Professor Peter Kelly, PHE North East Centre Director:
“We are approaching a critical phase and make no mistake, the North East cannot avoid the very real consequences of this disease. We need to protect ourselves, our families, our key workers and every community across the North East. To do so we must act now. Every single one of us in our region must take responsibility and practice social distancing.
“Those who can work from home should do so. Those who work in essential services and need to go their workplace should rigorously pay attention to social distancing in that workplace. Avoid non-essential use of public transport. We should only go shopping for essential items such as food and medicines and if we do, then we must take great care to keep a safe distance (2 metres) from other people. I know following this guidance is hard. But we must avoid gathering with our wider family and friends where possible and avoid large and small gatherings in public spaces. If we need fresh air and exercise then we must stay close to home and avoid other people.
“Finally, as the Easter break approaches and the weather improves, our natural instinct is to think of the many wonderful assets and beauty spots we have across the North East. I would say in the strongest possible terms we are living in exceptional times and we all need to make very real adjustments and sacrifices to protect ourselves and others. Stay at home, do not travel other than for necessary work or essentials and please follow the guidance here to stay safe: Social distancing to protect vulnerable groups “
What to do if you need medical help
If you need medical help for any reason, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the 111 coronavirus service.
If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:
- for health information and advice, use the NHS website or your GP surgery website
- for urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you’re unable to get help online
- for life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance
Do not attend a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.