Covid-19 advice - blog from Professor Kate Ardern, director for Public Health

Covid-19 advice - blog from Professor Kate Ardern, director for Public Health

As you can imagine, it has been an extremely busy period for myself and health colleagues because of Covid-19.

The country has now moved to the delay phase of its response and I would like to take this opportunity to offer further reassurance and advice.

There is no doubt that we are dealing with a fast-moving situation and circumstances at time of writing will have progressed for when you are reading this column.

However, there is advice that will remain constant whatever phase of response we are in, and it is information I have been repeating a lot in recent days.

The most important thing is to practice good respiratory hygiene – catch it, bin it, kill it – in using tissues or catching sneezes in the crook of the elbow.

The easiest way to transmit any virus is through unwashed hands and touching our faces, which we tend to do a lot without thinking about it.

Remember to wash your hands frequently, several times a day, preferably with liquid soap or use hand sanitizer.

Washing for 20 seconds or the length of two ‘Happy Birthdays’ has been the guidance but I have seen some wonderful examples on social media of different songs you can sing instead!

Covid-19 is a new member of the coronavirus family and we always plan for outbreaks of new infectious diseases.

Please rest assured that in Greater Manchester we have excellent multi-agency planning and response arrangements and all organisations across GM have excellent infectious control strategies.

A lot of our planning – and I’m a veteran of this procedure – comes from the swine flu outbreak in 2009.

Our planning and training methods work across public health and NHS colleagues and we test these procedures regularly.

Latest guidance is if you live alone and you have symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, stay at home for seven days from when your symptoms started.

If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

Those displaying mild symptoms don’t need to be tested for Covid-19, this is all geared to help people prevent the spread.

Along with advice on measures we can take to slow the spread of the virus, there is also additional guidance for those over aged 70 and with underlying health conditions on the government website. 

Please rely on trusted sources of information such as the www.gov.uk and www.nhs.uk for the latest guidance, as opposed to unverified sources on social media.

Posted on Tuesday 17th March 2020
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