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What is “shielding”? Who is “extremely vulnerable”? What should I do?

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If you have an underlying health condition listed [on this webpage], you are at very high risk of severe illness as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) requiring admission to hospital. [we have listed the conditions below but PLEASE visit the webpage if you are in any doubt]”

“Shielding is a practice used to protect extremely vulnerable people from coming into contact with coronavirus.”

“You are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks from the day you receive your letter. Please note that this period of time could change.”

“Visits from people who provide essential support to you such as healthcare, personal support with your daily needs or social care should continue, but carers and care workers must stay away if they have any of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). You may find this guidance on home care provision useful. All people coming to your home should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds on arrival to your house and often whilst they are there.”

“You should have an alternative list of people who can help you with your care if your main carer becomes unwell. You can also contact your local council for advice on how to access care.”

“If you think you have developed symptoms of COVID-19 such as a new, continuous cough or fever, seek clinical advice using the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or call NHS 111. Do this as soon as you get symptoms.””If you have someone else living with you, they are not required to adopt these protective shielding measures for themselves. They should do what they can to support you in shielding and they should stringently follow guidance on social distancing, reducing their contact outside the home. If you care for but don’t actually live with someone who is extremely vulnerable you should still stringently follow guidance on social distancing.”

“People falling into this extremely vulnerable group include:

  1. Solid organ transplant recipients
  2. People with specific cancers:people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
    people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
    people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
    people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  3. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
  4. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
  5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
  6. Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.”

www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

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