February 26th 2020

As you will be aware, there is an international outbreak of a new virus that has symptoms similar to winter flu. The Government is working closely with the NHS and local councils to make sure that we have good plans in place, if there is an increase in the number of cases in this country.

Coronavirus (also called Covid-19) is generally very mild and symptoms include a fever and a cough. For some people, it can be very serious and so it is important that we try to limit the spread of the infection.

We welcome the support of faith groups to encourage basic hand hygiene messages as outlined in the attached poster and to display the attached poster.

The reason for specifically contacting local faith groups is to raise awareness that, as below, self-isolation does mean that if a resident has been asked to self-isolate they must not attend any activities outside the home including religious observance. They will need to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people. This will prevent spreading the disease to the wider community.

In practical terms, this means:

  • stay at home
  • not go to work, school or public areas
  • not use public transport like buses, trains, tubes or taxis unless you have been told it is safe to do so by a member of the port or public health team
  • avoid visitors to your home
  • ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out errands for you – such as getting groceries, medications or other shopping.

Public Health England has produced a blog articles relating to the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Self-isolation: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/20/what-is-selfisolation-and-why-is-it-important
  • General FAQs – https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novelcoronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

Lucy Hubber

MFPH Consultant in Public Health

Service Director – Healthy Lives and Children’s Integrated Commissioning

Luton Council

> Latest advice from Luton Borough Council Public Health team – https://www.luton.gov.uk/Health_and_social_care/health/Pages/information-on-coronavirus.aspx