COVID Safety at OLGBT In Person Meetings

Updated for our next meeting on 17th January 2022

The local data for COVID in Stoke shows that infection rates have reached an all time high in recent weeks. The Omicron Variant of Covid appears to be a less severe infection than previous variants, particularly for those who are fully vaccinated and have had their booster. However, Omicron is causing serious illness in some people, and we all need to do our best to keep safe and limit the spread to others.

One of the best ways to protect yourself and those around you is to be fully vaccinated including having your booster jab. Please remember it takes a week or two before a booster becomes effective. Being fully vaccinated may not prevent you from getting Covid but it does make it far less likely that you will become seriously ill if you do get it.

If you have a health condition that makes you particularly vulnerable to Covid please think carefully about whether to mix socially while the community infection rates are so high. You may also want to seek medical advice.

Some OLGBT members who are more vulnerable to Covid may still choose to attend the meeting. Although they can take precautions to protect themselves, they also need others around them to take precautions to help reduce their risks.

To protect other people, please consider taking a lateral flow test at home before coming to the OLGBT meeting in line with government guidance. A negative result means it was likely that you were not infectious when the test was done.

If you have any symptoms that might indicate Covid infection you still need to stay at home and get a more sensitive PCR test regardless of your lateral flow test result.

Here are some other things that will help keep everyone safe:

  • Sanitise your hands when entering and leaving the premises. Sanitiser is not as good as hand washing – so please also wash your hands before eating and as soon as you can after leaving the meeting.
  • Please respect everyone’s space and observe social distancing.
  • Avoid physical contact such as hugs and handshakes.
  • Wear a face covering at all times except when eating or drinking. When removing your face covering, please ensure you remain socially distanced from others.
  • We may have some windows open in the meeting room so wear something warm!

 

While we will endeavour to keep everyone as safe as possible, we cannot completely eliminate the risk of Covid transmission that we all share in any situation where there is social contact with others.  When attending an OLGBT in person meeting, you are choosing to personally accept this risk.

Our guidance is based on the information we obtain from reputable sources within the UK including Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Voluntary Action Stoke-on-Trent (VAST), the UK Health Security Agency, the NHS, the Zoe National Covid Study and the British Medical Association (BMA).

If you have any questions or concerns about Covid safety, please do get in touch.

Andrew Colclough
(Deputy Chair)
Contact: olgbt2009@gmail.com