The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal. Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also catch the virus by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict guidelines. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.
Everyone is Being Reminded to Follow Public Health England Advice to:
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
The latest information on symptoms of Coronovirus infection and areas where recent travel may have resulted in a high risk of exposure can be found below.
- NHS UK
- Public Health England
- Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice
- Travel Insurance Q&A
- Use this service if you think you might have coronavirus: https://111.nhs.uk/service/covid-19
- Use this service if you have been told to self-isolate because of coronavirus and you need a note for your employer: https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note
The Most Common Symptoms of Coronavirus (Covid-19) are Recent Onset of:
- New continuous cough and/or
- High temperature
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection
- If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (covid-19), however mild, do not leave your home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.
- This action will help protect others in your community while you are infectious
- Plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home
- Ask your employer, friends and family to help you get the things you need to stay at home
- Stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home if possible
- Sleep alone, if possible
- Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
- Stay away from vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, as much as possible
- You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call 111 if you need to speak to someone.