Prompt and full self-isolation is essential if we are to tackle Coronavirus effectively

Published on Oct 22, 2020

Dr Faisel Baig – Chair, NHS North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group and North Lincolnshire GP

Dear North Lincolnshire Residents

Despite our best efforts, coronavirus infection rates have again reached very high levels, leading to more hospital admissions and deaths.  These are such difficult times for everyone.  For those who have lost loved ones, you are in our thoughts.

We are learning more about Long Covid, where troublesome and debilitating symptoms can persist for months after the original infection, in younger adults in many cases, including those who were previously in very good health.

We are also facing flu season, NHS winter pressures and a significant backlog of healthcare appointments and treatment.  These combined challenges leave us and our country in a fragile state.

Recent research carried out by King’s College London found that the majority of people were not adhering to self-isolation when exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus, where they had been in contact with someone who had tested positive, or where they had been advised to isolate by the NHS Test and Trace service.  The research also showed that the majority of people with coronavirus symptoms were not ordering tests.

I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the importance of self-isolation, where appropriate (as per www.nhs.uk):

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have coronavirus. This helps stop the virus spreading to other people.

When to self-isolate

Self-isolate immediately if:

  • you have any symptoms of coronavirus (and arrange a test through gov.uk or by calling 119), remember symptoms include:
    • high temperature
    • a new, continuous cough
    • a loss or change to your smell or taste
  • you have tested positive for coronavirus
  • you live with someone who has symptoms or tested positive
  • someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
  • you are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app
  • you arrive in the UK from a country with a high coronavirus risk (see www.gov.uk).

How to self-isolate

  • Do not go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can
  • do not go on public transport or use taxis
  • do not go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
  • do not go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one.

Tell people you have been in close contact with that you have symptoms

You may want to tell people you have been in close contact within the past 48 hours that you might have coronavirus.

They do not need to self-isolate unless they are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service.  But they should take extra care to follow social distancing advice, including washing their hands often.

If they get any coronavirus symptoms, they must self-isolate and get a test as soon as possible.

How long to self-isolate

If you have symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus, you will usually need to self-isolate for at least 10 days.

You will usually need to self-isolate for 14 days if:

  • someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive
  • someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
  • you have been told to isolate by NHS Test and Trace

Help and support while you are staying at home

While you are self-isolating:

  • You can get help with everyday tasks, like collecting shopping or medicines, from an NHS volunteer (www.nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk or 0808 196 3646)
  • you might be able to get sick pay or other types of financial support if you are not able to work (contact or your employer or see www.gov.uk).

For more information and guidance, please see/contact:

These are such testing times for all of us – coronavirus has placed huge restrictions on our way of life – but we have to continue to work together to protect each other.  Your continued support and adherence to these measures is really appreciated by your National Health Service.

Best wishes,

Dr Faisel Baig

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