How to get help with shopping and support as 3,800 more people in Sunderland asked to shield
Thousands of Wearsiders who have now been urged to shield due to their increased risk from the coronavirus have been given reassurance additional support is in place.
Sunderland City Council says it is on hand to help after a change in the Government guidance updated on Tuesday, February 16, to include more people.
These include ethnicity, deprivation – based on postcode – and weight to work out a person's risk of becoming seriously ill, as well as age, underlying health issues and prescribed medications.
Nationally, 1.7 million people were expected to be added to the 2.3 million already shielding and advised to stay at home.
In Sunderland an initial 3,854 residents are expected to start receiving letters from the Government from today, Thursday, February 18.
They will be asked to stay at home as much as possible and only go outdoors to exercise or to attend essential health appointments for the next six weeks until the end of March, as well as keep contact with others to a minimum.
The council will also begin contacting residents added to the list from today to make sure that they are OK and see if they need any support, with letters to also be sent out.
Cabinet Member for Healthy City, Councillor Kelly Chequer, said it was a challenging time for all, but help is available to those who need it.
She said: “Although many of our residents will have their own support networks, others may need help with things like shopping and collecting their medication and we want them to know that we are here to support them.
“We can also help them with registering on the national shielding system which will give them access to things such as priority supermarket delivery slots.
"Registering on the national shielding system will also enable the NHS to make contact and ensure that residents get their Covid vaccination booking at the appropriate time in line with their priority need."
The authority has been working to help those shielding through its VCS partners and volunteers who stepped up in their hundreds last year.
Support continues to be available to those already shielding, asked to self isolate or feeling vulnerable by visiting www.sunderland.gov.uk/coronavirus or calling 0800 234 6084 between 8.30am to 5pm.