Q1 – What is the difference between Self-isolating and Social distancing?
Stay at home if you have either:
- a high temperature (over 37.8)
- a new, persistent cough
- If you live alone and have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days.
- If you live with other people, you and they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person develops symptoms.
- If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days from the first signs of your symptoms. If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home, unless your condition deteriorates.
Who should social distance?
It is advised those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.
This group includes those who are:
- aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a body mass index BMI of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant
Note: there are some clinical conditions which put people at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you are in this category, next week the NHS in England will directly contact you with advice the more stringent measures you should take in order to keep yourself and others safe. For now, you should rigorously follow the social distancing advice in full, outlined below.
People falling into this group are those who may be at particular risk due to complex health problems such as:
- people who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
- people with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
- people with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)
How do I social distance?
Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
- Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
- Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
- Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
- Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
- Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services
Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as possible.
This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks.
For more advice please see the link below:
See https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response for more detailed guidance
Q2 – Do I need a sick note to self-isolate?
Please do not contact the Surgery.
By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness (that is, employees can self-certify). After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine what evidence they require, if any, from the employee. To make it easier for people to provide evidence to their employer that they need to stay at home, we are developing an alternative form of evidence to the fit note. These will shortly be available through NHS 111 online.
In the meantime, we continue to urge employers to respect the need to stay at home where they are following government advice to do so and to show flexibility in the evidence they require from employees.
Q3 – What should I do if I am Asthmatic?
Follow these simple asthma management steps:
- Keep taking your preventer inhaler daily as prescribed. This will help cut your risk of an asthma attack being triggered by any respiratory virus, including coronavirus.
- Carry your reliever inhaler (usually blue) with you every day, in case you feel your asthma symptoms flaring up.
- Download and use an asthma action plan to help you recognise and manage asthma symptoms when they come on.
- If you come down with flu, a cold, or any other respiratory infection, follow these tips for looking after your asthma when you’re not well.
- If you smoke it’s vital to quit now as smoking will increase your risk from COVID-19. There’s NHS advice on how to give up smoking here.
Q4 – Will a Pneumonia vaccination help?
Existing vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus.
The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts.
Q5 – Should I still take Ibuprofen?
There is currently no strong evidence that Ibuprofen can make coronavirus (COVID-19) worse but until we have more information, take paracetamol to treat the symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you paracetamol is not suitable for you.
If you are already taking Ibuprofen or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) on the advice of a doctor, do not stop taking it without checking first.