Cambridgeshire County Council said the figure is expected to increase to around 20,000 across both Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
A spokesperson for the county council said: “We have been made aware of almost 13,000 people in the shielded group so far. It’s predicted this will increase to around 20,000, across both Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
“There are two routes in which a person becomes listed in the shielded group – either by GPs identifying people as needing to shield based on criteria set out in the national guidance, or through identification by National Health Service England followed by self-registration via an online form or national helpline.”
Shielding is a social distancing practice used to protect those deemed extremely vulnerable throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
For those who meet the vulnerable criteria the government website says: “You are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks from the day you receive your letter.”
The government’s shielding guidance applies to people who are at very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 because of an underlying health condition. Detailed guidance is available at gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
Those who feel they ought to be included in the vulnerable category are being asked to sign up at gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable
The county council, once made aware, can help facilitate essential supplies and offer up-to-date guidance for those affected.
People falling into this extremely vulnerable group include:
- Solid organ transplant recipients.
- People with specific cancers:
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
- people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
- people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
- People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
- People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
- People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.