Covid-19 Guidance and Information Hub
Coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020.
The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 to 14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, they have not been infected.
The following symptoms may develop in someone who has COVID-19 infection:
New continuous cough and/or High temperature.
Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
If you develop any of the above symptoms:
- Self-isolate immediately (further information in self-isolation section below)
- Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
- You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home
- Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home
To prevent infection:
- Have good hand hygiene at all times, washing your hands regularly with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
- Use hand sanitiser gels provided.
- 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.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
Current advice from the UK government health service is: Employees are not recommended to wear facemasks (also known as surgical masks or respirators) to protect against the virus. Facemasks are only recommended to be worn by symptomatic individuals (advised by a healthcare worker) to reduce the risk of transmitting the infection to other people.
General tips for employers:
- Make sure everyone’s contact numbers and emergency contact details are up to date.
- You are responsible for the health and safety of your workforce and should already have identified those who are most vulnerable if they were to catch the virus. Ensure that all staff know how to report any risk to themselves from COVID-19 and that all potential incidents are reported to the relevant contact so they can understand the overall risk to the workforce.
- Make sure all staff are aware of your response as an employer and what you are doing to protect people’s health and reduce the risk of infection spreading.
- Continue to communicate as the situation changes. Make sure managers and senior leaders are clear on any relevant policies and processes, for example sickness reporting and sick pay, homeworking policy and procedures in case someone in the workplace develops the virus.