Visiting a medical setting
Healthcare settings will continue to request that patients, staff and visitors adhere to Public Health England’s infection control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance.
What to do if you have coronavirus symptoms
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature 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
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
- shortness of breath
- feeling tired or exhausted
- an aching body
- a headache
- a sore throat
- a blocked or runny nose
- loss of appetite
- feeling sick or being sick
The symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu.
You will not be legally required to self-isolate if you test positive for COVID-19. Stay at home if you can and avoid contact with other people.
You will not have to take daily tests or be legally required to self-isolate following contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Learn about getting a test here.
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.
- 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
- 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
Staying safe guidance can be found here.
If you're pregnant and worried about coronavirus, you can get advice about coronavirus and pregnancy from the Royal College of Obstretricians and Gynaecologists.
All adults in England have now been offered at least 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines are safe and effective. Getting fully vaccinated is the best way of protecting you and others against COVID-19.
If you have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine, you should get vaccinated. Evidence indicates that 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine provide very effective protection against hospitalisation. It usually takes around 2 to 3 weeks for your body to develop its protective response.
To maintain this high level of protection, you should also get a booster vaccine for COVID-19 when offered.
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 will not be legally required to self-isolate if you test positive for COVID-19, but if you can, stay at home and avoid contact with other people.
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. Take a look at 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.
- Advice in alternative languages
- Coronavirus: deadling with bereavement and grief (Cruse Bereavement Care)
- Advice for people with diabetes and COVID-19
- Advice for people invited for TB treatment or investigation
- Cancer and Coronavirus
- FAQs for highest clinical risk patients
- Guidance for the public on mental health and wellbeing