The Government has announced plans for the gradual lifting of restrictions in England, with the ‘Covid-19 spring 2021 roadmap’ setting out details on how the country will move out of the current lockdown. The various stages are summarised here: steps 1-2 and steps 3-4. Although the ‘stay at home’ rule has now been lifted, everyone should continue to do all they can to reduce the spread of infection. Full details on what you can and can’t do are here.
Coronavirus (COVID-19), widely referred to simply as Coronavirus or Covid, is an illness which can affect the lungs and airways.
At West Yorkshire Prepared we are working closely with all our partners, including health and social care colleagues, to minimise the impact of the 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 details on the latest government advice and legislation, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
For details on the vaccination programme, including details of how to book a vaccination appointment (for those who are eligible) visit the NHS website.
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.
Most people with coronavirus have at least one of the following symptoms:
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 or change to your sense of taste or smell
this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
What to do if you have symptoms:
- If you have any of the main symptoms, you should book a test as soon as possible using the online service. If you have problems using the online service, call 119. If no tests are available online, please do not call the helpline to get a test. No extra tests are available through the helpline.
- Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test. Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result.
- To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home!
If you’re worried about your symptoms or unsure what to do, use the 111 online coronavirus service.
What can you do to help slow the spread of Coronavirus?
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus.
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and water – 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.
- Wear a face covering in enclosed spaces or where social distancing is not possible.
- Make space by keeping at least 2 metres apart from people not in your household or support bubble. This is called social distancing.
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, and you should observe the following:
- You and everyone else in your household must remain at home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis.
- Nobody should go out even to buy food or other essentials, and any exercise must be taken within your home or garden (if you have one). You should order groceries/other shopping online or ask friends or family for help.
- Do not invite or allow social visitors, such as other friends or family, to enter your home, unless they are in your support bubble. If you or a family member receive essential care in your home, then carers can continue to visit.
If you have been in close contact with, but do not live with, a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, follow the guidance on gov.uk.
How long to self-isolate:
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, you’ll need to self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started.
- If you are not experiencing symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days, starting from the day the test was taken.
After 10 days, if you still have a temperature you should continue to self-isolate and seek medical advice. You do not need to self-isolate after 10 days if you only have a cough or loss of sense of smell or taste, as these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.
Other household members must also stay at home and not leave the house for 10 days. The 10-day period starts from the day the first person in the household becomes ill or (if they do not have symptoms) from the day their test was taken. If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, they must stay at home for at least 10 days from when their symptoms appear.
The following graphic from the BBC, helps to illustrate different scenarios of self-isolation:
You could be fined if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following a positive test result for COVID-19 or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate.
Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Testing
Lateral flow device (LFD) testing is now available alongside standard lab-based PCR tests. These tests play a different, but crucial role in the fight against COVID-19. LFD testing is a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may still be spreading the virus.
Around 1 in 3 individuals with COVID-19 do not display symptoms. Opening testing up to catch those showing no symptoms will help to find positive cases earlier and to break hidden chains of transmission.
The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes. Those who test positive must immediately self-isolate to avoid passing the virus on to others and book a confirmatory PCR test.
For details on getting a test in your local area, see the relevant link below.
- Wakefield: www.wakefield.gov.uk/about-the-council/coronavirus-information/getting-a-covid-19-test#lateral-flow
- Leeds: www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-where-to-go-for-testing/
- Calderdale: www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-guidance/community-coronavirus-testing-calderdale
- Bradford: www.bradford.gov.uk/health/health-advice-and-support/coronavirus-testing-in-bradford-district/
- Kirklees: www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/health-and-well-being/covid19-mass-community-testing.aspx
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
Twitter – @NHSEngland
Facebook – NHSEngland
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
The NHS also provides answers to common questions about COVID-19 here.
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
- 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
- Wakefield: volunteerwakefield.org