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KEEPING SAFE

SOME NO NONSENSE aDVICE

3 STEPS fOR COPING

Only Use the NHS 111 Telephone 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 from NHS 111 online

To help prevent infecting others, do not visit your GP clinic or hospital. 

Medical Emergencies:  If you have a medical emergency and need to call 999, notify the operator that you have, or are being evaluated for coronavirus (COVID-19).  If possible, put on a face mask before the emergency services arrive.

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

1 - Take steps to protect yourself

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), or
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

Coronavirus Myth Buster - wash hands

Wash your Hands

Wet your hands with clean, running water. Apply soap. Lather your hands, including the backs, between your fingers and under your nails.  Scrub for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing ‘God Save The Queen’, for example). Rinse.

Key times to clean hands include:

  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After using the bathroom
  • Before eating or preparing food
  • After contact with animals or pets
  • Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g. a child)
protect Cough

Cover your coughs & sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

Throw used tissues in the trash.

Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Don’t touch your face:  We touch our faces all the time.  This transfers viruses to our eyes, nose and mouth.  Try to get out of the habit of touching your face, especially when in public places such as trains, supermarkets, bars etc.

Coronavirus Myth Buster - avoid contact

Maintain social distancing

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Coronavirus Myth Buster - avoid handshakes
Coronavirus Myth Buster - wear gloves

Do rubber gloves protect against Coronavirus infection?

No. Washing your hands is better protection than wearing rubber gloves.  You can still pick up contamination from rubber gloves, and if it goes from your gloves to your face it can infect you.
 
The most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water.

2 - Take steps to protect others

protect mask

Wear a Face Mask if you are sick

If you are sick:  You should wear a face mask when you are around other people (e.g. sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a face mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a face mask if they enter your room.

If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a face mask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a face mask). Face masks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

protect bed

Stay at home if you're sick

Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough

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.

See Section 3 below for what to do if you are sick.

protect quarantine

Avoid Close Contact

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Self-isolate and stay at home for 14 days if you believe there is a risk you may be infected.

Keep your distance from other people of the coronavirus is spreading in your community.  This is especially important for people at higher risk of getting very sick.

Family members and home-sharers are at high risk if one of them is infected.  You should take measures to reduce the risk as much as you can.  The University of Southampton’s Germ Defence website gives excellent advice on how you can protect yourselves.  Professor Lucy Yardley, from the School of Social and Community Medicine, Bristol University said that their trials in previous pandemics and flu years showed that people who accessed the website’s advice had fewer infections and were less likely to need to visit their GP.

protect clean

Clean and disinfect at work and home

Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones and mobile phones, keyboards, toilets, taps, and sinks.

If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

To disinfect:
Most common household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.

Options include:

  • Diluting your household bleach.
    To make a bleach solution, mix:
    • 20ml bleach per litre of water

    Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.

  • Alcohol solutions.
    Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol.

3- steps to take If you are sick

Only Use the NHS 111 Telephone 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 from NHS 111 online

To help prevent infecting others, do not visit your GP clinic or hospital. 

Medical Emergencies:  If you have a medical emergency and need to call 999, notify the operator that you have, or are being evaluated for coronavirus (COVID-19).  If possible, put on a face mask before the emergency services arrive.

prevent call doctor

Call 999 if you have a medical emergency

 

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 999, notify the operator that you have, or are being evaluated for coronavirus.  If possible, put on a face mask before the emergency services arrive.

prevent separate

Stay at home Except to get Medical Care

Stay at home: if you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See Ending Isolation section for more information).

This action will help protect others in your community whilst you are infectious.

Getting help: plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home.

Ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home.

Keep your distance distance: stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible.

Sleep alone, if that is possible.

Stay away:  Keep away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible.

Avoid public areas:  Do not go to work, school, or public areas.

Avoid visitors: Do not invite visitors and ask people to leave deliveries outside.

Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transport, sharing rides, or taking taxis.

Wash:  You should wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water.

Drink plenty of water and take everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, to help with your symptoms

Medical help:  You do not need to call NHS111 to go into self-isolation.

If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days then contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111.

For a medical emergency dial 999.

Further more detailed information about self-isolation can be found on UK Government’s online publications by clicking HERE

protect bed

Ending Isolation

You should remain at home until 7 days after the onset of your symptoms. After 7 days, if you feel better and no longer have a high temperature, you can return to your normal routine. If you have not had any signs of improvement and have not already sought medical advice, you should contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111.

Cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the coronavirus infection having cleared. A persistent cough alone does not mean you must continue to self-isolate for more than 7 days.

prevent temperature

Monitor your symptoms

Seek medical attention: Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing).

Call your doctor: Before seeking care, call your GP and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for coronavirus.

Wear a facemask when sick: Put on a face mask before you enter the GP’s clinic. These steps will help the clinic to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed.

Alert the NHS: Call the NHS 111 helpline. People who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local GP clinic or occupational healthcare professionals, as appropriate.

protect mask

Wear a face mask if you are sick

If you are sick: You should wear a face mask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.

If you are caring for others: If the person who is sick is not able to wear a face mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with the person who is sick should not stay in the same room with them, or they should wear a face mask if they enter a room with the person who is sick.

Summary

Acknowledgments and attributions

The information on this page is based on material sourced from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (‘CDC’) and from the UK Government’s online publications.  The use of the material does not imply endorsement by CDC of the Coronavirus Support Group.  All the above material is available on the agency website at www.cdc.gov for no charge.  In line with good practice, we will regularly check CDC’s and UK Gov’s online publications for updates to see if there are revisions.