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Advice to “think twice” before leaving home

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Devon’s Director of Public Health, Steve Brown, has called on us all to be extra vigilant in following the Government’s COVID-19 lockdown rules, and to “think twice” before we leave our homes.

This follows a stark warning from the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, that the next few weeks will be “the worst” of the pandemic for the NHS, and that the UK will go through the “most dangerous time” in the weeks before the vaccination rollout has an impact.

Steve Brown said: “I completely understand how difficult this dreadful situation is for so many people in Devon, but please, I am urging you to help stop the spread of coronavirus by staying at home and to think twice before leaving your homes.

“Every time you leave your home you risk coming into contact with an infected person or touching a surface, door handle or petrol pump which may be contaminated. Any one of these interactions could be a crucial link in the chain of transmission which could lead to someone becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID-19.

“Traffic flow figures indicate that more people are moving around the county during this lockdown and while there are times when we all need to make essential journeys for childcare, work, medical appointments and food, we also need to consider if other journeys are essential.

“And while it’s really important to take daily exercise in the fresh air for physical and mental wellbeing, please stay as close to home as possible – ideally start and finish your exercise at your front door – and if you meet another person from another household to join you on your exercise, make sure you stay two metres apart at all times.

“COVID-19 cases in Devon may be relatively low compared to the rest of the country but they are now at the highest level we have seen since the start of the pandemic. The number of cases continues to rise, and we are concerned about the new strain of the virus which is spread much more easily between people.

“Staying at home and avoiding non-essential journeys and social contact are the most important steps we can all take to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Please, think very carefully before you leave your home and be absolutely certain that the journey you are about to make is essential. By doing this, we can all play a vital part in our fight against this horrendous disease.”