Coronavirus and the latest government guidance

Posted on March 24, 2020

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.

At Risk Groups

Four groups have been identified as generally higher risk. It is particularly important that guidelines are followed for people who are, or who come into close contact with people who:

  • Are 70 or over
  • have a long-term condition
  • are pregnant
  • have a weakened immune system

Additionally the Government has gone further by identifying a group of 1.5m people who are clinically extremely vulnerable as well and provided additional guidance for this at risk grouping, known as ‘shielding’. Individuals in this group will receive a letter or text from the NHS by 29th March.

Everyone to stay at home

Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

This includes people of all ages – even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions.

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 a 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 this is absolutely necessary Please note: Social Care workers are considered key workers, so are able to travel to the homes of clients.

Symptoms and self isolation

Government guidelines are to stay at home at all times if you have coronavirus symptoms or if you live with someone who has symptoms. Symptoms are:

  • 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)

Do not go to GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.

Key links

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading, reduce contact with others and maintain precautionary hygiene measures. See full leads of Do’s and Don’ts in key links below.

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