COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a new illness that never been seen previously in humans.
A coronavirus is a type of virus with symptoms typically including a high temperature, a cough and change or loss to sense of taste or smell. Some people, who might be vulnerable, may develop a severe pneumonia resulting in shortness of breath. People with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease are more at risk.
Having these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.
Current advice if you or someone you know has symptoms
If you or someone you know is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 you must not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy, hospital or other health care setting. You can find the latest advice on what to do on the NHS website.
You will also find a link to the NHS 111 online COVID-19 service on this page.
The main symptoms are:
Wearing a face covering in our hospitals
People infected may not know they have the virus as they could have very mild or even no symptoms. This means people can transmit the virus to others without being aware of it.
If you need to attend one of our hospital or outpatient sites, we ask that you wear a face covering.
Where possible we ask that you come with your own face covering but not to worry if you do not have access to one or forgot to bring with you, we will provide one for you. You can use scarves or other textile items as a face covering – the covering should cover the mouth and noise while allowing the wearing to breathe comfortably.
There are face masks available at entrances and exits of the hospitals, along with hand sanitisers.
There are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face covering. Government guidance can be found here.
What can I do to protect myself?
The health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, communities and staff across our organisation remains our absolute priority. Your actions can help to prevent the spread of germs and therefore the spread of coronavirus.
Hands: wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after using public transport, and when you get home or into work.
Face: where a face covering when required and when you are in situations where it is not possible to socially distance. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Space: stay at least 2 metres apart from others, or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions.
The Government are introducing further restriction to try and control the spread of the virus. From Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December these are a brief summary of the main changes:
Protecting people more at risk from COVID-19
If you are over 60 or clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. You:
Full information and updates can be found on the GOV.UK website.