COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - advice for the public

Staying safe outside your home

The Government has published FAQs on what you can and can't do here.

If you leave your home, you must ensure that you practice social distancing by staying two metres apart. Advice on how to stay safe outside your home can be found here.

What to do if you have coronavirus symptoms

Continue to stay at home, if you have either:

  • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.

Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus 

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.

Do

  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • Stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people, if you need to go outside

Don't:

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Who is at high risk?

You may be at high risk from coronavirus if you:

  • Have had an organ transplant
  • Are having certain types of cancer treatment
  • Have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • Have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • Have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections
  • Are taking medicine that weakens your immune system
  • Are pregnant and have a serious heart condition

If you're at high risk, you will be contacted by the NHS by Sunday 29 March 2020. Do not contact your GP or healthcare team at this stage - wait to be contacted.

Staying alert and staying safe guidance can be found here.

How Coronavirus is spread

Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.

Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.

It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.

Pregnancy advice

If you're pregnant and worried about coronavirus, you can get advice about coronavirus and pregnancy from the Royal College of Obstretricians and Gynaecologists.

Treatment for coronavirus

There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.

Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.

Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.

You'll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered.

NHS test and trace

For information about testing for coronavirus and what to do if you're contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service, please use the following links:

Coronavirus resources for parents and carers

We know it can be especially difficult for parents to explain what's happening in regards to coronavirus to their children. That's why the NHS has produced the video below to help.

Alternatively, you can also download the fact sheet by clicking here.

We're also found this useful resource that offers ten tips to parents and carers in uncertain times, which you can access here.

Birmingham Carers Hub

The Birmingham Carers Hub has a range of information and resources to help those who care for others during this worrying time. You can access this information here

New mental health support offer

A range of new, easily accessible mental health support is now available for patients in Birmingham and Solihull. You can find out how to access support for your mental wellbeing here.

Volunteering for the NHS

For information on how to volunteer for the NHS during COVID-19, click here.

More information

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