Frequently Asked Questions
I’m helping a friend/family member living with dementia. How can I support them while we are impacted by the coronavirus?
During the coronavirus pandemic, The Alzheimer’s Society has advice and practical tips for people living with dementia and those supporting them. For more information, visit their website: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/coronavirus-covid-19
Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS) delivers meals across Hertfordshire 365 days a year. You can order meals as a one-off, temporarily, or for as long as you would like them. To learn more about eligibility, cost, and types of meals/deliveries offered, please visit hertsindependentliving.org/our-meals-service/.
You can go to your GP for a repeat prescription if it is part of your once-daily exercise, as per government advice. Please phone ahead to the GP when possible.
Please visit Gov.uk for the latest information on the support available to businesses.
Please also check out our Support for Businesses page for more information.
Tell your friends and loved ones not to accept offers of help from strangers or cold callers who may attempt to contact them in person, online or over the phone. Signing up for help directly through Harpenden Cares is the best way to ensure a loved one doesn’t fall victim to scammers.
From the Local Government Association website: “The Local Government Association is urging residents not to accept services from strangers or cold callers – whether in person, on the phone or online – who offer to run errands, collect prescriptions and do shopping and ask for cash upfront, or a credit card and its PIN.
Councils have already seen a number of coronavirus-related scams involving fraudsters knocking on the doors of the elderly and impersonating either council officers or health officials offering mandatory coronavirus testing. The intention of these fraudsters is to manipulate and gain the trust of the elderly and vulnerable in self-isolation simply to execute more elaborate scams, gain access to their property or access their savings.
Other scams included:
- Phishing e-mails offering quack remedies, vaccination kits or bogus medical advice.
- ‘Price gougers’ selling in-demand items such as facemasks and hand sanitiser at inflated prices both on fake websites and legitimate online marketplaces, with victims often paying upfront and never receiving the kit.
- Criminals exploiting pandemic panic to assist in burglary or fraud by impersonating government, council or medical officers.
- Scam e-mails pretending to be charities encouraging residents to donate or travel companies asking for information about cancelled holidays, often to secure unsuspecting victims’ payment details or steal their identity.
- Advertisements for “money mules” playing on the fears of the financially insecure, which are often part of more serious organised criminal networks including fraud and drug gangs.
If you think you have been the victim of a scam, then speak to your bank immediately and report any fraud to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
To stay up to date on waste collection, visit https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/recycling-and-rubbish.
For more information on how to safely dispose of rubbish, please read the below from Hertfordshire County Council:
- Disposing of Contaminated Waste: If you are showing symptoms, or are confirmed to have Covid-19, Defra offer this advice: All contaminated waste (such as tissues and wipes) need to be securely sealed in a rubbish bag. Put this bag inside another bag and tie the top securely. Store the bag separately from other waste and recycling (and away from pets) for three days, before putting it in your general waste bin as normal. Do NOT put contaminated tissues in your home recycling.
- All HWRCs are closed until further notice: All Household Waste Recycling Centres in Hertfordshire are now closed until further notice, following Government guidance. We take the safety of residents and staff very seriously and It is essential that we do all we can to slow down the spread of the virus. We will review the situation based on further government advice regarding social restrictions so please check our website for updates.
- What to do with your waste: A lot of the material taken to HWRCs is ‘bulky waste’ (large items such as furniture, wood and metals). Please store these items at home until the sites reopen. Never put electrical items in any bin at home. Small recyclable items can be put in your home recycling as normal. Please note that waste left outside the gates of HWRCs, any local neighbourhood recycling banks, or charity shops will be classed as flytipping and as such you could be prosecuted.
- What do do with garden waste: We see a lot of garden waste being taken to HWRCs. Where possible, compost your grass cuttings and hedge trimmings at home. Easy guides to build your own compost bin are available online, with details on what to include in your compost. If you can’t do this, try to keep your garden waste until we reopen.
- A number of groups organisations have provided wonderful ideas on how to keep kids busy during this period:
- Mum’s Guide to Harpenden has compiled a great list of ideas to keep kids busy at home
- Zoos around the world are providing live streams of their animals for you enjoy from home, and some zoos are also going live on Facebook. To start, check out…
- The Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust has ideas for wildlife gardening and activities for children.
Several retailers have set aside special opening hours for NHS workers and vulnerable residents. Please see below for a list of stores and corresponding hours. Please note that these are likely to change, so it is advisable to check with each store before shopping:
We have been speaking to managers of local shops who have asked us to encourage residents to purchase what they would in a normal shop and not stock up on supplies. The supply chain is robust, and shopping as normal will ensure that the stores can keep shelves stocked.