17 Mar 2020
Coronavirus/Covid-19 – what is it?
Coronavirus/Covid-19 is a new illness that is caused by a virus called Coronavirus/Covid-19 and can affect your lungs and airways.
The most common symptoms include a dry cough, tiredness and fever, but some patients may also experience a runny nose, sore throat, aches and pains or difficulty breathing. For the latest information on coronavirus and its symptoms, visit the NHS website.
What do I do if I think I have Coronavirus/Covid-19?
The situation is constantly changing and so we recommend visiting the NHS websitefor the most relevant up to date information. The current advice from the NHS is if you have either a new, continuous cough, or a high temperature you should self-isolate for seven days. You do not need to contact NHS Direct (111) and you should not visit a GP, pharmacy, out of hours service or accident and emergency (A&E). We recommend the following advice from Public Health England (PHE) if you are self-isolating;
- Ensure the local property team are aware you are self-isolating
- Keep in regular contract with family and friends so they are not worried about your welfare unnecessarily
- Stay in your flat unless told otherwise by health authorities
- Avoid using common areas in your flat and property
- In the event of a fire evacuation, evacuate as per normal procedure, but keep away from other people by six feet
- If your symptoms get worse, you can’t cope with them at home, or they don’t get better in seven days, use the NHS Direct (111) online Coronavirus service. If you can’t get help online, call NHS Direct on 111 or, in an emergency, call 999
- Do not go to university/college, work, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis until you are advised it is safe for you to do so
- If you have someone bringing supplies or have ordered shopping online, make sure the items are left at reception or outside of your room
- Stay away from family, friends or flatmates
- Continue to maintain good personal hygiene by washing your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds and wiping down all surfaces after use
- Dispose of rubbish regularly
What is the best practice and advice for me if I am not self-isolating?
Full advise is given on the NHS Direct websiteand we recommended you monitor this advise regularly. We would encourage the following measures;
- Try not to panic
- Wash your hands regularly and for a minimum of twenty seconds – especially after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose. If you don’t have access to wash your hands, then use hand sanitiser gel/alcohol gel
- Wash your hands more often, especially when getting home, into university/work and before eating
- Try to avoid touching your face, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands and especially if you have just sneezed, coughed or blown your nose
- Sneeze, cough and blow your nose into a tissue and dispose of it immediately. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than your hands
- Try to avoid sharing items with other people
If you have been in a known hot-spot of the Coronavirus/Covid-19, then follow the advice under the sections ‘What do I do if I think I have Coronavirus/Covid-19?’ and ‘What is the best practice and advice for me if I am not self-isolating?’.
At any time if you develop symptoms under the section ‘What do I do if I think I have Coronavirus/Covid-19?’ then immediately isolate yourself.
What are Homes For Students doing?
Our first priority is the health and wellbeing of all our students and staff during these challenging times. We have been carefully monitoring the ongoing situation and are basing our policies on the information being made available by all relevant authorities.
- In the event of a confirmed case in one of our residences, we will respond quickly and with the best interests of the student in mind. We will follow the advice given by all relevant authorities
- Contact any flat-mates to make them aware of the situation and if need be, relocate these students to alternative accommodation
- Organise a deep clean of any areas the affected student came into contact with
Please remember we are not medically trained and so we are following the advice from PHE and the NHS – we will aim to update our information and policies as and when information is available and or changes.
During this time there may be a reduction in the activities and services we offer, but out teams remain on hand.
I still need further information
If you still need more information on Coronavirus then please visit the NHS Direct (111) website. If you are struggling emotionally during this time then please speak with a team member, contact your university support/welfare service, or if you would prefer contact our partner StudentMinds.