Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information about Public Health
Page updated: 15 April 2020
Ruth Harrell, Plymouth's Director of Public Health, outlines the current advice for residents
What to do if someone in your household shows symptoms
- if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (The ending isolation section below has more information)
- if you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then then you must stay at home for 7days, but all other household members who remain well 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.
- for anyone else in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period.
- it is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
- if you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
- if you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible
- if you have coronavirus symptoms:
do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home
testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home
- plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household
- ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home
- wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
- if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999
See the full guidance on staying at home on the GOV.UK website.
Help protect yourself
The advice continues to be wash your hands often.
Cleaning your hands frequently throughout the day by washing with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser will help protect you and the people you live with. This step is one of the most effective ways of reducing the risk of infection to you and to other people.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze.
If you have a carer they should take care to use disposable tissues to wipe away any mucus or phlegm after you have sneezed or coughed.
Dispose of tissues into a disposable rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser.
Bags containing used tissues should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.
Other household waste can be disposed of as normal. Please remember to wash your hands after putting bins out for collection and bringing them back in.