Community Call should be extended to include those isolating and restricting their movements
13 January 2021
Cllr. Joanna Tuffy has called for Community Call to be amended to explicitly include those being asked to isolate and restrict their movements as a target group for support from local community response forums.
Cllr Tuffy said:
“The documentation and publicity for Community Call clearly states that the supports available under this initiative are to be targeted at vulnerable and socially isolated people. There is no mention at all of those who are being asked to isolate, by our health system, as part of the test and trace efforts. There is also no mention of support for those who travel from abroad and are being asked to restrict their movements.
“At the same time if a family consisting of parents and children is asked to isolate - how they are they supposed to get groceries or medicines without leaving their homes? Currently, as with previous lock downs, customers are having to book supermarket deliveries well in advance. A young family may not be considered, or consider themselves as vulnerable or socially isolated, but they do need help from their community in what they are being asked by our health system to do. Such a family might not have extended family living nearby.
“lt may well be that any one who contacts their local community response forum will get support. However anyone reading the Community Call booklet will think its supports are only available to vulnerable or socially isolated people.
“The people specifically mentioned in the Community Call Booklet are cocooners, and those with underlying conditions. There is nothing in the booklet about support for those being asked to isolate because they have symptoms, or have tested positive, are close contacts. There is nothing in the booklet that suggests the supports are available to those being asked to restrict their movements having travelled here from abroad.
“Dr. David Nabarro, WHO envoy, has said that people at risk or effected by Covid should know where to go to for assistance and that the support on offer should be explicit.That is not the situation in Ireland currently as regards those being asked by our health system to isolate and restrict their movements.
I would welcome it if Community Call was relaunched with explicit offers of support to those being asked to isolate and restrict their movements. Local public health teams should be linked up with local community response forums and when people are contacted and asked to isolate they should as a matter of routine be offered the support of Community Call.
“It should be formally announced by the Minister for Rural and Community Development that the supports of Community Call are to be offered to those being asked to isolate or restrict their movements to reduce the spread of Covid.
“Numbers of Covid cases appear to be dropping now and hopefully we will get to manageable numbers. We then need contact tracing to be as effective as possible to avoid future lockdowns and one way to do that is to ensure that those being asked to isolate and restrict their movements are supported in their communities to do so and that the offer of support to them is explicit and clear.”