October update] The second wave of the pandemic is affecting Somerset far more than the first. The infection rate here has tripled in the last month. We all need to beware of complacency which may have set in while COVID-19 was a threat mostly affecting other parts of the country.
• Stick to the rules and keep practicing social distancing at all times
• Assume that everyone you meet may be infected (and possibly symptom-free)
• Isolate and get tested if you feel unwell or have any reason to believe you may be infected.
For more details see SW&T poster.
This page has been set up to provide up-to-date information in the current crisis. It contains links to the most recent advice from the NHS and local government, as well as information specific to Stoke St Gregory.
There may be very few cases of Covid-19 in the immediate area, and Somerset as a whole has not suffered nearly as much as other parts of the country, but we should still be taking preventative measures very seriously. This weekly update from Somerset County Council has information on current health statistics for the county, and details on how different departments are responding.
• Everyone should be “social distancing” right now: assume that everyone you meet could be a carrier, keep your distance from them and don’t touch.
• Distrust all surfaces that may have been touched by others, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoid touching your face.
• If you have reason to believe that you may have been exposed to the virus, self-isolate: keep away from any contact with others for at least 7 days to avoid passing on infection. You should self-isolate for a further 7 days (14 in all) if you develop symptoms.
• If you are 70 or older, if you could be pregnant, or if you have an underlying health condition (particularly a lung-related condition such as asthma or a weakened immune system) you are advised to consider self-isolating for your own protection. There is talk of this becoming compulsory, though this does not appear to be the case yet.
If you feel that you may have symptoms of coronavirus, do not go to the health centre. Follow the advice on the North Curry Health Centre website. Only phone the NHS 111 coronavirus phone line if you need to after reading this.
Additional advice about North Curry Health Centre from Dr Hickman.
Help for those in self-isolation
Many people in the village have already risen to the challenge, offering help to neighbours who may need shopping, prescriptions or other supplies collected, or just a friendly phone call. Kelly de Silva, Clerk to the PC is acting as an information exchange. If you need any form of help, or you have any questions, do contact Kelly by phone or email: firstname.lastname@example.org 07701 053903
(Please note that the shop is also offering free delivery via volunteers to any residents who need it—see below.)
Rachel Parish is also offering a hot meal every Wednesday, delivered free (or for a small donation) to those in need of it. See this post.
See also this government web-page (and this News post) concerning support for those who are considered ‘extremely vulnerable’. This is another government web-page specific to help with obtaining food.
The shop will be passing from private ownership to HOTV at the beginning of April. The training of volunteers has been suspended since most of those involved are in the high risk group, but Ian and HOTV, with help from two part-time employees, are determined to keep the shop open throughout the crisis. Although it represents a potential source of cross-infection, great pains are being taken to put in place measures to minimise this risk, and the role of the shop as a source of information and of supplies to self-isolating residents is considered more significant. See Shop Coranovirus Policy.
The shop will be offering a free delivery service, supported by volunteers, for the duration. If you need to take advantage of this, please make contact: email@example.com 07837 764367. These contact details may change. As with every other aspect of the crisis, updates will be published here.
Note also that the Rose & Crown and the Lemon Tree are both offering a take away meals service, and the Withies Deli is still baking, and opening part time. See the respective websites under Pub & Shop.
Links to further advice
Be healthily sceptical of information on social media. The best source of authoritative advice on health matters is NHS.uk. A banner on their home page will take you straight to their current Covid-19 advice and to the current Government response information.
Somerset West and Taunton Council also has an information page, and have put out an information pack which may be read online or downloaded. Somerset County Council also have an information page, which covers many of the same topics.
On 6 April, this joint press release was put out on behalf of Somerset County and all the District Councils. It is primarily to announce a new phone Helpline (0300 790 6275) offering support for those needing help (except health advice) in coping with the coronavirus crisis. Also you are encouraged to visit this website if you are interested in volunteering.
See also this post on advice to avoid coronavirus scams.
If you have any information which you think would add to the usefulness of this page, please contact Nick Sloan. We will do our best to update and adapt as the situation develops.
Last updated 11-6-20 [Added link to Gov.UK food help page.]