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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - latest info and advice SHORTCUT ivy.gs/coronavirus

This page was updated on August 28, 2021

I have a query about coronavirus SHORTCUT ivy.gs/covid-query

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What is coronavirus? SHOW

Novel coronavirus, officially named COVID-19 by WHO, is a new respiratory illness that has not previously been seen in humans and which was first identified in Wuhan City in China.

Coronaviruses as a group, are common across the world, and cause symptoms including fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing breathing difficulties.

This coronavirus is classed as an 'airborne high consequence infectious disease'.

Hundreds of thousands of patients in the UK have tested positive for coronavirus and nearly 50,000 people have sadly died from it.

If you are concerned you might have coronavirus, please do not come to the surgery. This is official government advice.

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Brief timeline of coronavirus response SHOW

The following is a brief timeline of UK response:

  • On January 30, 2020, the British government raised the risk level to moderate
  • On January 31, 2020, WHO declared coronavirus as a 'public health emergency of international concern'
  • On February 10, 2020, the British government declared coronavirus a 'serious and imminent threat to public health'
  • On March 3, 2020, NHS England declared coronavirus a level 4 incident - the highest level of emergency preparedness planning
  • On March 11, 2020, WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic
  • On March 12, 2020, the British government raised the risk level to high and Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, described the outbreak as the 'worst public health crisis for a generation'
  • On March 17, 2020, Sir Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive said coronavirus 'presents the NHS with arguably the greatest challenge it has faced since its creation'
  • On March 23, 2020, the country entered national lockdown
  • On June 19, 2020, the COVID-19 alert level was lowered from 4 (COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially) to 3 (COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation)
  • On July 4, 2020, the country left national lockdown
  • On Monday September 21, 2020, the COVID-19 alert level was raised to 4, 'severe'
  • On Wednesday October 14, 2020, local alert levels came into force
  • On Saturday October 31, 2020, Derbyshire entered Tier 2 alert level
  • On Thursday November 5, 2020, the country went into national lockdown, due to the second wave
  • On Thursday November 5, 2020, NHS England returned the NHS to level 4 state of alert
  • On Wednesday December 2, 2020, Derbyshire entered Tier 3 alert level after leaving lockdown.
  • On Thursday December 31, 2020, Derbyshire entered Tier 4 alert level
  • On Tuesday January 5, 2021, the COVID-19 alert level was raised to 5, 'critical'
  • On Wednesday January 6, 2020, the country went into full national lockdown, due to rising cases of new variant coronavirus
  • On Thursday February 25, 2021, the COVID-19 alert level was lowered to 4, 'severe'
  • On Monday July 19, 2021, lockdown was lifted, along with almost all legal restrictions

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When do I suspect coronavirus?

You might have coronavirus if you answer YES to any of these three questions:

Q1 Have you got a fever?

A high temperature (37.8°C or more if you have a thermometer, or if you feel hot to touch on your chest or back if you don't have a thermometer)

Q2 Have you developed a new continuous cough?

A new cough you haven't had before, or if you usually cough, it has got worse, and where you are coughing a lot more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours

Q3 Has your sense of smell or taste changed or disappeared?

Smell and taste are deeply connected, so this applies to either or both sensations - if you have noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Find out what to do if you have symptoms

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What do I do if I have symptoms?

high temperature new continuous cough loss or change of smell or taste

If you think you have or might have coronavirus:

Find out what to do if you are getting worse

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Self-isolate to prevent spread SHORTCUT ivy.gs/self-isolate

SELF-ISOLATION RULES HAVE CHANGED

Household members and healthcare workers no longer need to self-isolate in certain circumstances. Please check the updates

Follow self-isolation rules if you have covid

If you have a high temperature new continuous cough loss or change of smell or taste or a positive covid test then you should follow the self-isolation rules below.

  • Stay at home
  • Do not book an appointment with us
  • Do not come to the surgery
  • Stay home for 10 days from when your symptoms started
  • Keep 2 metres away from others in your household
  • Sleep alone if possible, use separate toilet and bathing facilities if possible
  • Do not use public transport or taxis
  • Do not go to work, school or public places; this includes going out for a walk!
  • Do not present yourself to any GP surgery or hospital without seeking advice first
  • Follow this advice even if your symptoms are mild and you feel all right (remember this is for the benefit of others as well as yourself)
  • You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you are staying at home
  • Use 111 online service if you develop symptoms or become unwell
  • Ring 111 if no online access but be prepared for a wait as it is very busy
  • Ring 999 if you become very poorly and inform them of your symptoms
  • Ask friends, family or delivery services to carry out errands on your behalf
  • Avoid having visitors at home but it is OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food at the door
  • Follow all precautions to prevent spread of infection
  • Staying at home guidance
  • Keeping safe while isolating at home

SELF-ISOLATION RULES FOR CONTACTS OF CORONAVIRUS CASES

General public

If you live in the same household as someone with coronavirus, you no longer need to self-isolate if any of the following apply:

  • you are fully vaccinated
  • you are below the age of 18 years 6 months
  • you have taken part in or are currently taking part in an approved covid vaccine trial
  • you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Even though you do not need to self-isolate in the above situations, you might wish to still take the following precautions whilst the person in your household is self-isolating with covid:

  • book a PCR covid test for yourself
  • perform rapid lateral flow slide tests twice a week
  • reduce close contact with others outside your household, especially with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable
  • wear a face covering in enclosed spaces and where you are unable to maintain social distancing

If you then develop symptoms, you need to self-isolate and book a PCR covid test as indicated above.

