COVID-19 advice: How to protect yourself and others
During this uncertain time, we are all being asked to do our bit to save the lives of others. Whilst the situation is continuously changing and new rules are being regularly introduced, we have put together a guideline including everything we know that will help to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
We hope you all continue to follow the guidance and most importantly, stay safe!
Social distancing is a big one and is singlehandedly the most effective way of slowing the spread of the virus. It means limiting the interaction you have with people outside of your household so that it is only when absolutely essential. Remember, you can still spread the virus even if you “feel fine” or have had no symptoms. The government advice for now continues to be:
- To stay at home and only go out when:
- Shopping for essentials such as food or medical supplies.
- For health reasons or medical needs.
- For one form of exercise per day.
- When travel for work is essential and you cannot work from home.
- Do not unnecessarily visit friends and family.
- If you must go out for one of the essential reasons listed above:
- Ensure that you stay 2 metres away from others at all times.
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home.
Maintaining good hand hygiene can help to reduce the risk of you or other people you know getting ill with the virus. The hand hygiene guidelines continue to be the following:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Try being creative with how you time it by singing 20 seconds of your favourite song or reciting something familiar.
- Use hand sanitiser gel if you are out and about and soap and water is not available.
- Do not cough or sneeze onto your hands. Use a tissue or sleeve instead and dispose of the tissue as soon as you are able to.
Do not touch your face
Public health officials have advised us to stop touching our face, particularly when our hands are unclean, as this is a common way of transmitting the disease. This is especially important when we are outside of the home and have been touching unknown surfaces in common areas, such as the supermarket, at the pharmacist or during our daily form of exercise.
Advice for vulnerable people
Those in the vulnerable category are advised to take extra precautions. Vulnerable people include those who are over the age of 70, women who are pregnant or those with certain health conditions, such as:
- Asthma, bronchitis or emphysema.
- Heart disease.
- Chronic kidney disease.
- Liver disease i.e. hepatitis.
- Conditions effecting the brain i.e. Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease, MS, a learning disability or cerebral palsy.
- Problems with your spleen i.e. sickle cell disease or if you’ve had your spleen removed.
- A weakened immune system from HIV, Aids or chemotherapy.
- If you are overweight and have a BMI of 40 or above.
Advice for extremely high risk and vulnerable people
People with extreme vulnerabilities are strongly advised to stay at home and not go out for 12 weeks from when they received their NHS letter or to see anyone outside of their home. This is referred to as ‘shielding’. Those in the extremely vulnerable group who require shielding include:
- Organ transplant recipients.
- People with specific cancers.
- People with severe respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
- People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism such as SCID and homozygous sickle cell.
- People with immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
- Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.
If you are considered extremely vulnerable, you will have been notified on what to do by letter, however, you can also find additional advice here on Public Health Wales: https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/how-to-protect-extremely-vulnerable-people-shielding/