Coronavirus (COVID-19), widely referred to simply as Coronavirus, is a new illness which can affect the lungs and airways.
At West Yorkshire Prepared we are working closely with all our partners, including our health colleagues, to minimise the impact of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic as far as possible in our region, and ensure the people of West Yorkshire remain safe, protected and well informed.
Here we have provided some information and guidance around Coronavirus including symptoms to look out for, what to do if you get coronavirus, social distancing and links to other useful websites (for information on work and education settings, volunteering
What are the symptoms?
Most people infected with the virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems (like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer) are more likely to develop serious illness.
Symptoms to look out for 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)
Loss 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
Most people with coronavirus have at least one these symptoms. Do not leave your home if you have any of the above symptoms.
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home!
Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do. You should only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
What can you do to help slow the spread of Coronavirus?
As it is a new virus, it’s not known exactly how COVID-19 spreads from person to person, but similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds – or use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. This NHS video demonstrates the best method for handwashing.
- Wash your hands as soon as you get back home (or into work if still attending).
- 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.
The BBC has produced some very useful graphics explaining social distancing and self-isolating rules, which can be viewed here, but the following information should provide a helpful overview.
The UK Government has advised you should stay at home as much as possible to help stop the spread of the virus.
The more people you have interactions with, the more chance the virus has to spread.
Therefore you should also:
- work from home if you can
- limit contact with other people
- keep your distance if you do go out (2 metres apart where possible)
- wash your hands regularly
- wear a face covering on public transport
Remember to stay at least 2 metres (6ft) away from other people where possible.
If you develop symptoms of coronavirus or live with someone who displays symptoms, you should not leave your home. This is known as self-isolation, which helps stop coronavirus spreading.
It means you must not:
- Leave your home for any reason, other than to exercise once a day – but stay at least 2 metres (6 ft) away from other people
- Go out to buy food or collect medicine – order them by phone or online, or ask someone else to drop them off at your home
- Have visitors, such as friends and family.
(You can still use your garden if you have one).
How long to self-isolate
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you’ll need to self-isolate for 7 days. If, after 7 days, you still have a high temperature, keep self-isolating until your temperature returns to normal. (You do not need to self-isolate if you just have a cough after 7 days. A cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone).
Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms
Living with someone who has symptoms
- If you live with someone who develops symptoms, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days from the day their symptoms started.
- If more than 1 person at home has symptoms, self-isolate for 14 days from the day the first person started having symptoms.
- If you get symptoms, self-isolate for 7 days from when your symptoms start, even if it means you’re self-isolating for longer than 14 days.
- If you do not get symptoms, you can stop self-isolating after 14 days.
You should still stay at home as much as possible when you finish self-isolating, but you can return to your normal routine. If you develop new symptoms at any point after ending your first period of self-isolation then you must follow the same guidance on self-isolation again.
See the NHS website for the most up to date details: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice
Further information & myth busting
You will see a lot of rumours circulating about the current pandemic, especially on social media, so make sure you use trusted sources to keep up to date with the latest information:
Twitter – @GOVUK
Facebook – Ukgovernment
The government has also launched a Coronavirus Information Service on Whatsapp, which will provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus. You can join by adding 07860 064422 to your phone contacts and sending the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.
Twitter – @NHSEngland
Facebook – NHSEngland
The NHS also provides answers to common questions about coronavirus here.
There is a lot of information available on gov.uk. Here we have pulled out some links for quick referencing:
Guidance for employers and businesses
Guidance for the self-employed
Guidance for schools and local authorities on closures
Guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings
Guidance on protecting – or ‘shielding’ – extremely vulnerable people
Helping others and volunteering
Number of coronavirus cases in the UK
Local volunteer hubs:
If you’re healthy, not in a risk group and would like to volunteer to help others, the following pages will point you in the right direction:
- NHS: www.england.nhs.uk/participation/get-involved/volunteering/nhs-volunteer-responders
- Bradford: www.bradford.gov.uk/emergencies/council-service-disruptions/coronavirus-covid-19-volunteering-and-community-support
- Calderdale: www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/residents/jobs-and-volunteering/volunteering/coronavirus-volunteering
- Kirklees: volunteeringkirklees.org.uk
- Leeds: doinggoodleeds.org.uk/covid-19-care-volunteering.html
- Wakefield: volunteerwakefield.org