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Coronavirus - What You Need to Do

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new viral illness that can affect your lungs and airways. The most common symptoms are a high temperarture, a new continuous cough and/or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

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

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people and keep you distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible) - 'social distancing'
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Do not leave your home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms

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
    • Sickle cell disease (but not sickle cell trait)
    • 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, severe asthma or severe COPD
  • Have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections, including having had your spleen removed
  • Are taking medicine that weakens your immune system, including long-term steroids
  • Are pregnant and have a serious heart condition
  • Have poorly controlled diabetes or recent diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Have multiple long-term conditions
  • Have severe dementia

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 until at least 30th June 2020
  • Avoiding close contact with other people in your home as much as possible

This is called 'shielding'.

If you are at high risk, you will recieve a letter about shielding 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.

We have reviewed all our patients' medical records to determine who is and who is not at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus. We have sent a shielding letter to all patients who we feel are at high risk, and we have written to any patients who we feel no longer require shielding. Please contact Reception on 0121 628 2345 if you think you should have received a shielding letter, but have not.

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)
  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

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 and/or loss or change in sense of smell or taste 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 111. For a medical emergency dial 999

If you have been told by 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 for up to seven days. You do not need to get a note from your GP.

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


Coronavirus in Children

The symptoms of coronavirus are the same in children as in adults. If your child has any of the symptoms, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if they are 5 or over, or call 111 if they are under 5.


Coronavirus Testing

You can apply online for a coronavirus test if you have coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough) and are:

  • An essential worker (such as people working in health or social care, food distribution or teaching)
  • Aged 65 or over
  • Someone who cannot work from home
  • Living with an essential worker, a person aged 65 or over, or someone who travels to work

You can also apply for a test if you have a clinical referral from NHS 111 online. If you cannot get online, you can phone the Coronavirus Testing Call Centre on 0300 303 2713 between 07:00 and 23:00.


Further Information

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