Sept 2020 Covid19 FAQs
As summer ends and we approach autumn and winter, the season for coughs and colds is upon us, especially now that schools have reopened. We have noticed the inevitable confusion and uncertainty that the Covid19 pandemic brings when it comes to knowing what the cause of that new cough or fever is, as seen in the rising numbers of calls we are getting from concerned patients, parents and carers.
We hope the following Q&A is helpful – some of these are real questions asked by patients.
Q: How do I get a Covid19 test?
A: Ring 119 or visit https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/antigen/name
Q: I have a new cough but no fever or changes in smell or taste – it can’t be Covid, can it?
A: The current Government guidelines are ANY of new persistent cough OR fever OR change smell/taste. You do not have to have all three or any combination.
YOU AND YOUR HOUSEHOLD MUST ISOLATE AND ARRANGE A TEST. YOU MUST NOT GO TO WORK, AND CHILDREN MUST NOT ATTEND SCHOOL – UNTIL EITHER A NEGATIVE SWAB RESULT IS RECEIVED, OR THE FEVER SETTLES.
Q: Why do I have to isolate? I feel fine otherwise! I’m sure it’s not that “Covid cough or fever”
A: Isolation helps to stop the spread of the virus, and prevents infecting others – some of our patient population may have weakened immune systems and are therefore more vulnerable to serious ill health consequences from Covid19. You MUST isolate if you have any symptoms of possible Covid19, and you must not wait for a test before doing so.
Q: Is there a cure for Covid19?
A: At present, there is no cure for the virus, nor is there a vaccine yet. For most cases, treatment is supportive – rest, fluids, managing the fever. Antibiotics don’t treat viruses. In more severe cases, hospital admission may be required for more intensive medical support and treatment eg fluids, oxygen, ventilation. The annual flu vaccine does not protect you from Covid19 .
Q: I have a number of health problems. My employer wants to know if I am at risk and what do I do with work?
A: It is your employer’s responsibility, not your GP, to make any relevant work related risk assessment. Employers should refer you to their occupational health teams if they are unsure.
Q: Do I need a sick note if isolating?
A: You do not need a doctor’s sick note and GPs will not be issuing these. If your employer requires a note, you can download one from https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/
Q: How do you know if my cough is covid? It feels like my asthma/COPD, flu or common cold! I’m sure I just need some antibiotics.
A: It is difficult to tell, in both adults and children, if your cough or fever is related to covid or something else. We appreciate that there are difficult consequences of needing to isolate and the difficulties of getting a test (both of which are beyond our control).
Antibiotics do not work for viral illnesses and most viral coughs and fevers are self-limiting and need supportive care. However if the symptoms worsen or do not improve then you still need to arrange a clinical assessment.
It may be tempting to be persuaded that the cough or fever is due to something else other than Covid19 but we would urge you to please remember that we all have a public health obligation and duty to do the right thing – isolate, arrange a test and stay safe.
Finally, we are open as usual for your health needs but please respect the public health guidelines and be kind to the clinicians and team members who may advice you to self-isolate and arrange a test – we are adhering to Government guidance and would advice everybody to do the same.
FACE MASK/COVERING – From 24th July 2020 everyone is required to wear a face covering when entering a shop or business. If you feel you are unable to wear a mask for auditory/sensory/breathing reasons please download an exemption card via this link. The surgery is unable to provide you with an exemption letter or certificate
We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:
- stay at home as much as possible
- work from home if you can
- limit contact with other people
- keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
- wash your hands regularly
Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
The government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as we can, for as many people as we can, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that continues to protect our communities and our NHS.
The government has published guidance on staying alert and staying safe outside your home. This page sets out key FAQs to cover the next set of changes planned for 4 July. FAQs on the rules before 4 July are available here.
Version:1.0 StartHTML:000000447 EndHTML:000004248 StartFragment:000004068 EndFragment:000004180 StartSelection:000004068 EndSelection:000004180 SourceURL:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-contacts-of-people-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-the-person?utm_source=7c443178-9a24-4236-9996-c8432b6a18b2&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person – GOV.UK