Note that services are changing quickly just now so please email me with updates. Also, you may have to check with any service you use to ensure that they are still active.
The 111 web site contains lots of useful information on avoiding catching the infection, what the symptoms are and what you to do if you think you are infected.
To protect others, do not go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital if you think you have the virus.
Also phone 111 if you need a COVID 19 test.
Information from NHS
You can find the all the advice here. This includes symptoms, testing, self-isolation, those at higher risk, and much more.
Visiting your GP
Other health problems have not gone away because of Coronavirus. But many of you will have found that GP surgeries are like Fort Knox at the moment. So you need to phone in for a telephone consultation with your GP. They are providing a great service under difficult conditions and do need to protect themselves.
Pharmacists are overwhelmed at the moment so, if you can, do allow extra time for them to prepare your prescription. Also be kind to the staff who are feeling threatened by anxious customers. Shops are using controlled entry.
Prescription delivery service AbiMeds
A new volunteer delivery service, AbiMeds, has been set up to collect and deliver prescriptions in and around Abingdon. Their Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/groups/AbiMeds/ . The scheme currently collects prescriptions from Jhoots, Boots, Lloyds (Peachcroft), Avicenna, North Abingdon (Long Furlong), Reynolds Way and Tesco pharmacies. To use the service, call 01865 818351.
Minor Injury Unit
The Minor Injury Unit at Abingdon Community Hospital has returned to normal opening times which are 7 days a week, 10 am to 11:30 pm. Appointments are not necessary but you can make an appointment through the 111 service.
Dental services are reopening slowly but they have have a huge backlog and are offering a limited services because of social distancing. Also, their capacity for aerosol generating services like drilling is very limited because they have to leave one hour after treatment for any droplets to settle. If you have a problem, contact your dentist to for help and advice. They will provide instructions on social distancing when attending the surgery which usually means arriving exactly at your appointment time.
If you don't have a dentist, you can find a list of local dentists here.
The specialist (referral only) dental service in Abingdon is also reopening.
General support and contacts for help
Shielding and helping our most vulnerable
The Vale of White Horse has a useful web page with information about those who are most susceptible to the virus.
If you or someone you know has been identified as extremely vulnerable by the NHS and has no support network, please contact the dedicated team on 01865 89 78 20 or email email@example.com.
South and Vale Community information
Anyone that is not considered high risk and does not have a support network around them to help, will be able to call their dedicated support line on 01235 422600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Nextdoor web site
This is a useful web site which you can register with in order to make contact with people from your local community. There are lots of people in and around Abingdon offering to do shopping for those in self-isolating and to keep in touch to make sure that you are all right. Do register and join in the conversation.
I recently put a message on there about obtaining face masks in Abingdon having failed to get any from three Pharmacies in the town centre. There is a deluge of suggestions from ordering on line (Amazon being the most suggested) to individuals making them at home. The two shops most suggested in Abingdon were B&M Home Store at Fairacres Retail Park and Budgens at Peachcroft. But things are changing from day to day.
Abingdon Coronavirus Community Response
Individuals have come together to help people with things like picking up shopping, posting mail, a friendly phone call or urgent supplies. Many of you will have received a card like this from the volunteer in your area. For more information, you can go to their Facebook page or email email@example.com
Another source of information
This web site provides a lots of useful information but it is not clear who has createdit.
The coronavirus outbreak may cause you to feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, helpless, overwhelmed, confused or angry. It’s important to remember it is OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently to different events. Oxford Health have range of helpful resources online here.
See also Mental Health Mates Abingdon.
Talking Space Plus have produced this information sheet which gives lots of useful contacts including many which are general rather than specific to mental health.
The Dementia Oxfordshire Support Line is available and a single point of contact for any dementia related concerns The Team of Dementia Advisers who are available for just a listening ear along with local advice and practical support. Call: 01865 410210 Monday to Friday 9 am to 6 pm.
This is an even greater problem now with families being cooped up at home. The Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline is 0800 731 0055 (Monday to Friday 10am to 7pm). This is free and will not show on your home telephone bill but may appear on an itemised mobile phone bill. Find out more here.
SOFEA Community Larder, Abingdon
As a result of the current crisis SOFEA has brought forward the opening of the Community Larder in Abingdon. The larder will be providing free pre-packed boxes of food to local people requiring support. Initially they are planning on having 60 boxes available on a first come first served basis starting Friday 20th March. They will increase the number of boxes in line with need.
Venue: Abingdon Carousel (South Abingdon Children's Centre) Caldecott Chase, Abingdon, OX14 5GZ
For more information go to the SOFEA web site of phone Neil Holman 01235 510774
Please note that you need to be referred to use food banks. You can find the information from the food banks.
The Food Bank at Preston Road Community Centre intends to continue on Wednesdays from 1pm to 2:30pm for as long as they can staff with volunteers.
The Christ Church Food Bank on Northcourt Road opens 11am to 1 pm Tuesday and Friday. Check their web site.
Abingdon Community Fridge
The Abingdon Community Fridge is running but, in response to social distancing and low food supplies, they are having volunteer manned sessions only and open for one hour 10:30 to 11:30 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The situation changes from day to day so do keep checking their Facebook page. Some home deliveries can be arranged.
Blue Sky Eco Café
Food Access Services in Oxford
Oxford City Council has put together information which does include Abingdon.
Tesco main store will be prioratising the elderly and most vulnerable for one hour between 9am and 10am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Waitrose: The first opening hour on Monday, Wednesday and Friday is dedicated to elderly and vulnerable shoppers, as well as those who look after them.
Expect controlled entry and safe-distance queuing.
Home food delivery
The major supermarkets are struggling to make home deliveries but some local businesses are filling the gap. Here are a few.
Car park collection
Age UK Oxfordshire is providing advice and information for anyone worried about Coronavirus on their website here, and have set up a new, free telephone support service including a friendly, regular weekly call to see how people are and offer advice if needed. The number is 01865 411 288 - leave a message and an advisor will call you back to you.
Guidance for older families
A group of Oxfordshire-based organisatons has put together this useful guidance document which covers many issues.
Other Services and Information
Up-to-date information on council services during the crisis can be found here
Physical activity and exercise can have a positive impact on both your physical and mental wellbeing. So, Active Oxfordshire is advising on some of the ways you can keep active from your home during the coronavirus crisis.
With schools closing, youth provision and early years providers are also closing. Children and young people will no longer have access to physical safe spaces outside of their homes. It is important that we come together to think creatively about how we continue to provide essential services. Oxfordshire Youth are coordinating and collecting useful information in this area.
Citizens Advice Abingdon
For now, they are unable to offer a face-to-face service, at Abingdon, Didcot, Henley, Thame, Faringdon and Wallingford Outreaches. They continue to provide services over the phone or via email. To speak to one of their advisers, call: 0300 3309042, Monday to Friday, 9:00 to 17:00
Beware of scammers
The virus is not killing off all criminality. Indeed, some criminals are finding ways to get money out of vulnerable people. Just be aware at this time when there are lots of genuine people you have never met who are offering real help. Some just might not be genuine. Check the Oxfordshire County Council web page for more information.
Some common scams are