has been agreed with your employer that this can be done safely.

During this time, it is crucial that moderate risk groups still attend medical appointments and seek medical advice where needed, whether this is COVID-related or not. Pregnant women should continue to receive their antenatal care and can contact a midwife at the Bridge +44 (0) 1534 449139 or the Antenatal Clinic +44 (0) 1534 442495 in the hospital if they have any concerns.

Breastfeeding advice for those with confirmed infection from COVID 19 or with symptoms

There is a wealth of evidence that breastfeeding reduces the risk of babies developing infectious diseases. There are numerous constituents in human milk that boost the immune system of the baby and helps to destroy harmful infection causing organisms. Considering the protection that human milk and breastfeeding offers the baby against viruses, if it is possible then the mother should continue to breast feed the baby.

Breastfeeding can be continued even if the mother is infected or has symptoms and should be done while undertaking the following precautions:

  • washing your hands before touching the baby, breast pump or bottles
  • avoiding coughing or sneezing on the baby while feeding at the breast
  • consider wearing a mask while breastfeeding, if available
  • cleaning any breast pump as recommended by the manufacturer after each use
  • considering asking someone who is well to feed your expressed breastmilk to the baby
  • if you are feeding with formula or expressed milk, sterilise the equipment carefully before each use. You should not share bottles or a breast pump with someone else

Guidance on pregnancy and breastfeeding

Recommendations for Islanders at high risk

In light of the current very low levels of COVID-19 in Jersey, if you're at high risk (extremely vulnerable) you can undertake outdoor leisure or recreational activities, such as to exercise, or see family and friends, as long as you can physically distance from those you do not live with, and carefully follow the public health information and advice. You're advised to avoid indoor activities outside of your own home wherever possible.

You should continue to undertake work from home where this is possible but going out to work is currently not recommended, unless for example, you work alone and don't need to take public transport to travel to your work place.

If you have a condition that you think will make you high risk but do not receive a letter from your doctor by the 1 July, you should call them for further advice and clarification.

During this time, it is crucial that high risk groups still attend medical appointments and seek medical advice where needed, whether this is COVID-related or not.

Visitors and carers in your home

It is strongly advised that you do not have any visitors into your home at this time if you're identified as high risk, unless they are providing essential care for you. Essential care includes things like health or social care, and help with washing, dressing or eating.

Carers, or anyone providing essential support, must stay away if they have any of the symptoms of coronavirus. They should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds on entering your home, and then often while they are there. They should also try to observe physical distancing guidelines wherever practical while delivering your care.

You should have an alternative list of people who can help you with your care if your main carer becomes unwell.

Providing care for someone who is high risk, including children and young people

If you're a carer or parent of someone who is high risk ensure you carefully follow key public health messages throughout your daily routine and whether you are with the high risk person or not. This will reduce the chance of you being infected with and passing on COVID-19. This includes the following simple steps:

  • follow physical distancing guidance in your daily routine and also when delivering care wherever this is possible
  • wash your hands often using soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser(with 60-70% alcohol content)
  • keep your distance if you are unwell and make alternative arrangements for care

If you're a professional carer this is to be considered in addition to guidance from your own organisation, and does not replace it.

PPE guidance for healthcare professionals and other essential workers

If you have someone else living with you, including children and young people

Those you live with can continue with their routine or go to work if they can't work from home. They should be careful to follow physical distancing and other public health guidance measures, to reduce the chance of them passing on an infection to you.

Children and young people living with someone who is high risk can go to school but should follow physical distancing guidance and other key public health guidance measures where they are able to understand this.

Support with food and medicines delivery to your home, or any other needs

The ‘Connect Me’ service offers help around many areas you may need extra support with at this time, such as finances and accommodation, family and domestic concerns, health and wellbeing.

You can also get help with delivery of essential supplies to your home, such as food or medicine.

To find out more you can:

  • phone the coronavirus helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566
  • call your Parish Hall and ask about ‘Connect Me’
  • visit www.gov.je/connectme

Other resources and support

Connect Me offers information, help and support for Islanders, around finances, family concerns and mental and physical health and wellbeing. You can find all the latest information on available support by visiting Connect Me online, or by calling the Coronavirus helpline: +44 (0) 1534 445566.

COVID-19 FAQs for patients on the Primary Care Body website

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