This is obviously a very uncertain time. The advice last week seems an age ago. We have had a meeting here in the office and we are updating you based on information we have, the publicity and issues a few of you have already raised. We will keep you constantly updated.
If you (or any member in your household) are experiencing any of the symptoms below – then please let us know, self-isolate for at least 7 days and look after yourself
The symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a cough
- a high temperature
- shortness of breath
But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness.
The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.
Learn more on nhs.uk
Firstly, and most important, continuing as an OSF Volunteer visiting people or dogs is entirely your call. Only you will know your own health status, if anyone you have had contact with may have been to an area carrying a warning, or anyone in your household, or place of work, experiencing any of the symptoms. You may be choosing to self-isolate or have been advised to do so.
If this is the case, please let us know as soon as you can and we would ask that you let your client/clients know that you will not be visiting or dog walking. If you don’t know how to contact them or maybe there is a relative or agency that should know, please tell us and we will pass the message on.
If you want to chat anything over, please do call on 01284 335351 or my mobile 07909 598215. We obviously would hope, wherever possible, you decide to continue the relationships you will have built up providing vital companionship and helping with a dogs welfare.
However, if you are visiting a Care Home or hospital setting, as in Wedgwood, we are suggesting that you don’t visit. A couple of places have already asked us not to have the OSF volunteer visit so we feel this is going to be good practice.
If you are at all concerned about visiting someone in their own home, there are some links and tips, please see end of email. If you would rather not visit personally, could you consider a couple of telephone calls a week? This would keep you in contact and help with the sadness that they may well feel at the lack of a visit, and I do appreciate while you can chat away, they will not be able to get the “dog fix”. If you don’t think your client can cope with a call, hearing loss or dementia, please do contact us to discuss. If you are worried from the client’s point of view, please call us.
For the dog walkers, be really mindful of yourself, your surroundings and contacts. You will be out in the fresh air, say hello to people from a distance, walk earlier than usual or later if you usually come across lots of people. Look at the links at the bottom of the email, to help keep you safe, for when you go to pick up the dog and then drop back:
More Our Special Friends Volunteer Tips.
You should have hand sanitizers, use before you go into a home and when you leave. Avoid touching your face, when in the home. If you don’t have a hand sanitizer and you can get to the office, come and pick one up, we do still have some in the office.
If you do have some anti-bacterial wipes use them on door handles, cupboard handles, any hard surface you touch.
Wear gloves if you don’t have the wipes, removing them as soon as you leave, use your hand sanitizer and remember not to touch your face when wearing the gloves.
Keep a good distance from the client, remember they might also feel reassured at your protective measures.
It’s about being aware and keeping safe, everyone. We are trying to be responsible and compassionate at the same time. Not an easy ask.