Name: COVID-19 and your health
Description: COVID-19 and your health

COVID-19 and your health


One of the things we can all do to help the NHS and Public Health England is to listen to their advice and follow national guidance.

Public Health England are updating the coronavirus page on the GOV.UK website daily with the latest information.

The Government has published advice on staying safe outside your home.

GOV.UK have launched a Coronavirus WhatsApp Information Service. The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), and will further reduce the burden on NHS services. For accurate and up to date information, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

The Government has announced further expansion of access to coronavirus testing to help protect the most vulnerable. Anyone in England with coronavirus symptoms who either has to leave home to go to work or is aged 65 and over will now also be able to get tested. 

Please find full guidance here and the testing portal can be accessed here.

Additional Covid-19 symptoms
The UK Chief Medical Officers have released a statement saying that individuals will need to self-isolate immediately if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or anosmia. Anosmia is the loss of or a change in the normal sense of smell. It can also affect the sense of taste as the two are closely linked.

Expansion of testing to everyone across the UK 
Everyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who is showing coronavirus symptoms is eligible to book a swab test to find out if they have the virus.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to current or former employees.

The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either:
- Have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms;
- Cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms; or
- Are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks.

HMRC will announce when the online service used to reclaim SSP is available.

Prevent Coronavirus spreading

There are some things you can do to help stop viruses spreading:

  • cover your mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze;
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away;
  • wash your hands often with soap and water, or hand sanitiser gel;
  • try and avoid close contact with people who are unwell;
  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands aren't clean

For 10 tips to help if you are worried about Coronavirus please visit the NHS website.

If you think you may have symptoms of the virus, use the online NHS 111 Coronavirus service or call 111. Do not visit your GP, pharmacy or hospital.

Please click here for information on the NHS support via text message service for people with symptoms of COVID-19.

Please click here for guidance for households with possible Coronavirus infection.

Government advice on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.

New advice has been made available to support mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Advice on mental health while you're staying at home:

Kent and Medway Mental Health Support Text Service
A new text service has been launched across Kent and Medway for people of all ages needing mental health support. As part of the Release the Pressure campaign, the texts are free on all major mobile networks and the service is provided by SHOUT and the Crisis Text Line. By texting the word “Kent” or “Medway” to 85258, you will start a conversation with one of the many trained and experienced volunteers who can give support at any time, wherever you are. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.

You may be worried about work and money if you have to stay home – these issues can have a big impact on your mental health. For guidance on what your rights are at work, what benefits you are entitled and what further support is available please see the governments guidance for employees or advice from citizens advice or the National Debt line.

Please click here for Resident Support Contacts and Information that may be able to help during this crisis.

Resources to help keep you active

Last Updated: 20th May 2020