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'Don’t let Covid run riot in your home’, says Cornwall Council’s public health team

People living under the same roof are being reminded of the need for social distancing within the household if any of them develop Covid-19 symptoms or test positive.

It can be easy to forget that the rules still apply within the comfort of our homes, and family members should always try to stay at least two metres apart if just one has to self-isolate.

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It is also advisable to wipe down everything we touch, wash hands frequently, and not to share crockery, cutlery, towels and other household items.

The rules may sound tough, but this is the best way to stop the virus easily infecting an entire household.

Analysis of case data by Cornwall Council’s public health experts shows the virus is now largely being transmitted within groups of families and friends, allowing it to swiftly move from home to home.

Cllr Sally Hawken, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children, Wellbeing and Public Health, said: “We know these rules are really tough for people to stick to, especially at home with your family when you just want to cuddle up on the couch or sit down together for a meal.

“But when one of you has symptoms, or has tested positive, everyone in that household has to do their best to stop the virus spreading around the home.

“This is the major risk now – all it takes is for mum to pass it to dad over dinner, who gives it to the children with a kiss goodnight, who then pass it to other children they might encounter, who then go home and infect their own households.

“Covid-19 can be spread incredibly easily, and we all have to do our bit to stop it in its tracks.”

  • Try to stay at least two metres (three steps) away from the other people in your home.
  • Wash your hands as often as possible with soap and water and encourage the rest of your family/ household to do the same.
  • Encourage everyone to avoid touching their face as much as possible.
  • Clean or disinfect all surfaces, door handles, phones, keyboards etc as often as you can.
  • If you have several bathrooms, choose one for the person with symptoms to use, and don’t let the rest of the family/ household use it. Bathrooms should always be well-cleaned after each use.
  • Avoid sharing objects with other people in the household, particularly crockery, cutlery, glasses, cups, towels and bedding.
  • Keep your spirits up! Chat to friends on the phone or online, read books, play musical instruments, watch movies, play video games, work out and/or have a relaxing bath.

"Numbers are rising more quickly than we’d like, and this is primarily down to transmission between households" - Rachel Wigglesworth, Director of Public Health

Rachel Wigglesworth, Director of Public Health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “We’re not saying everyone in the household needs to confine themselves to their bedrooms, but you will need to be extremely careful to stop the virus being spread from room to room and person to person.

“Case numbers are still relatively low in Cornwall, but numbers are rising more quickly than we’d like, and this is primarily down to transmission between households.

“We know being confined to your home is really difficult, and it’s important we all look after our physical and mental health too.”

If you have any of the three main Covid-19 symptoms – a new continuous cough, a high temperature and a loss of taste or smell, you must self-isolate and your household must continue to self-isolate while waiting for a test. You also must continue to isolate until you get your test results.

Anyone who tests positive must self-isolate, along with all members of their household, whether they have symptoms or not.

For more information on the rules and guidance visit the website.

A range of mental wellbeing guides are available on the council’s website here

For tips, support and advice on all things health-related visit the Healthy Cornwall website here

For mental health safety plans and a list of Apps to support you with your mental health, visit our Safety Plan webpages

Published November 24, 2020