As the spread of coronavirus has continued the Govenment has made the decision to take more measures to reduce risk to life. These measures were announced by the Prime Minister on the 23rd March and will be enforced by the Police and other relevant authorities.
It is in everyone’s interest to abide by the instructions. The below contains key messages for households who have possible symptoms of coronavirus. A comprehensive guide can also be found at .GOV HERE .
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
- new continuous cough and/or
- high temperature
- loss of taste & smell
For most people, coronavirus will be a mild illness. We expect the majority of people who catch it will make a full recovery without medical attention, but if you are concerned because you believe you are at greater risk, or feel your symptoms are becoming more severe, contact NHS 111 or alternatively 999 in an emergency.
What if I live alone?
If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness, however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (The ending isolation section below has more information).
I am the first person in my household to get symptoms, what do I do?
If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but 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 house became ill. See this explanatory diagram .
What if I infect other members of my household?
For anyone else in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. The ending isolation section below has more information, and see the explanatory diagram .
It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
If you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period.
What if I cant move vulnerable family members out of the house?
It is important that you separate yourself from other people in your home and if you share facilities like toilets and bathrooms, regular cleaning will be required. You should stay in a well-ventilated room with a window that can be opened, separate from other people in your home.
In the advice sheet , there are specific recommendations in the case that a separate bathroom is not available, if you live in shared accommodation, and if you share a kitchen with others, and these should be followed closely.
If I start to get symptoms, what should I do?
if you have coronavirus symptoms:
- do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
- you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home
- testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home
Plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household.
Ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home.
Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
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 service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
How do I get food or supplies?
It is fine for friends or family to drop off food for you. Alternatively, you can order by phone or online, such as through take away services or online shopping deliveries. However, make sure you tell the delivery driver that the items are to be left outside, or in the porch, or as appropriate for your home.
What if I have other responsibilities, such as work and taking care of family?
Unfortunately, if you have coronavirus symptoms - or are at higher risk of being infected - we must prioritise reducing the risk of transmitting the disease to others, particularly to people who may be more vulnerable such as older people or people with health conditions.
During an outbreak, it is important that we all do everything we can to reduce the risk of further spread of the infection. This will require understanding and support from employers, family members and friends.
Ask people to not visit your house for your duration; if you need a healthcare or care visit at home during this time, inform them that you are self-isolating in advance so that they can follow their local employers’ guidance.