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Borough Council Appeal to Obey Advice After Surrey Coronavirus Death Toll Rises

Published on: 23 Mar, 2020
Updated on: 25 Mar, 2020

The main entrance of the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Egerton Road.

An 89-year-old patient in the Royal Surrey has died after testing positive for Covid-19, Louise Stead, chief executive at Royal Surrey Trust, said today (March 23).  He had underlying health conditions, she added.

There are 68 confirmed cases in Surrey and now eight deaths.

And the borough council is thanking everyone taking action to reduce the spread of Coronavirus and strongly urging non-keyworkers to stay at home and maintain social distancing where possible.

Unless self-isolating or in a vulnerable group, people can still leave the house for essential groceries and important exercise, but it is stressed that we should stay at least two metres (approximately six feet) from others not from our households.

Public Health England and the NHS repeat that the respiratory virus which is thought to be transferred by the inhalation or ingestion of particles from an infected person, including those spread by coughing or sneezing.

Cllr Caroline Reeves

Council leader Caroline Reeves (Lib Den, Friary & St Nicolas), said: “The safety and health of our residents and businesses are our top priority.

“These are uncertain times, becoming more challenging by the day, but I want to reassure people that we are doing all we can to ensure we continue to deliver essential services, and support our communities as best we can. I am confident we will get through this by working together.

“But we need you all to play your part too. Keep hand-washing for at least 20 seconds and do so regularly.

“Please make sure you follow the guidance and don’t meet in groups with people outside your household. We understand how difficult this is, especially for children and teenagers who from today are no longer at school, college and university.

“But if we do not stick to the guidance the virus will spread more quickly, putting our vulnerable groups at further risk and piling greater pressure on the NHS. We have taken the sad but necessary decision to close all playgrounds, although our parks and countryside sites remain open. Please use them and stay two metres from others.”

Cllr Reeves added: “The community spirit we have seen is overwhelming and heart-warming.

“I’ve been overjoyed to see how people are already pulling together and offering help, and I give heartfelt thanks to everybody for the assistance they are offering. Please do this in a safe and coordinated way without putting yourself or others at risk. Voluntary Action South West Surrey (VASWS) are coordinating, so please contact them. Also continue to think of those less able and more vulnerable than ourselves first, particularly when buying food.


I urge everybody to follow only trusted sources for the latest information, such as the NHS website. Our own website and social media pages will also be regularly updated with essential information and details of any changes to our services.


Carol Dunnett, VASWS chief officer said: “We are incredibly pleased to see the compassion shown already in Guildford, people rallying with offers of help for groups that might now be isolated and at risk.

“If you or anyone you know would like help or need help or know someone who would benefit from help, please get in touch. We also have the skills and experience to advise groups how to offer safe and coordinated help, for example getting Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record checks.


She added: “Please do be aware that every offer of help is valuable. We have more offers of help than we have those to help but this changing every day. Please bear with us if we aren’t able to connect you with others who need help immediately. This is a marathon rather than a sprint, so rest assured we will coordinate as soon as those in need are all identified and will be in touch.”

Note: The latest government information and advice can be found at Visit for further details of the council’s response. For details of Voluntary Action South West Surrey’s work, visit:

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