Coronavirus (COVID-19) update and advice
This page was last updated on 16th June 2021
For the very latest information and guidance about Coronavirus, you are advised to visit the government website.
This gives clear guidance on what you can and can’t do.
What to do if you have coronavirus symptoms
Continue to stay at home if you have either:
- 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 of, 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
Get tested as soon as possible. You need to get tested within 5 days of the symptoms starting.
To get a test you can call 119 or Order a test online.
To protect others, do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
If you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus there is NHS Guidelines to for staying at home can be found here . If you’re staying at home it’s important to remember your mental wellbeing more help and advice from the NHS can be found here:
If you or someone you care for need information in sign language, regularly updated videos can be found by visiting signhealth.
What to do if you need medical help for another reason
If you need medical help not related to coronavirus your GP practice will be speaking to patients via telephone or video calls as much as possible. During this time your practice and GPs will be very busy but it is important not to turn up at your GP surgery unless you are expected and remember:
- For health information and advice, use the NHS website or check your GP surgery website.
- For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. Only call 111 if you’re unable to get help online.
- For life-threatening emergencies local A&E services remain open or call 999 for an ambulance.
If you’re advised to go to hospital, it’s important to go. Keep going to any appointments you usually have, unless you’re told not to.
Read more advice about getting medical help at home.
Delivering medicines to patients
Pharmacies are receiving an increase in the number of requests for delivery of medicines at this time. Please only request delivery of medicines if you have no other option. This will help to ensure that we have the ability to deliver to those who are in need.
Could you ask any of the following people to collect your medicines for you?
- Family member
- Local volunteer
- The NHS Volunteer Responder service
Find out more about registering for online services:
You must not socialise with anybody you do not live with or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events
A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.
Find more information on:
Advice on Shielding or Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people
People who are identified as clinically extremely vulnerable are being advised to take additional action to prevent themselves from coming into contact with COVID-19 when transmission of coronavirus in the community is high.
You may be at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, so stay at home as much as you can and continue to take precautions when you do go out. You can do this by washing your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face and keeping 2 metres away from people outside of your household or bubble wherever possible.
All clinically extremely vulnerable people are currently being advised to stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors carefully for exercise or to attend health appointments. If you are considered clinically extremely vulnerable you should have received a letter to your home address regarding this. This will cover advice on:
- Socialising – You cannot meet indoors with friends and family you do not live with unless they are part of your support (as part of wider regulations in place). Try to stay 2 metres away from other people within your household, especially if they display symptoms of the virus or have been advised to self-isolate.
- Work – You are strongly advised to work from home if you can. If you cannot work from home, then you should not attend work for this period of restrictions.
- Educational Settings – Those children whose doctors have confirmed they are still clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend school whilst this advice is in place. Your school will make appropriate arrangements for you to be able to continue your education at home.
- Travel – You should avoid all non-essential travel by private or public transport, this includes not travelling to work, school or the shops. You should still ensure you have regular follow up and treatment for your health conditions.
- Shopping – You are advised not to go to the shops. Use online shopping if you can, or ask others to collect and deliver shopping for you (friends and family, local volunteers coordinated by charities, local council or NHS Volunteer Responders).
- Medicines – You are advised not to go to a pharmacy and arrange for someone to collect or a delivery.
- Accessing care and support – We urge you to continue to seek support from the NHS and other health providers for your existing health conditions and any new health concerns.
- Registering for support – This online service can be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support and is now live for you register for support.
Whilst you are strongly advised to follow these extra precautionary shielding measures to help keep yourself safe, this remains advice, not the law, so you can choose whether or not you want to follow it.
Advice for clinically extremely vulnerable children and young people
Current knowledge suggests that very few children are at highest risk of severe illness due to the virus. Doctors have therefore been reviewing all children and young people who were initially identified as clinically extremely vulnerable to confirm whether they are still thought to be at highest risk.
If you do not receive a letter or you have not yet heard from your child’s hospital doctor or GP and are concerned for a child or young person please contact whoever usually provides care for your child to check whether they should still be considered clinically extremely vulnerable. If you have already discussed this with your child’s doctors and they have confirmed your child is still considered highest risk, your child should follow the advice as set out .
NHS Volunteer Responders can support you with:
• Collecting shopping, medication (if your friends and family cannot collect them for you) or other essential supplies;
• A regular, friendly phone call which can be provided by different volunteers each time or by someone who is also shielding and will stay in contact for several weeks; and
• Transport to medical appointment.
Please call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm to arrange support or speak to your health case professional for transport support. A carer or family member can also do this on their behalf. More information is available at www.nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
Other things you can do to stop the infection spreading
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 immediately and wash your hands afterwards
clean objects and surfaces you touch often (such as door handles, kettles and phones) using your regular cleaning products
consider wearing a face covering when in shared spaces
keep windows open in the room you’re staying in and shared spaces as much as possible
Wear something that covers your nose and mouth when it’s hard to stay away from people – see staying safe outside your home on GOV.UK
do not share towels, including hand towels and tea towels
Advice and Information
We are all working closely with NHS England, Public Health England and all our health and care partners to prevent further spread of the virus.
A set of Government guidelines have been put together as FAQs on what you can and can’t do for advice and guidance.
Online learning is available here to help navigate the NHS website.
Please refer only to official sources for updates. The latest national information and advice is available at:
- NHS Advice Pages
- NHS Pregnancy Coronavirus (COVID-19) :Advice and Frequently Asked Questions
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response
- Find out further information from Public Health England.
- See a list of suspended Wigan Borough services due to Coronavirus outbreak.
Looking after your health and wellbeing
To help yourself stay well while you’re at home:
- stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media
- try to keep yourself busy – you could try activities like cooking, reading, online learning and watching films
- do light exercise at home or outside – see NHS fitness studio: exercises you can do at home
- consider taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day if you’re indoors most of the day – this is to keep your bones and muscles healthy
The government has issued specific advice for: