How to access government testing for coronavirus
See the following:
NHS: Ask for a test
GOV.UK: Guidance on testing
If you continue to have difficulty, please contact the local PHE department. Find your local health protection team.
Need more advice?
• Anybody can use the 111 coronavirus service to find out what to do next. Please do not come to surgery if you have Coronavirus symptoms.
• Follow official advice for self-isolation.
• Follow precautions to prevent spread of infection
If you feel unwell, stay at home.
Do not go to the surgery, hospital or any other healthcare place without seeking advice first.
The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:
• 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)
• a 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
10 tips to help if you are worried about coronavirus
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak may cause you to feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, helpless, overwhelmed, confused or angry. It's important to remember it is OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently to different events.
There are some simple things you can do to help you take care of your mental health and wellbeing during times of uncertainty – and doing so will help you think clearly and make sure you are able to look after yourself and those you care about.
Here are 10 ways you can help improve your mental health and wellbeing if you are worried or anxious about the coronavirus outbreak. For specific tips and advice if you are staying at home, read the advice on maintaining your mental wellbeing while staying at home.
It is important to follow the social distancing and stay at home guidancewhen it comes to seeing and being around others.
Remember that feeling anxious can cause physical effects that could be confused with symptoms of coronavirus, like feeling hot or short of breath, which could in turn lead to more worry.
If this happens, first try to distract yourself by thinking about or doing other things. When you are feeling more at ease, see if you still have the signs you were concerned about.
1. Stick to the facts
Find a source you trust – such as GOV.UK or the NHS website– for information about risks so you can take sensible precautions.
Fact-check information from the news, social media or other people against trustworthy sources so you can make sure not to share information that could cause worry or lead people to do things that are unhelpful.
You might also want to consider limiting the time you spend watching, reading or listening to coverage of the outbreak, including on social media, and think about turning off breaking-news alerts on your phone. You could set yourself a specific time to read updates or limit yourself to a couple of checks a day. NHS information on coronavirus
2. Connect with people
Maintaining healthy relationships with people we trust is important for our mental wellbeing.
Whether over the phone, via messages or online, talking to others can help you develop a balanced view of the situation and make you both feel better, so do try to keep up.
Watch: Social connection
3. Talk about your worries
It's normal to feel a bit worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Remember: it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust – and doing so may help them too.
If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are plenty of helplines you can try instead. NHS-recommended helplines
4. Support and help others
Helping someone else can benefit you as well as them, so try to be a little more understanding of other people's concerns, worries or behaviours at this time.
Try to think of things you can do to help those around you. Is there a friend or family member nearby you could message? Are there any community groups you could join to support others locally?
Remember, it is important to do this in line with official coronavirus guidance to keep everyone safe Helping others
5. Make a plan
Thinking and planning ahead for if you need to stay at home should help you feel more prepared and less concerned. Think through a normal week: how might it be affected and what would you need to do to solve it?
You might want to think about talking with your employer, understanding your sick pay and benefits rights, and preparing some essentials for while you are at home. Try to remember this disruption should only be for a short time. GOV.UK: Coronavirus support
6. Look after your body
Our physical health has a big impact on how we feel. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly.
Avoid smoking or drugs, and try not to drink too much alcohol. It can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour that end up making you feel worse. Try a home workout
7. Stay on top of difficult feelings
Concern about the coronavirus outbreak is perfectly normal. However, some people may experience intense anxiety that can affect their daily life.
Try to focus on the things you can control, such as your behaviour, who you speak to, and where and how often you get information.
It's fine to acknowledge that some things are outside of your control, but if constant thoughts about coronavirus are making you feel anxious or overwhelmed, try some ideas to help manage your anxietyor listen to an audio guide. NHS audio guides
8. Do things you enjoy
If we're feeling worried, anxious or low, we might stop doing things we usually enjoy. Focusing on your favourite hobby, learning something new or simply taking time to relax with others will help with anxious thoughts and feelings.
Try to make an active effort to do things you like.
Watch: Keep learning
9. Focus on the present
Focusing on the present, rather than worrying about the future, can help with difficult emotions and improve our wellbeing. Relaxation techniques can also help some people deal with feelings of anxiety. Watch: Mindful breathing
10. Look after your sleep
Good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel mentally and physically, so it's important to get enough. Try to keep a regular sleeping pattern and follow good sleep practices. Tips to improve your sleep
Further support and advice
Information about coronavirus
NHS pages on coronavirus
Mind: Coronavirus and your wellbeing
Young Minds: Guidance for parents
Government response to coronavirus
Mental health helplines
If you are concerned about yourself or someone else and feel like you need to speak to someone, there are plenty of helplines and support groups who can help. Some are available 24/7.
See NHS-recommended helplines
If you cannot wait to see a doctor and feel unable to cope or keep yourself safe, it's important to get support. Get urgent support now
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFO?
Scan these codes with your phone camera (or just click them) for quick access to info
111 online coronavirus
NHS: coronavirus advice
GOV.UK latest info
GOV.UK all primary care guidance
You might find these pages helpful:
Official advice for the public
NHS: 111 online coronavirus service
GOV.UK: Coronavirus latest info and advice (including figures)
GOV.UK: Advice for self-isolation
GOV.UK: Guidance for schools
PHE: 5 things you can do to protect yourself and your community
GOV.UK: Guidance for employers and businesses
WHO: Coronavirus advice for public
OTHER GENERAL ADVICE
Reducing the spread of infection in your home
While you're staying at home, you should:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds.
- 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 straight away and wash your hands.
- Afterwards, clean objects and surfaces you touch often (like door handles, kettles and phones) using your regular cleaning products
Looking after your health and wellbeing
To help yourself stay well while you're at home:
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated – drink enough so your pee is pale and clear.
Take paracetamol to help ease your symptoms if in pain.
Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media.
To help you avoid feeling low or lonely try to keep yourself busy – you could try activities like cooking, reading, online learning and watching films. Do light exercise, if you feel well enough to.
There is advice about how to look after your mental wellbeing while staying at home from Every Mind Matters.
There is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make coronavirus (COVID-19) worse.
But until we have more information, take paracetamol to treat the symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you paracetamol is not suitable for you.
If you are already taking ibuprofen or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) on the advice of a doctor, do not stop taking it without checking first.
What to do if you need medical help if you have to stay at home
If you get symptoms not related to coronavirus and need medical help:
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital if it's not an emergency, use the NHS 111 online service
Call 111 if you cannot get help online
If it's an emergency, call 999 – tell the call handler you may have coronavirus
Cancel all routine face-to-face medical and dental appointments while you're staying at home. You may be able to do some appointments over the phone.
Urgent advice: Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if: you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home your condition gets worse Use the 111 coronavirus service
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
Read more advice about staying at home on GOV.UK.
Disclaimer: We have taken every precaution in making sure that the information contained in these documents is accurate. The nature of the information provided is for your general information only and has been taken from the government website. The situation can change at any time but we will try our best to update the information
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