Coronavirus (COVID-19) update and advice
This page was last updated on 21st May 2020
Stay at home as much as possible
This includes people of all ages – even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions.
This means you must:
- 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.
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
To protect others, do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do. Use the 111 coronavirus service. 111 will tell you what to do and help you get a test if you need one.
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 has learning difficulties find easy read support on the mencap website.
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
Find out more about registering for online services:
Advice on Shielding or Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people
There are a group of people who are at the highest clinical risk from Coronavirus (COVID-19). These are sometimes called “shielded” or “extremely vulnerable” people. People in this very high risk group should now have been contacted by NHS England or their own GP Practice. If you think you fall into this category, based on the information above, but you haven’t been contacted, please contact your GP if you are concerned.
People at highest risk from coronavirus need follow “shielding” measures to take extra steps to avoid getting it. This includes:
- Not leaving your home for 12 weeks – you should not go out to do shopping, visit friends or family, or attend any gatherings
- Avoiding close contact with other people in your home as much as possible
This approach minimises all interactions between those who are extremely vulnerable and others.
Advice for people at Moderate Risk or Clinically Vulnerable
There are also people who may be of increased risk from Coronavirus (COVID-19) for the following reasons:
- are 70 or older
- are pregnant
- have a condition that may increase the risk from coronavirus
If you’re at moderate risk from coronavirus, it’s very important you follow the advice on social distancing.
This means you should stay at home as much as possible. But you can go out to work (if you cannot work from home) and for things like getting food or exercising.
Unlike people at high risk, you will not get a letter from the NHS advising you to stay at home at all times.
Other things you can do to stop the infection spreading
wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
wash your hands as soon as you get home
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
if you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth when it’s hard to stay away from people, such as on public transport – see staying safe outside your home on GOV.UK
Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
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.
If you have any questions or concerns, please refer to the NHS FAQs (external link) 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: