THE Government has announced that more Cheshire West and Chester residents are being asked to shield against coronavirus following the development of a new national COVID risk assessment tool.

This tool uses a range of factors including age, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI) and medical conditions to identify individuals who may be at higher risk of becoming very unwell if they catch coronavirus.

These people are now being classified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable to Covid-19 and are being advised by the Government to ‘Shield’.

Nationally, up to 1.7 million additional people have been identified using this methodology.

These people are being asked to shield until March 31, 2021. People already classified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable are also being asked to extend their shielding period until the March 31.

More than 3,000 additional residents aged from 19-69 in Cheshire West and Chester have now been identified by NHS England as being Clinically Extremely Vulnerable.

A second group of residents aged 70 and over will be contacted in the same way, with current indications that this will start from tomorrow (Monday, February 22).

They will be sent a letter from Department of Health and Social Care in the coming days explaining that their risk factors have identified them as being at high clinical risk. This letter will direct them to register on the National Shielding Support System (NSSS) if they require food or support at

They will be also be invited to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, if they have not already received one.

Cllr Val Armstrong, cabinet member for adult social care and public health at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “We want to reassure anyone who has been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable and has no support from friends, family or the voluntary sector that support is available.

“A letter will be sent out from the Council within the next few days to them with details on how to register for support and how we can support them to shield and protect themselves.

“It is vitally important that everyone continues to follow the national restrictions and stay at home wherever possible. We urge people who are on the new shielded patient list to do all they can to avoid leaving home and take extra precautions if they have to.”

The Cheshire West and Chester Council website contains more information and links to Government guidance here: or call our dedicated helpline on 0300 123 7031.