Why is this in the UK Defence Journal? Well, my day job in the NHS involves being around patients with Coronavirus and I cannot stress enough how important the advice is in helping to delay this as long as possible.
I’m publishing this here to make sure as many people as possible see the guidance.
NHS advice is essentially:
- if you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, do not leave your home for 7 days from when your symptoms started
- this action will help protect others in your community while you are infectious
- plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure 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
- stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible
- sleep alone, if possible
- wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
- stay away from vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, as much as possible
- you do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home for 7 days 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
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. Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.
Read NHS advice about staying at home.
Only 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
If you’re visiting a hospital ward or other healthcare facility that has not yet suspended visiting, you’ll really help staff out if you follow the below pointers.
- Please don’t use the patients toilet, use the hospital’s public toilets instead. Even ignoring the infection control issues, you’re giving the hard worked domestic staff more work.
- Please don’t sit on the bed, that’s another infection control thing. We’re not having a go.
- Please, please don’t walk into other patients rooms and remove chairs. Chairs are limited to a certain number per room and you’re risking cross infection.
- Listen to staff, they’re not trying to annoy you. Sometimes a staff member will ask you to stand outside a room while it’s cleaned or a procedure is being performed. They’re not being difficult, they’re doing their job.
As always, common sense and washing your hands with soap and warm water will do more for you than stockpiling hand gel.