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Novel Coronavirus

The Novel Coronavirus, everything you need to know.

Update 23 March 2020 the government is now introducing three new measures:

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work.
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

What is the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been designated a high consequence infectious disease (HCID). COVID 19 is a new virus from the coronavirus family that includes SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).

Coronavirus are zoonotic (transmitted between animals and people) RNA virus and this one is thought to have started in a fish/animal market in China.

COVID-19 for most individuals causes mild to moderate illness, but in addition may result in pneumonia or severe acute respiratory infection.


What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • High temperature
  • shortness of breath

But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness as they are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.


Please stay at home if you have:

  • a new, continuous cough (coughing repeatedly) 
  • a high temperature (you feel hot to touch on your chest and back) 37.8 degrees or higher


DO NOT GO TO A GP SURGERY, PHARMACY OR HOSPITAL. This increases the risk of infection to others.


  • if you have symptoms, you are advised to stay at home for 7 days and self isolate regardless of your travel history or contact with confirmed cases
  • if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms

Please be aware a cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite any possible infection having cleared. A persistent cough alone does not mean that someone must continue to stay isolated for more than 7 days.

If your conditions get worse and your symptoms do not get better after 7 days please seek further help and advice using the NHS 111 online service https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/

For more information please click this link:  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

In line with guidance we will not be issuing sick notes for Covid-19. You will soon be able to do this on the NHS111 website. You can self certify for your first 7 days of absence by completing this form Medical certificate guidance and sending it to your employer.


To prevent further spread of infection it is important to:

  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds at a time to kill bacteria,
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing,
  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Only travel on public transport if you need to
  • Work from home, if you can
  • Avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
  • Avoid events with large groups of people
  • Use phone, online services or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services


  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • Do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family



Please see the below link for guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults. Information includes: what steps you can take to stay connected with family and friends during this time, how you can look after your mental wellbeing during this time, advice if you live with a vulnerable person and advice on how you can get assistance with foods and medicines if you have reduced social contacts. This Gov.uk guidance page also gives an easy, clear summary of advice in the form of a table for different ages and health conditions, after clicking the link please scroll down to view the useful table at the bottom of the page:



Advice to patients

If you are experiencing symptoms, however mild, please SELF ISOLATE at home and seek advice from NHS 111.

DO NOT visit your GP Surgery; this will increase the risk of infection to others.

If you suspect you may have COVID-19:



  • Or telephone NHS111 by dialling 111 which is free from a landline or mobile phone


  • Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital


https://primarycarepathways.co.uk/ Patient resources for:

People with cancer 

People with Rheumatoid Arthritis 

Adults with anxiety 

Young people with anxiety 

Older people 

People with Heart/circulatory disease 

Children/young people T1 diabetes 

Pregnant women 

People affected by Stroke 

People with Diabetes 

People with Asthma 

Underlying lung disease (British Lung Foundation) 

Pituitary/ adrenal insufficiency (including steroid sick day rules) 


Resources and further information: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

Advice for travellers: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/advice-for-travellers/

Common questions: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/common-questions/

NHS 111 website: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19

Guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

Resources to support remote working for patients: https://primarycarepathways.co.uk/testsite/docman/covid19/resources-to-support-remote-working-for-patients/56-guide-for-patients-to-prepare-to-have-video-consulation-with-thanks-to-egp-learning

Information regarding allowances for home working:     Home Working Letter

Guidance from British society of Rheumatology about DMARDs: https://www.rheumatology.org.uk/News-Policy/Details/Covid19-Coronavirus-update-members

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