Coronavirus: Information from Healthwatch England
Advice and Information shared from HWE – 13 February 2020
Read the latest advice and information from NHS England and Public Health England about the Coronavirus.
How long to stay at home if you have symptoms
Anyone with symptoms should stay at home for at least 7 days.
If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.
After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine.
But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they’re at home for longer than 14 days.
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
Particular care to minimise their social contact has been recommended for:
- People over the age of 70
- Other adults who would normally be advised to have the flu vaccine (such as those with chronic diseases)
- Pregnant women
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. Government guidance advises they will not be testing people who are self-isolating with mild symptoms.
Read the NHS advice about staying at home.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
To help prevent the spread of the virus, the Government have said (Monday 16 March):
- To work from home where possible
- To start social distancing. This means that all unneccessary contact with others is to be avoided, including going to pubs, bars and restaurants
What’s the risk of catching coronavirus in the UK?
The NHS and Public Health England 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.
The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public to high.
What’s the risk of coronavirus to travellers?
There are some countries and areas where there’s a higher chance of coming into contact with someone with coronavirus. If you have arrived back to the UK from abroad, please follow the advice for returning travellers.
How coronavirus is spread
Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.
Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.
How to avoid catching or spreading germs
- 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 straight away.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
How to self-isolate if you’re asked to
If there’s a chance you could have coronavirus, you should self-isolate.
This means you should:
- stay at home
- not go to work, school or public places
- not use public transport or taxis
- ask friends, family members or delivery services to do errands for you
- try to avoid visitors to your home – it’s OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food
You will need to do this for up to 14 days to help reduce the possible spread of infection.
Read more coronavirus self-isolation advice.
NHS England had produced a list of common questions about coronavirus, covering advice for you and your family, how it’s caught and spread, prevention, self-isolation, testing and treatment and foreign travel.
Other places for information:
- NHS coronavirus information
- GOV.UK information on coronavirus and the situation in the UK
- GOV.UK foreign travel advice
- World Health Organization: coronavirus myth busters
Treatment for coronavirus
There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.
Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.
Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.
You’ll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered