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Stay at home: What you can do to stop coronavirus spreading

Nurses' appeal: We've come to work for you, please stay home for us

22 March, 2020

NHS staff across the UK have a simple appeal: We’ve come to work for you, please stay home for us.

To stop the spread of coronavirus, everybody is asked to observe social distancing guidelines, to essentially ‘stay at home’ and limit the close at hand contact people have with others. This is why pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes were ordered to close on Friday.

Over 70s and vulnerable residents with underlying health conditions are advised now to self-isolate for 12 weeks. This includes anybody who would normally have flu jab protection in winter.

Although trends suggest younger people may experience milder symptoms, there are cases where they have required treatment in intensive care.

Everybody has been asked by the government to help slow the spread of Covid-19 by working from home where possible, avoid non-essential use of public transport and to keep in touch with family remotely.

“Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is practicable,” the government’s guidance said.

If you leave your home for an essential reason, such as food shopping, you should respectfully stay two metres away from other people in the store or queues. Some shops have marked these distances out with tape.

Like the common cold, coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs small droplets – packed with the virus – into the air.

These can be breathed in, or cause an infection, if you touch a surface they have landed on and then touch then your eyes, nose or mouth. The virus infects the lungs.

The symptoms start with a fever followed by a dry cough and can lead to shortness of breath. It takes, on average, five days for symptoms to show.

NHS advice on how to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus includes:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds.
  • Always wash your hands when you get home from being outside or while at work.
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.

Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards.  Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.


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