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Press Release - Covid 19 Update

For immediate release: 13th March 2020

Coronavirus update 13/3/20

States of Alderney information on Coronavirus

All Alderney residents are to receive a leaflet explaining the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak and answering the most urgent questions people may have.

The leaflet explains what the disease is, what its symptoms are, how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you might have caught it.

It will be delivered by Guernsey Post on Monday and was accurate at the time of printing but you should regularly check the website www.gov.gg/coronavirus

At the time of this release, no cases have been confirmed on Alderney.  A small number of people returning to the Island are self-isolating in line with the guidelines published by the Director of Public Health as a precautionary measure.  If and when a case of COVID 19 is confirmed on the Island, a media release will be made to inform the public.

Anyone concerned that they may have symptoms of COVID 19 should not go to the Island Medical Centre or the Mignot Memorial Hospital but instead visit https://gov.gg/selfisolate to check if they should self-isolate. Further advice and guidance is available via a Helpline on 01481 756938 or 756969.

Self-isolation means staying at home and not going to work, school or public areas, and not using public transport or taxis.

Public Health Services in Guernsey are leading on the response to COVID 19 with regularly updated advice on the States of Guernsey website, www.gov.gg/coronavirus. Health services in Alderney and the States of Alderney are coordinating action on the island.

Emergency Planning processes are in place to coordinate the response to the spread of the virus through the Civil Contingencies Authority (CCA), a Strategic Coordinating Group (SCG) and a Tactical Coordinating Group (TCG).  The States of Alderney has political representation on the CCA and civil service representation on the SCG and TCG.

Travel is not restricted at present but you are advised only to travel if it is essential and advice on travel beyond the UK should be obtained from travelhealthpro.org.uk/outbreaks and from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Further advice on travel is available on the States of Guernsey website.

There is also advice for the island's event organisers who are asked to be cautious about holding public events, especially if they involve bringing people to Alderney from other countries.  There is an up-to-date list of high-risk countries (known as Group A and Group B countries) on the States of Guernsey website.

In addition to the advice regarding travel and as an extra layer of caution to protect the local community, Dr Brink is advising anyone who has flu-like symptoms (cough, sore throat, running or blocked nose, muscle pains, fatigue) or a fever needs to self-isolate for the duration of these symptoms AND for 48 hours after the resolution of these symptoms.  By asking them to self-isolate it will help reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading.

St Anne's School remains open and there is no need to keep children away from school. If the virus spreads widely the possibility of closing schools and public buildings will be considered by Guernsey's Committee for Education, Sports and Culture and disseminated through the Emergency Planning processes.  Guidance for schools, parents and pupils, including advice on school trips, is being prepared by the Director of Education.

Visiting hours for the Mignot Memorial Hospital and the Connaught / Jubilee Care Home have been restricted to next of kin only.  Please ring the hospital - 822822 or Connaught / Jubilee - 822756 before visiting.

The Chief Executive of the States of Alderney said "Emergency Planning procedures are now in place to deal with the COVID 19 situation.  These procedures work across the Bailiwick and Alderney is fully involved and the needs of our Island are being taken into account.  The approach is cautious but balanced, recognizing that there is only one confirmed case in the Bailiwick at this time.  We are still in the containment phase which involves isolating those people who are or may be carrying the virus and tracing any contacts they have had.  The planning process is taking account of the potential need for more extensive restrictions if the number of cases increases.  As well as the Bailiwick-wide work, our on-island health, emergency services and public service professional are working together with daily updates to ensure that the specific challenges for Alderney are addressed."

Keep up to date with latest information at www.gov.gg/coronavirus .

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