COVID-19 and your health
STAY ALERT - CONTROL THE VIRUS - SAVE LIVES
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.
Advice on mental health while you're staying at home:
- Health partners and providers, local authorities and emergency services across Kent and Medway have launched a new mental wellbeing support information hub providing information for people experiencing bereavement and loss, debt and financial difficulties, pregnant women and new mums needing extra support, and families looking for help with young children or teenagers.
- Every Mind Matters: how to look after your mental wellbeing while staying at home
- GOV.UK: guidance on wellbeing and coronavirus with advice on autism, dementia, learning disabilities, older people, and mental health conditions
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.