People across Dudley are being encouraged to look out for each other during the coronavirus pandemic – but to ensure they do so safely.
Health, council and police bosses have recognised the vital role local people are playing by helping those who must stay at home and are encouraging others to do the same where possible.
While the Government’s social distancing guidelines advise people to stay at home, they allow people to leave home in order to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
Dr David Hegarty, chair of Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
"We all know that the most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.
"If you are fit and healthy and meet the criteria, we’d encourage you to help friends, family and neighbours who need to stay at home where possible – but remember to stay safe when doing so.
"People can help by phoning or keeping in touch via social media, picking up food for others, or by picking up medicines."
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care at Dudley Council, said:
"We all have parents, grandparents and great grandparents who have become isolated as a result of coronavirus and need help. That extends to friends and neighbours too when they don’t have family of their own.
"Be kind, and help out the people closest to you who need it – but do it in a safe way.
"We are all in this together and the only way we will beat it is together."
Sally Bourner, Chief Superintendent, Dudley Neighbourhood Policing Unit Commander said:
"Across Dudley, we have seen most local people complying with the government’s restrictions and staying at home to save lives.
" To everyone who is playing their part, I would like to say a huge thank you and keep up the great work because you are doing the right thing to keep yourselves, your family and your friends safe.
"We are continuing to work closely with Dudley Council and other partners to ensure everyone continues to play their part in saving lives and protecting the NHS."
The Government advises that you can only provide support to people who are in isolation if you fulfil all of the following conditions:
You should not go inside the homes of anyone you do not live with, especially vulnerable people or people who believe they may be infected and are isolating themselves. Breaking these rules could put you at risk of infection, or risk spreading it to others.
If you are picking things up for others, try to limit the amount of time you spend outside of your home by picking up essential items for them when you do your own shopping or collect their medicines during the same trip.
It's still important to get medical help if you need it, but try to avoid getting face-to-face help if you can. If you need to contact a GP, do not go into the surgery in person. You can visit the GP surgery website, or use an online service to contact your GP, or phone your GP surgery. Your GP surgery will then give you advice about what to do.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the 111 coronavirus online service to find out what to do. To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
For more information on how help safely, go to gov.uk/safehelp