Council urges better social distancing while preserving emotional wellbeing

City of York Council is offering advice on how people can look after their emotional wellbeing while social distancing – two metres apart – and isolating themselves to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

On Friday, new social distancing measures were announced by the Government, which has resulted in the closures of pubs, cafés nightclubs, bars, theatres, restaurants, leisure centres and gyms across the city and the country.

This latest measure is to further support social distancing, which involves:

  • Avoiding contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough.
  • Avoiding non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible.
  • Working from home, where possible;
  • Avoiding gatherings with friends and family but keeping in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
  • Using telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.

You can find out more at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

In response, City of York Council is encouraging residents to look after their wellbeing during this period of social distancing.

Ways to look after your well-being include:

  • Try and see this time as a different period in your life and a chance to do things and be in touch with others in different ways.
  • Talk and keep in touch with the people who matter to you regularly on social media, e-mail or on the phone.
  • Create a new daily routine which includes time to look after yourself.
  • Make sure your wider health needs are being looked after – including having enough prescription medicines available to you.
  • Try to avoid speculation and look up reputable sources on the outbreak such as Gov.uk – this could help you feel more in control.
  • Talk to your children and ask children what they have heard about the outbreak and support them, without causing them alarm.
  • Reassure people you know who may be worried and check in with those you know who are living alone.

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said:

“I would like to thank all those who are supporting the city and their loved ones by practicing social distancing and taking the difficult decision to self-isolate. We know that the current situation is not easy and can affect your mental health and emotional wellbeing.

“Whilst it is important to keep a distance from people to avoid spreading the infection, there are many things we can do to support and manage our wellbeing during such times.

“The Council is working with Explore Libraries and other city partners to continue to support people’s wellbeing while they are at home. This includes looking at enhancing home delivery of books, and looking at what other services could be taken online

“Again, if anyone experiences difficulties during this time and does not have any access to support, please contact our Community Support Coordinators via covid19help@york.gov.uk or call 01904 551550 for assistance.”

Sharon Stoltz, Director of Public Health, City of York Council said:

“To reduce the threat to the NHS, to slow down the infection and to make sure we don’t lose loved ones before their time, we must do more social distancing. It isn’t easy and means doing things differently.

“Social distancing includes keeping two metres apart from another person, working from home wherever possible and avoiding large gatherings.

“We ask that people continue to follow advice from reputable sources. Information, advice and support for people is available at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus and we are continuing to update our website at www.york.gov.uk/coronavirus.”

Residents who would like to help the city through this difficult time and volunteer, are being asked to sign up at volunteering@york.gov.uk or call 01904 551550, or go to www.york.gov.uk/COVIDVolunteering.

We will ask for details of their skills and capacity, match them to an existing voluntary group or train them ourselves, coordinating with city groups and council requirements, manage them to deliver support where it is needed.

Residents who do not currently have any access to support, but who need help because of impact of COVID-19, are asked to email our Community Support Coordinators at covid19help@york.gov.uk or call 01904 551550 for assistance.

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