Coronavirus (COVID-19) - information for local communities

Protect yourself and others

Stay alert

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Read more about what you can and cannot do.

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.

The government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding taking into account that coronavirus infection rates have decreased significantly over the last few weeks. Shielding guidance has been and continues to be advisory.

People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but may now choose to leave their home, as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing. If you choose to spend time outdoors, you may do so with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household or you may choose to spend time outdoors with one person from another household. Ideally, this should be the same person each time.

If you do go out, you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres apart. This guidance will be kept under regular review.

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.

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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