Following a COBRA meeting at Westminster today, it has been confirmed that we have now moved to the “Delay” phase of the Government’s plan to manage the Coronavirus outbreak.
This means that new actions will be taken across the country to reduce the number of people who are effected at the peak of the virus and to delay this peak as far as possible into the summer months when the impact on people and the NHS will be reduced.
It is important that we follow the medical evidence and take the right actions at the right time to help and support each other.
Current advice is to:
- Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds
- Self-isolate by staying at home for seven days if you experience symptoms such as a new and continuous cough or a temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius or above.
Schools will not be closing at this stage unless specially advised to, but school trips abroad have been banned. Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions are also being advised not to go on cruises.
Recognising signs and symptoms and staying at home
If you experience symptoms such as a new and continuous cough or a temperature of 37.8 degrees Celsius or above, you should stay at home for seven days.
If you do not have a thermometer, you may feel very hot and sweaty for the duration of the fever. At the early stages of the fever when your body tries to raise your temperature you may find yourself shivering and needing to pile on layers of clothing.
At this stage there is no need for anyone you live with to stay at home with you unless they are also displaying symptoms. You will not need to be tested for the virus.
After seven days, most people are no longer infectious to others.
For most people, Coronavirus will lead to mild to moderate symptoms. It can lead to more serious complications for elderly people and those with pre-existing medical conditions.
If you are experiencing mild symptoms, don’t call NHS 111. You can find advice online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. If your symptoms worsen then please call NHS 11 to seek advice.
Those in employment are likely to be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay from day 1 of self-isolation. To get this organised contact your employer. Those who do not meet the threshold, work casually or are self-employed can make contact with the DWP to open a Universal Credit account, you will be considered as having a 'limited capability for work' for the duration of your isolation or sickness, payments can be issued in advance if required. To apply for Universal Credit visit www.gov.uk/universal-credit or call 0800 328 5644. Self employed should also consider looking for support through their insurance as they would if any other health issue had arisen.
Situation in Staffordshire
Today, there are currently 596 cases in the UK. There are 44 cases in The Midlands and the number of cases in Staffordshire remains unchanged at 4.
The county council continues to work closely with Public Health England and the NHS to implement plans for the ‘Delay’ phase across the county.
Advice and guidance is being shared with schools and other educational settings, care providers and members of the public.
Please ensure that you are using information from a trusted source. The best place to find this information is:
If you can look out for any elderly or vulnerable loved ones, friends and neighbours please do so, many cannot get themselves to supermarkets, certainly cannot panic buy and depending on their access to media, may be less informed about the virus. If you have any immediate concerns about someone in your area, contact the local council safeguarding teams.