The Government has today published updated guidance around people in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable Group.
Importantly, the list of people who are now included in this group has been extended taking into consideration a range of factors which identify people who are at an ‘enhanced risk’ from COVID. Such factors include age, ethnicity, deprivation levels locally and underlying health conditions.
Based on these additional factors, if you are identified as being Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, you will receive a letter from the Government over the next few days advising you to shield with immediate effect. Knowsley Council will also contact you to let you know what local support is available to you.
In Knowsley, just over 2,000 residents who are under 70 and have not yet received the COVID vaccination have been identified as ‘at risk’ as part of the new risk assessment process and will be asked to shield with immediate effect.
More residents who are aged over 70 but have received the COVID vaccination will be identified as ‘at risk’ as part of the new risk assessment process later this week and will also be asked to shield.
All residents who are being asked to shield, including those on the original Clinically Extremely Vulnerable list, must shield until 31 March 2021.
Shielding guidance is available on the Government’s website but it includes staying at home as much as possible (including not leaving your home for shopping or picking up medication), working from home where possible or not going to work if you cannot work from home and children should not attend school or other educational settings.
Cllr Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said “It’s really important that if you have been asked to shield, you do. The Government has identified more people who are at a greater risk of catching COVID-19, so if you are contacted, ensure you follow the advice being given.
“Remember, that you are not alone and the Council has a team of people who can advise and support you with things like picking up your shopping or medication. Call the team on 0151 443 2600.”
The clinically extremely vulnerable will get priority access to vaccination against COVID-19 before the general population and in line with the priority ordering set by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). You will be contacted again by the NHS with more information on when and how you will be invited to get the vaccine. The vaccine is likely to make an important contribution towards protecting you from COVID-19.
Even if you have had both doses of the vaccine, you should continue to follow this shielding advice, until further notice. The people you live with should continue to follow the public health rules and guidance as long as they are in place, including if you have received the vaccine and also if they have received the vaccine.