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Covid ‘community champions’ plan by Tower Hamlets Council to spread the word — not the virus

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 September 2020

Being tested for coronavirus at a drive-through facility as part of NHS national programme. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Being tested for coronavirus at a drive-through facility as part of NHS national programme. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

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A Covid-19 “community champions” network is being set up in east London to deal with the spike in coronavirus cases recorded in Tower Hamlets.

Depty mayor Rachel Blake... Depty mayor Rachel Blake... "Champions can help by sharing knowledge with friends, family and neighbours to help reduce the spread of the virus." Picture: Mike Brooke

Volunteers are being urged to sign up to become champions to help the public stay informed with up-to-date advice.

The champions would receive updates to pass on to the community and help people make sense of it.

“Champions will play an important role in keeping the community safe,” Deputy Mayor Rachel Blake said.

“They can help by having conversations with friends, family and neighbours sharing knowledge to help reduce the spread of the virus.”

Cases of Covid-19 “are on the rise” in the East End, Cllr Blake warned.

But the cabinet member for public health was ready with a battle plan to tackle the second wave.

Mayor John Biggs... call for Covid community champions to sign up in the East End. Picture: Mike BrokeMayor John Biggs... call for Covid community champions to sign up in the East End. Picture: Mike Broke

She added: “Support and sharing of knowledge and facts like information about behaviour change to protect everyone can make a difference and help reduce the spread of the virus.”

Anyone can sign up to join the Covid community champions and get information in by email, WhatsApp, text messages or online webinars.

A telephone help line has also been set up on 020-7364 3030, Monday to Friday 9am-5pm to let the town hall know if anyone has urgent needs such as food, medication or even to discuss concerns about social isolation or financial debt.

Tests for Covid-19 are being made available with figures showing 131 cases notified by Tower Hamlets NHS in August, compared to just 37 in June.

Mayor John Biggs warned that the East End was now “facing a different challenge” with cases of Coronavirus increasing again.

He said: “The contribution that volunteers, community groups and faith organisations made at the height of the pandemic proved invaluable through the toughest of times.

“But we must take action now to reduce the risk of a local lockdown, as seen in other parts of the country.”

Tips to stay safe include washing hands regularly with soap and water or use hand sanitiser, as well as wearing a face covering on public transport, in shops and other enclosed areas.

People are also being urged to keep a safe distance from others outside their household by 6ft (2m) where possible and to follow the new government rule of not meeting in groups of more than six.

- Online sign-up for Covid community champions.

- Support also available on Tower Hamlets Council website.


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