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What is Coronavirus (Covid-19)?
COVID-19 is a new type of Coronavirus that can cause serious illness in some people. Coronavirufs (COVID-19) can affect many parts of the body including the lungs and therefore breathing. It can spread from person to person by coughing, or by touching surfaces or areas of skin that have been contaminated by (come into contact with) the virus. The name COVID-19 comes from coronavirus disease 2019, it was named in December 2019.
People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take extra care to protect themselves from coming into contact with COVID-19. The advice has now changed so that people who are shielding can now choose to leave their home if they wish to spend time outdoors. This needs to be done carefully and strict social distancing must be maintained. This means keeping 2 metres apart (3 steps) from anyone outside your household. This guidance on shielding is advice. It is not a compulsory part of the law and so you will not be fined if you do not follow it. However, everyone must follow the guidance on staying alert and safe (social distancing). This includes the possibility that you (or your parents) may be fined. It’s okay if you want to remain inside your own home because you do not feel comfortable with going into public spaces or with having any form of contact with other people who don’t normally live with you. Careful time outside in the fresh air can help clear the head and lift your mood. This guidance will be kept under regular review. We will let you know if this advice changes though an update to this guidance or through your GP or specialist.
The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are the recent onset of any of the following:
a new continuous cough, meaning coughing a lot for more than an hour or experiencing 3 or more episodes of coughing in a day
- a high temperature
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
If you have any of the symptoms above you must self-isolate at home and arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19. Go to testing to arrange this or contact NHS 119 via telephone if you do not have internet access.
What should I do if I have symptoms of Covid-19?
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, OR you have received a positive COVID-19 test result, the clear medical advice is to immediately self-isolate at home for at least 7 days from when your symptoms started.
- Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
- You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange.
- Following a positive test result, you will receive a request by text, email or phone to log into the NHS Test and Trace service website and provide information about recent close contacts.
- Consider alerting the people that you have had close contact within the last 48 hours to let them know you have symptoms of COVID-19.
- After 7 days, or longer, if you still have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste, you must continue to self-isolate until you feel better.
- You do not need to self-isolate if you only have a cough or loss of sense of smell/taste after 7 days, as these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.
Staying at Home with Covid-19 Symptoms
- If you live alone, stay at home without any visitors (self-isolate) immediately for 7 days.
- If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of COVID-19, then you must stay at home for at least 7 days.
- If at-risk people share your home - such as those who are older and those with underlying health conditions - ideally they should move out, perhaps to stay with friends or family for the whole isolation period. If they can't move out, they must keep as much distance as possible from others in the home during this period.
- All other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days.
- The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the household became ill.
- Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection that people in your household could pass on to others in the community.
- If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, they must stay at home for at least 7 days from when their symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in their original 14-day isolation period.
- If you have symptoms, you should stay as far away from other members of your household as possible. It is especially important to stay away from anyone who is clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable with whom you continue to share a household.
- Reduce the spread of infection in your home by washing your hands regularly for 20 seconds using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser, and cover coughs and sneezes.
- Use disinfectant to keep surfaces clean, wash hands and keep them away from your face.For further information read this government advice on staying at home and isolating.
- If you develop new COVID-19 symptoms at any point after ending your first period of isolation (self or household) then you must follow the same guidance on self-isolation again.
What is my Covid-19 symptoms get worse?
- If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus (COVID-19) service.
- If you do not have Internet access, call NHS 111.
- For a medical emergency dial 999.
How can you avoid getting and spreading the virus?
- Scientists think that the virus spreads via droplets from coughs and sneezes and we know it spreads easily and can stay on surfaces for a while.
- Follow the advice below to reduce your risk and the risk to others.
- Avoid non-essential contact with others - work from home if you can and don't socialise with others
- if you do go out keep 6 feet (2metres) distance.
- Wash your hands - with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds.
- Do this before leaving home and after returning home, before eating and drinking, and after coughing or sneezing.
- Cover your mouth and nose - with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze - tissue in the bin and wash, or disinfect, your hands immediately.
- Don't touch your face - especially your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean surfaces - disinfect surfaces around you - especially mobiles, computers, keyboards, worktops, desks, handles, etc.
- Keep up-to-date with Government emails about coronavirus (COVID-19) here.
Page Last Updated: 21/08/2020.