NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home if you have either:
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
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.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also catch the virus by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict guidelines. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
Germ Defence Works
A clinical trial during the swine ‘flu pandemic showed that an earlier version of Germ Defence successfully reduced respiratory infection frequency, severity and GP consultations; the results were published in The Lancet. The Germ Defence website has been updated for COVID-19 and by disseminating it randomly through GP practices we will be able to assess its effect on infections during the current pandemic.
A research study with 20,000 people found:
People who read the advice in Germ Defence are less likely to catch viruses
If they do become ill, the illness is likely to be less severe
The Germ Defence project, has been endorsed as a national Urgent Public Health Research (UPHR) study by Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England.
With COVID-19 infections still high, it is vital that we try to reduce the spread of infections in people’s homes over the Christmas period. The Germ Defence website gives practical advice on how you can do this and now also has a new section about making plans for Christmas.
Please click the link below to access more Germ Defence information.
Germ Defence WORKS
For Sick Note Information - please download the information document HERE
For High Risk Group FAQs - please download the information HERE
For Child Immunisation FAQs - please download the information HERE
If you feel you should have received a letter from the government to shield as an extremely vulnerable person please click this link.