Last updated 1 April 2020
What is Coronavirus?
A Coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. This strain, COVID-19, is a new strain of Coronavirus first identified in January 2020.
What are the symptoms?
The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:
- A cough
- A high temperature
- Shortness of breath
If you are worried about symptoms, please call NHS 111 or go to the NHS 111 coronavirus advice website. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.
What’s the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
- Wash your hands often with soap (or soap substitutes) and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. This is particularly important after taking public transport.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin. You can download a ’Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ poster (PDF, 940KB) for your workplace from the NHS.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Key messages if you have symptoms
- if you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 14 days from when your symptoms started.
- this action will help protect others in your community whilst you are infectious.
- plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home.
- ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home.
- stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible.
- sleep alone, if that is possible.
- wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water.
- stay away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible.
- you do not need to call NHS111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
What help is available locally?
- We are currently compiling a directory of local organisations providing support.
- Gosport Borough Council’s building is closed, however essential services are running. For more information visit their website here.
- Gosport Community Safety Partnership has information for homelessness and rough sleepers here.
How are national charities helping to deal with COVID-19?
Health Conditions and Disabilities
- Diabetes UK has provided an updated information page for people living with diabetes.
- Asthma UK has released a blog post with advice for people with asthma.
- The British Heart Foundation has published guidance for people with health problems.
- The National Eczema Society has offered advice on handwashing techniques for people with eczema and other skin conditions.
- SignHealth has created British Sign Language (BSL) videos to help deaf BSL users either working in charities or receiving support.
- Carers UK has produced recommendations for carers.
- The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Primary Immunodeficiency UK and the Mental Health Foundation have all issued advice and support.
Homelessness and Accommodation
- Housing Justice has issued specialised advice to homeless shelters. Glass Door is emphasising the importance of handwashing and has boosted their stock of hand gels kept in their vans that move between shelters. Pathway and Crisis have called on the government for guidance on how best to protect homeless people against coronavirus.
- Full Fact has generated a fact check page on COVID-19 to help dispel any false information.
- Cruse Bereavement Care have issued advice for those experiencing bereavement during isolation.
- Although Sue Ryder have had to close their centres to visitors, they offer support via their Online Community.
Looking after your well-being whilst staying at home
We know that staying at home for a prolonged period of time can be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some people and that you may feel low. It’s important to remember to take care of your mind as well as your body and to get support if and when you need it. Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media. There are also sources of support and information that can help.
Think about things you can do during your time at home. People who have successfully completed a period of staying at home have kept themselves busy with activities such as cooking, reading, online learning and watching films. If you feel well enough you can take part in light exercise within your home or garden.
Things to do when Social Distancing or Isolating
Get urgent support
Free 24-hour listening support
When life is tough, Samaritans are here to listen at any time of the day or night. You can talk to them about anything that’s troubling you, no matter how difficult.
Call free on 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website
Shout offers confidential 24/7 crisis text support for times when you need immediate assistance.
Text “SHOUT” to 85258 or visit Shout Crisis Text Line
Urgent, non-emergency medical advice
If you need help urgently but are not at risk of death or serious illness, call the NHS non-emergency advice line.
People with hearing problems can use the NHS 111 British Sign Language (BSL) service.
Crisis support for young people
If you are under 35 and feel that life is not worth living any more, call Papyrus’s HopelineUK from 9am to 10pm weekdays and 2pm to 10pm on weekends.
Call HopelineUK on 0800 068 41 41
Text 07786 209697
In a life-threatening emergency, phone the emergency services and ask for an ambulance.
Key up-to-date information from the government:
- GOV.UK: COVID-19 latest information and advice
- NHS coronavirus advice
- Hampshire County Council: Advice for elderly and vulnerable people
- Gosport Borough Council service information and advice
- GOV.UK: Guidance for social or community care and residential settings on COVID-19
- GOV.UK: COVID-19 guidance for educational settings
- NHS England: Coronavirus information for health professionals
- GOV.UK: Guidance on charities and risk management
- Zurich: Organisational resilience guidance on pandemic planning
- Charities Facilities Management Group: Business continuity for charities