COVID-10 (coronavirus) - how to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus
(Updated 1st June 2020)
Thank you to everyone in our community for working together and protecting each other through maintaining physical distancing, good hand hygiene and staying at home as much as possible. It has been hard but your commitment to this is appreciated. Through our collective efforts we have reduced but not eliminated the coronavirus. We need to continue to work together to stay safe in Frome as the lockdown is eased.
The government has updated it's advice about coronavirus, as follows:
We can all help control the virus if we stay alert. This means you must:
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Work from home if you can
- Limit contact with other people
- Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
- Wash your hands regularly
- Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms
You can read more about what you can and can't do on the government website.
If you're at high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) from coronavirus (COVID-19), there are extra steps you're advised to take to protect yourself. These extra steps are called shielding.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, stay at home. Do not visit a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
Use the 111 coronavirus service to find out what to do. The main symptoms of coronavirus 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)
- a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste - this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Steps to take to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus
Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading. This now means we should stay alert and safe (social distancing). See the top of the page and links above for more guidance on this.
In addition, certain people within the population are more at risk from coronavirus and potentially serious complications, so the steps we take to protect ourselves can help to protect them too. This includes people who:
- are 70 or over
- have a long-term condition
- are pregnant
- have a weakened immune system
You can read guidance on staying alert and safe (social distancing) for the above groups and the rest of the population here.
A number of people have been identified as needing to shield from coronavirus. You can read the guidance for this group of patients here.
Preventing the spread of germs....
There are things we can do to stop germs like coronavirus spreading. Much of this is what we should be doing anyway to protect ourselves and others from unwanted bugs.
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds. This short video will show you the most effective way to hand wash
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
- stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people
- wear a face covering when in public places - please read our information about how to wear a face covering correctly, here
Some people are reporting that their hands are becoming sore from handwashing. We have put together some information and advice to help if this applies to you. Find out what you can do to look after your hands here.
Look after your health....
- Stop smoking – smoking can lessen your body’s immune response, and this can make you more susceptible to infection. You can find out more about support available to help you stop smoking here.
- Move more - the guidance issued on 24th March says we can leave our homes once a day to be active, either alone or with people we live with. There are also things we can do within the home to remain active. Being active increases lung fitness and boosts are ability to resist disease. There are some ideas here to help you get moving.
- Eat a healthy diet (more information here) and manage your weight.
- Wash your hands regularly. Find out the best way to do this here.
- If you've been asked to work from home over the next few weeks then this short video will help you with ideas on how to set up your workstation and protect your back / neck from pain.
Make the most of technology....
- Use the NHS App - find out about the app and what you can use it for here.
- Where possible, use our online services.
- You can register to use our online services here. Once you've registered to use our online services you can book appointments online and arrange repeat prescriptions online.
- If you've already registered to use our online services but haven't used it in a while, now would be a good time to check you can still access your account. You can do that by logging on here. If you can't log on then please take the steps needed to regain access to your account so you can access it over the next few weeks if needed.
- If you've recently had a test, such as a blood test, urine test, swab or x-ray / ultrasound scan we will usually be in touch with you within 5 days with your results. It is possible to request your results electronically - click here.
- Sign up for our newsletter - this means we can easily keep in touch with you with news and updates on what is happening at the practice.
- Allow us to share your summary care record, when necessary. This is really helpful as it means out of hours and hospital teams can be more fully aware of your health history if you need to be seen by them at all. Patients have to opt out of this so unless you've already opted out and want to change your summary care record status you do not need to do anything.
- Our latest practice update on coronavirus
- Sign up for the NHS App
- Staying alert (social distancing)
- How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus
- What to do if you think you might have coronavirus
- Use of face coverings
- Information in different formats
- Information for patients who are shielding
- Support for people who are shielding
- Temporary changes to services
- Signs and symptoms
- What is COVID-19 (coronavirus)?
- Isolation notes
- Useful links