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Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new viral illness that can affect your lungs and airways. The most common symptoms are a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature.

For most people, coronavirus will be a mild illness, but for a small percentage of people it can be severe, even life-threatening.


What You Need to Do to Stop Coronavirus Spreading

Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus, regardless of age, symptoms or other health conditions.

This is called 'social distancing'.

You can only leave your home:

  • To shop for basic essentials - only when you really need to
  • To do one form of exercise a day - such as run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
  • For any medical need - for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
  • To travel to and from work - but only where it is absolutely essential

Read the full NHS guidance and government guidance.



Advice for Older People, for Those With Long-term Health Problems or Are Pregnant

You are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus if you are:

  • Aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
  • Under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (i.e. anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
    • Chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
    • Chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • Chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
    • Chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
    • Diabetes
    • Problems with your spleen - for example, a sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
    • A weakened immune system as a result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
    • Being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above
  • Those who are pregnant

If you are at increased risk, you should be especially stringent in following social distancing guidance.


Advice for People at High Risk

You may be at high risk (also termed 'clinically extremely vulnerable', 'at very high risk' or 'at highest clinical risk') of severe illness from coronavirus if you:

  • Have had an organ transplant
  • Are having certain types of cancer treatment
  • Have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • Have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • Have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections
  • Are taking medicine that weakens your immune system
  • Are pregnant and have a serious heart condition

If you are at high risk, you will recieve a letter from NHS England or your hospital specialist. You should register with the Government's website to access support with activities such as obtaining food packages or medications. You should register even if you do not need any support with daily tasks.

If you think you may be at high risk, but have not received a letter, you should continue to follow social distancing guidance and wait for NHS England or your hospital specialist to contact you. Please do not contact the surgery about this, as we are not able to provide a letter.template of the letter (without patient details) is available to download from NHS England.

If you are at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, there are extra things you should do to avoid catching it, including:

  • Not leaving your home - you should not go out to do shopping, visit friends or family, or attend gatherings for the next 12 weeks
  • Avoiding close contact with other people in your home as much as possible

This is called 'shielding'.

NHS England has published a 'frequently asked questions' document, offering advice to people who are, or who believe they are, at high risk.


What You Should Do If You Have Coronavirus Symptoms

Continue to stay at home if you have either:

  • 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)

If you have coronavirus symptoms, you need to self-isolate for 7 days from the onset of symptoms or until you temperature returns to normal. You do not need to self-isolate if you just have a cough after 7 days.

If you have no symptoms, but live with someone who does, you need to self-isolate for 14 days. If you get symptoms, you need to self-isolate for 7 days from when they started, even if it means you are self-isolating for longer than 14 days.

Examples of self-isolating for households are given here.

To protect others, do not got to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do. Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

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

If you have been told to NHS 111 or a health professional to stay at home because you have symptoms of coronavirus, or live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, and you need a note for your employer, you can use NHS 111 online to get an isolation note. You do not need to get a note from your GP.

If you can work from home, you will not need an isolation note.


Further Information

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