West Suffolk Council and its partners are spearheading a joint response to identify where and how to best support those who are most vulnerable to the growing COVID-19 pandemic.
Council leader John Griffiths said: ‘‘Supporting our neighbours, friends and family is crucially important, even more so now and in the weeks and months to come. We know our resilient residents will continue to act as good neighbours and while the council is working hard across the board to support our businesses and households – and to continue delivering essential services – there are simple things we can all do to help.”
Robert Everitt, Cabinet member for Communities said: “Our vital network of established voluntary and community groups is not immune to the impact of the pandemic and we are working with them to identify gaps and provide a speedy joint response with partners.
“In the meantime, we are sharing valuable guidance that all members of the community can follow, to effectively help manage the course of the pandemic where we live.”
The advice includes: check in on any vulnerable family, friends and neighbours. They may have been advised to socially distance themselves to avoid becoming ill and sometimes just helping them with their shopping and checking they have everything they need can make a big difference.
If you know someone who is self-isolating to avoid passing their symptoms on to other, contact them via phone and text and check that they’re ok. By its very nature, self-isolation is a solitary experience and their wellbeing will likely be improved by talking to someone.
Please be mindful with your comments and actions, so as not to cause undue concern or anxiety within your community. If you hear misinformation that may cause issues, respectfully challenge if you’re able to.
Please be respectful of anyone you know who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 as it’s likely to be an anxious time for them. Due to patient confidentiality their details will not be publicly confirmed, so please do what you can to respect and protect their privacy, and do not speculate with the local media or on social media.
Public Health England has advised people who are self-isolating to do what they can to avoid visitors to their home and any deliveries of groceries, medications or other shopping to be left at the door so please ensure that when you are providing support this advice is followed.
Suffolk Mind has some useful tips about how to look after your wellbeing when isolated or home working: https://www.suffolkmind.org.uk/news/covid-19-virus-precautions-at-suffolk-mind-2/
Painters Café, in Sudbury, has decided to close.
Tracy and Alan who run the café said: “With heavy hearts we have taken the difficult decision to close the café with immediate effect for a temporary period following the government advice.
“Thank you so much for your support during these unsure times.
“We will keep you posted on what’s happening on social media and a notice in our shop window.
“Regarding our Mothers’ afternoon tea and other bookings we will try to get in touch with each one of you to cancel them tomorrow – our apologies for the inconvenience. And we will not be doing a take away afternoon tea due to stock shortages.
“Look after yourselves and your loved ones. We hope you understand.”
Prezzo, which has restaurants in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket, have decided to close.
In a statement released by Karen Jones, executive chairman, she said: “We need to do this in order to protect the health of our teams, our customers and our local communities. After the Government stated last Monday that people should avoid restaurants, it was always going to be question of when, not if, we would need to close our doors for a time.
“Our Prezzo people will be working in their usual committed fashion to temporarily close our restaurants down in an orderly and planned manner.
“Those same Prezzo people are at the centre of my thinking and our planning. We appreciate the support of all stakeholders. I want us to return stronger than before and with renewed determination to deliver our mission – every customer leaving wanting to return. And return we will.”