Coronavirus Advice and Policy:
Updated: March 2020
This document gives some information about the Coronavirus, how to look after yourself and self isolation. This document is also available as a download.
What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a cough
- a high temperature (often the first symptom)
- shortness of breath
It is important to note that:
- These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness.
- The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.
For more information see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
How can you look after yourself?
Wash your hands frequently
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with antibacterial soap and warm water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Maintain social distancing
- Maintain at least 2 meters 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.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Practice respiratory hygiene
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread viruses. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
- Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
What should I do if I have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading or have been in contact with someone who is infected?
- Follow the guidelines above.
- Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover. Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
- If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers. Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.
Self-isolation is about protecting others and stopping the spread of the Coronavirus.
Who needs to self isolate?
- People who are waiting for a COVID-19 test result
- People who are identified as having been in close contact with someone with coronavirus
- Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people if you’ve travelled to the UK from the following places in the last 14 days, even if you do not have symptoms:
- Hubei province in China
- Special care zones in South Korea (Daegu, Cheongdo, Gyeongsan)
- Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people if you’ve travelled to the UK from the following places, even if you do not have symptoms:
- Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people if you’ve travelled to the UK from the following places in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath, even if your symptoms are mild:
- mainland China outside of Hubei province
- South Korea outside of the special care zones
- Hong Kong
Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
It is very important that anyone who has or might have been exposed to the virus limits the number of people they come into contact with for 14 days. This is the most effective way of preventing the coronavirus from spreading.
If you are asked to self-isolate, it is important that you follow the advice which is there to help keep you, your loved ones, and your community safe. If you have been told to self-isolate, all the instructions you need to follow are available from this letter and from the government.
When should I self isolate and work from home?
This should be done following up to date government and Public Health guidelines, the current advice is above and in brief:
- If you feel unwell and the symptoms mean it could be Coronavirus (remain self isolated until further advice received from NHS 111)
- If you are waiting for a COVID-19 test result
- If you test positive for the virus
- If you have travelled to or from an affected area
- If you have been in close contact with an infected person (spending 15 minutes within 2m (6ft) of someone with the virus, or having face-to-face contact, is judged to be a significant risk). If you test positive for the virus, health authorities try to trace everyone they have spent time with. They will then tell those people whether they need to self-isolate.
What should I do if I feel unwell with the symptoms of Coronavirus?
- Stay at home and call us
- Contact NHS 111 (online at https://111.nhs.uk/service/COVID-19/ or via phone) and seek further advice from them
- They may ask you to self isolate and could test you for the virus
- Update us on the response from NHS 111 (online or via phone) and their advice as soon as possible.
- Update us on any test results as soon as possible.
If you are self-isolating, please let us know. You will also need to cancel/postpone any events you are running.
What if I have been in close contact with anyone who is unwell with suspected Coronavirus?
As per current government guidelines you would not need to take any further action at this point. If that person tests positive for the virus, you should then call NHS Direct 111 and seek their advice. They may tell you to self isolate, at which point please let us know.
At the moment the government has decided not to cancel public events, Thrive have therefore made the same decision and events are not currently affected. We will monitor the situation and may decide to cancel some events at short notice if the guidance changes.
Sue Singh: firstname.lastname@example.org or Gavin Scott: email@example.com