COVID-19 (coronavirus) Advice and Guidance

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WHAT IS COVID-19
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.

Coronavirus is a new illness and we do not know exactly how it spreads from person to person.  Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.  It is very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food. 

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS 
A High temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).

A New, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).

HOW TO AVOID CATCHING AND SPREADING CORONAVIRUS
Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

SOME MEASURES YOU CAN TAKE ARE: 
1. Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).
2. Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
3. Work from home, where possible.
4. Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
5. Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
6. Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.

Those who are over 70, have an underlying health condition or are pregnant, are strongly advised to follow the above measures, and to significantly limit their face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS 
If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, you should stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. 

Others who live in your home should 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 house became ill.  Staying home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.

You do not need to arrange a COVID-19 test.  Community testing has been stopped.  Anyone with symptoms should follow the self isolation guidance.  The current view by Public Health England also advises against the use of testing kits being sold in the community.  There is no published evidence about the suitability of these tests for diagnosing COVID-19 infection in a community setting.

LOOK AFTER YOUR WELLBEING 
For most people in most locations, the risk of catching COVID-19 is still low and most people recover from the virus without needing specialist treatment.  Older people and those with underlying health issues are more likely to develop a serious illness. 

It is normal for people to be worried about COVID-19 and how the breakout could affect you or your loved ones.  You can help minimise these concerns by staying at home, if required to, helping to prevent the spread of the virus and protecting the lives of yourselves and others in your community.

Staying at home for a prolonged period can be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some people.  It is important to remember to take care of yourself and get support if you need it. Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media.
There are also sources of support and information that can help, such as the Every Mind Matters website.

Think about things you can do whilst you are home such as cooking, reading, online learning and watching films.

If you feel well enough you can take part in light exercise within your home or garden.

Remember to look after yourselves, your loved ones and your community!

GOOD HYGIENE IS REALLY IMPORTANT
Washing your hands with soap and hot water is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.  Click the link below to see the national NHS guide on how to effectively wash your hands.Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hand.Dispose of tissues into a disposable rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser.Click here for NHS hand wash guidance

WHEN TO SEEK FURTHER HELP
If you are too ill to manage your symptoms yourself, if your symptoms get worse, or if you have had the symptoms (including the temperature) for more than 7 days, you are advised to:
Not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
Firstly, access the online service: 111.nhs.uk/covid-19
If you cannot access the online service ring NHS 111
In the event of an emergency ring 999

A reminder to: Catch It, Bin It, Kill It
There are simple things we can all do to slow the spread of almost any germs. Catch your cough or sneeze in a tissue, bin the tissue, and wash your hands with soap and water, or use sanitiser gel. Click here for more information.

FEATURE IN A FUTURE NEWSLETTER…If you have any items you would like to include on a future newsletter please just let us know!

You can get in touch with Nicky Ainscough or Rachel Richardson via [email protected] or 01942 482711
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Contact Name: Rachel Richardson.