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Guide to staying well during the Coronavirus pandemic

Summary of Government advice kindly supplied by Hemingford resident and retired GP, Mark Sanderson.

How do I reduce my chances of catching the coronavirus?

The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. Reducing our day-to-day contact with other people reduces the spread of the infection. That is why the government on 23 March 2020 introduced the following measures:

1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes

2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces – this link will tell you what type of shops and businesses can remain open

3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

Everybody must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

The Government will look again at these measures in three weeks and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

When can I leave my home?

You should only leave your house for one of four reasons.

1. Shopping for basic necessities​, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible

2. One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household

3. Any medical need​, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

4. Travelling to and from work​, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

These four reasons are exceptions - even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

What if I or someone in my house becomes unwell?

Recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature means you may have caught coronavirus, but many other viruses may also cause these symptoms. Coronavirus will be a mild illness for most people.

You must follow the following guidance.

1. If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus, however mild, stay at home for seven days from when your symptoms started.

2. If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, you must stay at home for seven days. But all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

3. Anyone else in a household who starts displaying symptoms needs to stay at home for seven days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.

4. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection that a household could pass on to others in the community.

Am I likely to get better if I have symptoms suggestive of coronavirus?

· Yes. If you have a cough and/or a temperature, the chances of this being due to coronavirus is under 7%. Other causes account for 93%.

· If your cough and/or temperature is due to coronavirus, approximately 95% of those admitted to hospitals recover. As of 9am on March 23, 6650 people in the UK were confirmed positive for coronavirus, with 335 deaths.

· The overall mortality rate is thought to be 1% as there is no regular testing of those in the community with symptoms, so it is highly likely the date is underestimating the number of actual cases.

The above is from the government website. This is the main source of guidance you should follow and has all the guidance you need, including support for businesses.


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