More BwD residents advised to shield

Published Wednesday 17 February 2021 at 14:45

More people in Blackburn with Darwen are being advised to shield, following a change to the model the government uses to calculate vulnerability to Coronavirus.

The government made an announcement yesterday about the change, which affects an estimated 1.7 million people in England.

The new model, known as QCovid, has identified people who are at greater risk of complications if they were to become infected with Coronavirus.

This uses medical records and takes into account a wider range of factors than previously, including gender, ethnicity, body mass index and where people live. The now model has been developed using research into the characteristics of people who sadly died in the first wave.

Around 3,500 Blackburn with Darwen residents between 19 and 69 years of age will receive letters from the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) in the next few days.

They will be advised to stay at home until 31 March, and will be prioritised for vaccination.

Their GPs will also be notified of this change to their Coronavirus risk status.

The Council will contact these people early next week with information about support services across the borough that can help them to stay safe at home – such as shopping collection and wellbeing phone calls.

They will also be given advice on how to register for priority supermarket delivery slots.

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people who are currently shielding, including children, will also receive new letters from the DHSC advising them of an extension of their shielding period to 31 March.

Coun Mustafa Desai, Executive Member for Adult Services, said:

We expect that this news will come as a surprise to the additional 3,500 people who have been identified through the government’s new model.

But we do not want people to worry.

Blackburn with Darwen is seeing a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases and the Coronavirus vaccination programme is going well.

It is important that this group of people take on board the government’s advice to protect themselves by staying at home until 31 March.

Our Help Hub can provide a range of support to help them, and I urge them to get in touch if they need anything at all or have any questions.

The BwD Help Hub offers support with:

  • finance, benefits and debt management
  • mental health support
  • wellbeing and loneliness
  • learning, training and employment
  • getting online and using technology
  • access to food and essentials.

To contact the BwD Help Hub to ask for support:

  • Fill in the online Help Hub form at
  • Call 01254 588111 – lines are open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

More information about the government’s new shielding advice to vulnerable people is on the website.

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