Practice Coronavirus Update - 24th June 2020

Information For Patients Who Are Shielding 

You may have heard in the news that the government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding taking into account that coronavirus infection rates have decreased over the last few weeks. You can read the full guidance here. This guidance remains advisory. 

The headlines from the updated guidance are: 

  • You may now choose to leave your home, as long as you are able to maintain strict social distancing.
  • If you choose to spend time outdoors, you may do so with members of your own household.
  • If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household. Ideally, this should be the same person each time.
  • If you do go out, you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres apart. This guidance will be kept under regular review.

In addition, the government announced new measures from 6th July, which should be implemented until 1st August: 

  • You may, if you wish, meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing.
  • You no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household.
  • In line with the wider guidance for single adult households (either an adult living alone or with dependent children under 18) in the general population, you may from this date, if you wish, also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance. 

Furthermore, from 1st August the government has indicated that shielding will be paused. This means: 

  • You can go to work, if you cannot work from home, as long as the business is COVID-safe.
  • Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings if they are eligible and in line with their peers. Where possible children should practise frequent hand washing and social distancing.
  • You can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise but you should maintain strict social distancing.
  • You should remain cautious as you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, so the advice is to stay at home where possible and, if you do go out, follow strict social distancing.

The guidance for those who are shielding remains advisory. More detailed advice will be updated as the changes in advice come into effect on 6 July and 1 August. We will endeavour to update our website as and when this happens. 


Face Coverings 

We are continuing to request that anyone asked to attend the practice wears a face covering, whether this be a scarf, homemade mask or even a bandana. By wearing a face covering you are helping to reduce the risk of transmitting infection. 

Our advice remains to wear a face covering not just when attending the practice but when you are out and about in general. 

The government has indicated we must now wear a face covering at all times on public transport and when attending a hospital as a visitor or house patient. If you can, you should also wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas.

Remember that wearing a face covering does not replace the need to socially distance.


Test And Trace 

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) you can ask for a test to check if you have the virus. This is called an antigen test. You can ask for a test:

  • for yourself, if you have coronavirus symptoms now (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • for someone you live with, if they have coronavirus symptoms

If you're asking for a test for someone else, and the person is aged 13 or over, check they're happy for you to ask for a test for them.

You need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms.

For more information about the test and trace service please click the button below. This will take you to the NHS test and trace pages, which include information on asking for a test, what your test results mean, what happens if you test positive and what happens if you've been in contact with someone who tests positive. 


COVID Symptom Study App

The COVID-19 Symptom Study app has been developed by health science company ZOE. Almost 4 million people have so far downloaded the app and are using it to regularly report on their health. Data from the app is being analysed in conjunction with researchers from King's College London. 

By using this app you're helping the NHS and contributing to advance vital research on COVID-19. By combining your reports with software algorithms, the researchers are able to predict who has the virus and so track COVID infections across the UK and other countries (see COVID Data). Daily reporting, whether showing symptoms of coronavirus or not,  is also being used to generate new scientific understanding of the very different symptoms the virus causes in different people. The researchers are also studying the way that risks vary between individuals because of their own personal characteristics.

You can find out more about the COVID Symptom Study App here. 

You can help with this research by downloading the app by clicking the images below: 

Published: Jun 24, 2020