Coronavirus information and guidance

Symptoms and what you should do

Get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms can get a test. Coronavirus symptoms are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

You can get a test for someone you live with if they have these symptoms. Do not get tests for people you live with who do not have these symptoms.

Please only get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get tested. This will help make sure people who need a test can get one.

If you’re getting a test because you have symptoms, you and anyone you live with must self-isolate until you get your result. This also applies to anyone in your support bubble (where someone who lives alone - or just with their children - can meet people from 1 other household).

You must also self-isolate if you cannot get a test because it’s more than 5 days since your symptoms started.

Visit GOV.UK for more information on getting a test

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus (social distancing)

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.

It is particularly important for people who:

  • are 70 or over
  • have a long-term condition
  • are pregnant
  • have a weakened immune system

Please also follow advice issued by Public Health England and the NHS. The current advice is to:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • 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
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • avoid touching your face or eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean

Where do I find trusted information about coronavirus?

As with any new illness, there is a lot of inaccurate information in the public space. Please use trusted sources for your information:

For the public - The GOV.UK website has regular updates

The NHS website gives information on the virus and how to prevent it spreading

The NHS also gives advice on coronavirus, specifically for parents

Travel advice has been provided by the Government and will be updated regularly

The Public Health EnglandTwitter account provides the latest advice, facts and figures as they are announced

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council:

For health professionals – latest updates from GOV.UK

What organisations are involved in dealing with this?

The local NHS and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council are working closely with Public Health England and the Department for Health & Social Care to respond to the national situation.

We work together with slightly different roles:

  • Department for Health & Social Care: the Chief Medical Officer for England confirms each incident
  • Public Health England co-ordinate the response, information and advice on the Coronavirus (Covid-19)
  • NHS: local and national NHS services are working on the front line to test individuals, and provide advice through calls to NHS 111
  • Southend-on-Sea Borough Council provides local public health leadership, working in partnership to safeguard the borough

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