1.1 What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses common across the world in animals and humans. Certain types cause illnesses in people.
For example, some coronaviruses cause the common cold; others cause diseases which are much more severe such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), both of which often lead to pneumonia.
COVID-19 is the illness seen in people infected with a new strain of coronavirus not previously seen in humans.
1.2 How Can I Protect Myself?
Please wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
- only travel on public transport if you need to
- work from home, if you can
- avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
- avoid events with large groups of people
- use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services
1.3 Who Can I Contact For Medical Advice?
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.
Please instead use the below link:
1.4 Why Aren't More People Being Tested?
The Government is trying to delay the spread of infection so has prioritised testing for the most at risk of severe illness from the virus rather than divert resources to widespread testing. Testing will, for example, include people in hospital who have pneumonia or acute respiratory illness. The reason this is being done is to make sure we are using our valuable NHS resources as well as we can. By focusing our testing on the most vulnerable we help relieve pressure on the NHS.