18 June 2020
Advice for those at high or moderate risk of illness from COVID-19 (previously ‘severely vulnerable’ and ‘vulnerable’) has been updated by the Deputy Medical Officer of Health.
Due to the low level of COVID-19 cases in Jersey, a new Activity Risk Guide has been published online that advises Islanders at high or moderate risk on the activities they may consider resuming while maintaining strict physical distancing and hygiene guidance.
The new guidance offers support on how Islanders at risk of illness from COVID-19 can balance and prioritise their mental and physical wellbeing as lockdown measures ease. There are updated recommendations specifically for Islanders at high risk, who were previously advised to remain in their homes and avoid contact with others. These Islanders can now carefully consider spending time outdoors to see friends, family, or for exercise, using the Activity Risk Guide to help make these decisions.
High risk Islanders will be contacted by their GPs or another healthcare professional via letter by 1 July to explain what the new guidance means for them. Islanders who consider themselves as high risk or are a parent or carer of someone in this category, and do not receive a letter by 1 July, should contact their GP or healthcare professional.
The Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat said: “With the current very low level of COVID-19 in Jersey, the guidance we have published will support Islanders to make informed decisions about the activities they choose to undertake and empower them to make choices that are right for their individual circumstances.
“I want to add that it is important everyone attends any medical appointments and seeks medical advice and support where needed, whether this is COVID-19 related or not. Islanders should be reassured that currently, the risk of infection in health care settings is also very low indeed because of the very low overall activity in general and the strong safety measures that are in place in health care settings.”
“We should be proud of the Island-wide effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, especially those at high risk, who have been shielding for nearly 3 months. I hope those affected can begin to enjoy some balance in their everyday activity. All guidance will be kept under review depending on levels of infection.”
Islanders at high risk of illness from COVID-19 are generally advised to continue avoiding indoor activities outside their own home, not to return to the workplace, and not to use public transport; however, where an Islander at high risk can return to a workplace where they work alone and do not use public transport, that would be lower risk and therefore safer to do so.
Children and young people who are at high risk are generally not expected to attend school. Parents are advised to contact their child’s specialist doctor to discuss their specific situation, if they feel this may not be in their child’s best interest. If it is decided following discussion between the doctor, child and parents that the benefit of returning to school outweighs the risks, the child should do so following all appropriate guidance.
Guidance for Islanders at moderate risk has not changed, and they are encouraged to be cautious and continue to follow the public health guidance set out for all Islanders.
The updated guidance for high and moderate risk groups, and the list of conditions in each category, is available online and via the Coronavirus helpline on: +44 (0)1534 445566.