Home Coronavirus: News and Advice Clinically extremely vulnerable people urged to take extra precautions
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Clinically extremely vulnerable people urged to take extra precautions

by Cathy Sheel

People who are clinically extremely vulnerable are being urged to consider extra precautions to protect themselves following the lifting of Covid restrictions on 19 July.

While those at higher risk of serious illness from the virus are no longer required to ‘shield’ at home, the latest guidance offers additional advice to help people stay safe. This is in addition to advice about reducing the risk of infection in the general population by continuing to wear face coverings in crowded places, getting vaccinated, as well as testing and isolating.

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) people are asked to consider the following:

Vaccination

All those who are CEV should already have been offered a COVID-19 vaccine. If you haven’t yet received your first dose, please contact your GP, book your vaccination appointment online or call 119. Please ensure you’ve also received your second dose of the vaccine. There are also plans for a further ‘booster’ dose to be delivered alongside flu vaccinations in the Autumn.

Socialising

Please consider the risks of close contact with others, particularly those you don’t usually meet with. The risk of infection could be reduced by meeting outside if possible, or making sure your space is well ventilated. You may also wish to consider whether those you are meeting with have been vaccinated, asking friends and family to take a lateral flow test or continuing to socially distance from others.

Work

While the Government is no longer asking people to work from home, employers still have a legal responsibility to protect their employees from risks to their health and safety while at work. Your employer should be able to explain to you the measures they have in place to keep you safe at work.

School and college

All pupils and students should return to school or college. If you’re concerned about your child going back to school, talk to the school about the arrangements they have put in place to help keep your child safe. Schools and colleges are offering regular rapid lateral flow tests to check for people who have COVID-19 but do not have symptoms.

Shopping

You may want to you may want to do your shopping online, ask family or friends to collect shopping or visiting shops at quieter times of the day. You can also get help with food and medicine deliveries from an NHS volunteer. Call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm) to get help from NHS Volunteer Responders.

Travel

The government recommendation that people continue to wear face coverings in crowded areas, such as public transport, may help to make you feel more relaxed while travelling.

Care and Support Services

You can continue to seek support from your health and social care providers. Any carers or visitors who support you with everyday needs can continue to visit. Visit the Every Mind Matters website for advice and practical steps to support your wellbeing and manage your mental health. Please contact your GP for further advice.

How do I know if I’m in the Clinical Extremely Vulnerable category?

People who are defined as clinically extremely vulnerable are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus. There are two ways you may be identified as clinically extremely vulnerable:

  1. You have one or more of conditions listed below, or
  2. Your clinician or GP has added you to the Shielded Patient List because, based on their clinical judgement, they deem you to be at higher risk of serious illness if you catch the virus.

If you do not fall into any of these categories, and have not been contacted to inform you that you are on the Shielded Patient List, follow the general staying alert and safe guidance for the rest of the population.

People with the following conditions are automatically deemed clinically extremely vulnerable:

  1. solid organ transplant recipients
  2. people with specific cancers:
  3. people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
  4. people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
  5. people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
  6. people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  7. people having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  8. people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  9. people with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  10. people with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
  11. people on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
  12. women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
  13. other people who have also been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of their needs. GPs and hospital clinicians have been provided with guidance to support these decisions

For further advice and information visit 19 July guidance on protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)