Coronavirus: How do I self-isolate at home after showing symptoms of Covid-19?
PUBLISHED: 19:30 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:48 14 March 2020
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New advice for people showing symptoms of the coronavirus is to stay at home for seven days. But how exactly do you self-isolate?
On Friday, March 13, cases went from 590 to 798 which is the largest day-on-day increase since the outbreak began.
Prime minister Boris Johnson announced on Thursday, March 12 that the UK had moved from the containment phase to the delay phase of slowing down the outbreak of Covid-19.
He said anyone with coronavirus symptoms, however mild, such as a continuous cough or high temperature, must now stay at home for seven days.
This involves staying at home and not going to work, school, public areas or using public transport or taxis.
1. Plan ahead
Contact friends and families who might be able to help with supplies before you go into self-isolation and make sure they leave any supplies outside of home for you to collect.
Think about medications that you might need during this period.
Councils are urging people not to panic buy or stockpile items as this can have a detrimental impact on the elderly community.
There are also food delivery services that people can use to buy food online if they run out of any items while in self-isolation.
2. Try to separate yourself from people you live with
If you don't live alone and need to self-isolate, the government advises trying to separate yourself from people you live with as much as possible.
If you can't stay in separate rooms, try to maintain a two metre distance (three steps) away from other people in your house and minimise the amount of time you spend in shared spaces.
Use your own toothbrushes, eating and drinking utensils, dishes, drinks, towels, washcloths and bedlinen.
Residents are advised that if you have a garden, it's fine to use it as long as you don't come into contact with other people in the household.
3. Keep vulnerable people safe
Public Health England (PHE) acknowledges that this advice is more difficult to follow if you're a parent, but states that children with Covid-19 appear to be less severely affected by the disease.
If children develop symptoms they are also advised to stay at home for seven days.
If you're a carer or live with an elderly person, make sure you follow the advice of frequently washing your hands and using hand gel.
4. Wash your hands
The NHS advises washing your hands frequently throughout the day with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitiser.
According to PHE this is one of the most effective ways of reducing the risk of infection to other people.
5. Keep your laundry clean
PHE says dirty laundry that has been in contact with an ill person can be washed with other people's items.
But advises against shaking dirty laundry as this increases the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air.
If you don't have a washing machine at home, wait until the end of your isolation period before taking your clothes to a launderette.
PHE said people do not need to call NHS 111 before going into self-isolation.
Only if your symptoms get worse, or you have not recovered after seven days, then you are advised to call 111.
For a medical emergency call 999.
Are you currently in self-isolation? Send your experiences of staying at home to Sophie.Cox@archant.co.uk.
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