The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely 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 main symptoms of Coronavirus COVID-19 are:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss, or a change in, your normal sense of smell or taste
If you think you have Coronavirus, please stay at home and use the 119 online Coronavirus service for further advice.
Getting tested for coronavirus (COVID-19)
There are different tests you can get to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19). The test you need depends on why you're getting tested.
The 2 main tests are:
- PCR tests – mainly for people with symptoms, they're sent to a lab to be checked
- rapid lateral flow tests – only for people who do not have symptoms, they give a result in 30 minutes using a device similar to a pregnancy test
Both tests are free.
For more information including how to get tested: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/get-tested-for-coronavirus
Staying at home (self-isolation)
If your symptoms are mild then the advice is to stay at home isolated for 10 days. Any other members of the same household must remain at home in self-isolation for 14 days.
Visit the NHS Coronavirus information to find out more about self-isolation
To help stop the spread of Coronavirus it is good practice to:
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water, especially after using or coming into contact with public services. In the absence of soap and water please use a hand sanitiser gel.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Keep to the Social Distance Guidelines
- Carry with you tissues, in order to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue after use and wash your hands thoroughly.
You can now use the new NHS App, a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.
You can use the NHS App to get health advice, manage appointments, order repeat prescriptions, view your GP health record and more.
If you already use Patient Access or another app you can continue to use it. You can use the NHS App as well.
For more information go to www.nhs.uk/nhsapp.
Useful Resources for vulnerable groups
- National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk
- NSPCC helpline: 0808 800 5000 If you're worried about a child, even if you're unsure, contact NSPCC professional counsellors for help, advice and support.
- Childline 0800 1111: Offers free, confidential advice and support for any child 18 years or under, whatever the worry.
- MIND: Mental Health Support with specific advice on ‘Coronavirus and your wellbeing’. www.mind.org.uk
- YoungMinds: Supporting children and young people and their parents/carers with their mental health and wellbeing. Specific advice on managing self-isolation and anxiety about coronavirus. youngminds.org.uk
- ICON: Babies cry: You can cope. iconcope.org
- SafeLives: Specific resources for domestic abuse and COVID. safelives.org.uk/news-views/domestic-abuse-and-covid-19
- IRISi interventions: irisi.org/iris/find-your-local-iris-site