Coronavirus (COVID-19) - information for local communities

Protect yourself and others

You should stay at home as much as possible. The reasons you may leave home include:

  • for work, where you cannot work from home
  • going to shops that are permitted to be open - to get things like food and medicine
  • to exercise or spend time outdoors
  • any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

These reasons are exceptions and a fuller list is set out in the regulations. Even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent away from the home and ensuring that you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

Latest Government guidance.

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a fever
  • loss/change to your normal sense of smell or taste

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

It is very important that individuals with symptoms that may be due to coronavirus and their household members stay at home. Staying at home will help control the spread of the virus to friends, the wider community, and particularly the most vulnerable.

Those with symptoms and living alone should remain at home for 7 days after the onset of their symptoms (information on ending self-isolation). This will reduce the risk of you infecting others.

If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus, then household members must stay at home and not leave your house for 14 days. If possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials, other than exercise, and in that case at a safe distance from others. 

Ask friends or family to drop off anything you need or order supplies online, but make sure these are left outside your home for you to collect.

Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection

If you have a serious underlying health condition, you are at very high risk of severe illness as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) requiring admission to hospital.

Shielding is a practice used to protect extremely vulnerable people from coming into contact with coronavirus.

You are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face to face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks from the day you receive your letter. Please note that this period of time could change.

Ask family, friends and neighbours to support you and use online services. If this is not possible, then the public sector, business, charities, and the general public are gearing up to help those advised to stay at home. 

People who will be notified that they are to shield have been given advice to give to people who may visit the house and will be encouraged to draw on support they might have through your friends, family and other networks during this time to keep in touch with people over the phone, by post, or online.

Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19

Easy Read - Guidance on protecting people most likely to get very poorly from coronavirus (shielding( (PDF 1.60MB)

Emergency Support Helpline for vulnerable people needing urgent help with food, medicines and essential supplies

Cumbria County Council and partners have launched an emergency support service and 6 welfare coordination Hubs for people at high risk of becoming seriously ill, as a result of COVID-19, and who do not have support available from friends, family or neighbours. If they have no alternative support, these people will now be able to call the Freephone number to request help with getting food, medicines, essential supplies and home deliveries.

Ways to get in touch:

  • Phone - The emergency telephone support helpline is 0800 783 1966.
  • Online - COVID-19 online support form.
  • Email your request for help to
  • The telephone 'call' centre operates Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, and 10am to 2pm at weekends and Bank Holidays. The service also accepts referrals from members of the public who may be concerned about people in their community.

The helpline is there to support those at 'high risk' and includes people over 70 years old, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions who should be protecting themselves by staying at home. The majority of these people will already be receiving support from family, friends or local voluntary groups with tasks like shopping or collection of medicines if they require it. But we know that a small number of people will not have this support.

Find out more about the emergency support helpline

Easy Read

We're working with partners and community groups to support local communities across Cumbria, and particularly vulnerable and isolated people, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Below, you will find guidance, resources and information which we hope you can share with your community to support each other as much as possible during this time.

Please only use and share reliable information and guidance from, Public Health England, the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS and local agencies including councils and Police.

  • Inclusion North - Information for all people with a learning disability or autism and their families
  • The Library Edit: some of the best websites and online resources to get you through lockdown - all chosen by library staff, and helpfully grouped by theme

Local area updates and support directories

5 things you can do:

People in every community will face the challenges of COVID-19 in some way - from needing basic provisions to help while they are unwell.

The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

Now we are all staying at home, we need to find new ways to stay connected and check in on one another for our physical and mental wellbeing. Share phone numbers, use social media and stay in touch.

Keep up to date, share information and be a positive part of your local community conversations.

Be kind to each other.

Different groups in our communities are at increased risk - social distancing, social isolation and loneliness are key concerns for all ages. There are things you can do like volunteering for official local support services or donating to food banks to help.

Look after yourself - eat, drink, sleep and exercise. It'll help you stay well and support others.

Stay safe when supporting others.

If you are volunteering, or planning on volunteering your time, whether that be shopping for someone self-isolating or picking up medication for those in need, it's important that you take safeguarding yourself and others seriously. has published Coronavirus: How to help safely guidance which explains how you can help and importantly, how to do this safely.

Volunteering in your community

Support Cumbria are looking for volunteers of all levels to support local charities and organisations in local communities. You might have specific skills to offer or may want to help with tasks like shopping, dog walking, collecting prescriptions or other help.

Go to SupportCumbria to register as a volunteer.

Please also see more information for volunteers and volunteer groups on our Volunteering web page.

Download, print and share up to date campaign resources and help us to share vital messages in communities - access campaign materials.

Support anyone who may be anxious about COVID-19. Sign post them to the correct advice from, NHS and Public Health England and encourage people to follow the correct hygiene practices.

Useful social media links:




Department of Health and Social Care


Public Health England








Cumbria County Council


NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)


North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust


Morecambe Bay NHS Trust


NHS Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)


Cumbria Police


Allerdale District Council


Barrow Borough Council



Carlisle City Council



Copeland Borough Council



Eden District Council



South Lakeland District Council




Video - Communities Advice from NHS

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