The current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which began in December 2019, presents a significant challenge for people across the world. Here we outline the latest information from the UK Government and health authorities on the illness, how best to protect yourself and others around you from contracting the disease and what to do if you believe you have become infected.
The information and advice available changes regularly to reflect the evolving situation as well as the best practice advice and guidelines. For the very latest information on the current situation please refer to the Government’s website for information and advice.
What is Covid-19 and what are the symptoms?
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. If you have any of the following symptoms the government is asking you to self-isolate and stay at your place of residence for a minimum of 7 days.
The key symptoms include:
- A high temperature – if you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- A new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
If you have the above symptoms you are asked to self-isolate but you do not need to go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to inform the authorities that you are staying at home nor do you need to be tested for the virus. Self-isolation is a precautionary measure to help prevent the possible spread of the disease.
More advice on staying at home is available by clicking here.
When to contact a doctor?
If you feel that you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, if you feel that your symptoms are getting worse or have not improved in more than 7 days people are advised to go online and use the Government’s 111 service to complete a self assessment. If you are unable to get online you are advised to call 111 where you can speak to a specialist medical operator.
How to prevent the spread of Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a new illness and scientists still do not know exactly how it is spread, however many believe that it is similar to other viruses that are spread in cough droplets. To help prevent the spread of the virus you are advised to:
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- 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
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
Do not touch your nose, eyes or mouth if your hands are not clean.
What treatments are available?
At this stage there are is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus, however there are treatments that can help to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness. You will need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered.
What advice is there on travelling?
The situation regarding travel continues to evolve with different countries and travel operators adopting different policies. There are some countries and areas where there’s a higher chance of coming into contact with someone with coronavirus so before travelling always check with your transport operator and visit the government’s website where they share the latest advice for travellers.
The UK government, and its devolved administrations, have planned extensively over the years for an event like this. The UK is therefore well prepared to respond in a way that offers substantial protection to the public.
At Collegiate we take the health and wellbeing of our students very seriously. We will continue to liaise with health authorities and the government to share the latest advice and actions being undertaken. By working together, we are best placed to tackle the situation.
To find answers to some of the key questions you may have and to reassure you of the efforts that Collegiate is taking to support its residents, staff and suppliers at this time, please visit COVID-19 – Coronavirus – Your questions answered.