Coronavirus update

A message from Jeff Harris Surrey County Councillor

Dear all,

We should all be aware of the seriousness of the situation and challenge facing each and everyone of us for the foreseeable future.

There is ample advice readily available to residents via the main news channels, local radio (which has been excellent) and the H.M Govt Website. Parents of school-age children should be aware of whether their schools are open and 1.5million of us will receive a letter tomorrow telling us whether we are in a the ‘most at risk’ group who should prepare for isolation for 12 weeks…This is a huge ‘ask’ of people but in everyone’s interest. If you receive a letter- DO NOT IGNORE THE ADVICE!

We are rapidly moving into a time of substantial rise in numbers of victims and whilst these will be quite frightening, there is still so much that each and everyone of us can do to mitigate and indeed reduce the spread. As simple a washing of hands properly-which many are still not doing-to ‘keeping the distance’ – which far too many simply seem to ignore. Please remind all members of your families to just undertake those two simple lifesaving steps.

There are some excellent local voluntary initiatives with self-help groups springing up across our area. Amazing work by volunteers, but could I please ask that you make contact with Nina’s team at Voluntary Action Reigate and Banstead – VARB- to make sure we don’t miss anyone, and help gets to where its needed. Its going to be a long haul, and the more people we involve the better. It doesn’t have to be face to face and simple shouting over the fence to check your neighbour is ok and doesn’t need anything could be the easiest and simplest form of communication.

I’ve been hearing more stories of the low-life Hyenas out there taking advantage of the vulnerable, from knocking and offering to shop, taking cash or credit card/PINS to a growing number of telephone calls purporting to be from the NHS asking for personal details and donations…So please, without frightening them, advise our vulnerable residents and neighbours to be careful.

Our NHS is wonderful and needs all the support we can give, but let’s not forget that staff at Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Surrey County Council are working incredibly hard to support our residents and we all need to be aware of the pressures they are under, and thankful for their efforts.

For those who do not have the internet- a surprisingly high number of vulnerable residents in our area,or have difficulties and disabilities preventing its use, there is a new telephone number for Non-MEDICAL advice from the County Council and that’s 0300 200 1008. It’s not 24/7 yet but can answer many questions our residents have.

Finally, the overwhelming message for people is ‘ DON’T GO OUT’ – with very few exceptions…..

Stay safe and keep healthy.

Kind regards,

Jeff Harris

County Councillor

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