GOV.UK: Stay at home guidance for covid infection

Healthcare workers

If you are a healthcare worker who has been in contact with someone with coronavirus, you are not required to self-isolate if you are both asymptomatic (without symptoms) and fully vaccinated. You must do the following:

  • inform your line manager if you are required to work in the 10 days following your last contact with the case
  • arrange an immediate PCR test (only if you have not had covid infection in the last 90 days) and have a negative result before returning to work
  • perform daily rapid lateral flow tests for t0 days, and have a negative result before the start of each shift
  • comply with all relevant infection control precautions and PPE requirements
  • undertake a risk assessment if you work with patients or residents who are highly vulnerable

If you then develop symptoms, you need to self-isolate and book a PCR covid test as indicated above.

GOV.UK: Guidance for staff in health and social care settings

Please do not come to the surgery
  • Do not come to surgery even if you cannot get through to 111 or are waiting a long time for a callback
  • See Why can't I come to surgery? below
  • Not only might you be a risk for the surgery and others who may be there, the surgery might be a risky place for you
Please also see

When to self-isolate

How long to self-isolate for

Get help and support

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Staying safe advice

Everyone should take measures to reduce spread of coronavirus

  • Understand the risks of coronavirus
  • Keep yourself and others safe
  • Get tested and self-isolate if you have symptoms
  • Get vaccinated
  • Wear a face covering
  • Meet outside or let fresh air in
  • Test twice a week even if you do not have symptoms
  • Cover coughs and sneezes and wash your hands regularly
  • Stay home when unwell
  • Limit close contact
  • Staying safe guidance

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How do I prevent spread?

The best way to prevent infection is to reduce your virus exposure

Most of the following is good practice for everyone, to reduce infection risk in general

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time or use an alcohol-based hand gel if your hands are not visibly dirty - download a poster on handwashing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Maintain safe distance between yourself and other people
  • Catch it, Bin it, Kill it - cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (or your flexed elbow), then throw the tissue in a bin
  • Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces at home and work
  • If you feel unwell, stay at home, do not attend work or school
  • Do not go to the surgery, hospital or any other healthcare place without seeking advice first

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Why can't I come to surgery

WE ARE NOT EQUIPPED TO HANDLE CORONAVIRUS

By turning up at surgery, you risk the surgery being placed into a state of lockdown and you will be putting yourself and others at risk. This cannot be stressed enough!

Please do not come to surgery

View our poster

Use 111 online service or ring 111 if no online access.

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Search for anything

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  • I've developed viral symptoms or flu

    If you have high temperature new continuous cough loss or change of smell or taste then you should self-isolate as defined above.

    Common symptoms for coronavirus (as with other viral illnesses) include: fever. dry cough, tiredness, shortness of breath, bone or joint pain, sore throat, headache, chills. Loss of sense of smell (and taste) is also an increasingly recognised symptom).

    If you do develop viral symptoms, you could have a viral illness like flu, a flu-like illness or coronavirus.

    You do not automatically need to call or see a GP just because you have a viral illness.

    There is no specific cure for viral illnesses like flu, or for coronavirus for that matter. Any treatment aims to relieve symptoms only, which for a viral illness includes rest, paracetamol and plenty of fluids.

    Advice on viral illness

    Advice on treating coronavirus symptoms

    Find out what to do if you are getting worse

    Staying at home guidance

    Follow precautions to prevent spread of infection

    See Why can't I come to surgery?

    Next time, please consider having a flu jab if you are eligible

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  • Can't you just check me out?

    If you have a high temperature new continuous cough loss or change of smell or taste then you should self-isolate as defined above.

    Your GP cannot 'check you' to tell you if it definitely is coronavirus or not and your GP does not have any access to testing. You need to get a coronavirus test if you have symptoms.

    Given community spread of coronavirus, you might well have it if you develop the above symptoms. It is therefore very important that you self-isolate to prevent further spread of infection. This is to protect yourself and others. Please do not come to surgery.

    There is no specific treatment for coronavirus, antibiotics do not help.

    Find out what to do if you are getting worse

    Book a PCR covid test

    Staying at home guidance

    Keeping safe while isolating at home

    Follow precautions to prevent spread of infection

    See Why can't I come to surgery?

    Next time, please consider having a flu jab if you are eligible

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  • Am I classed as vulnerable (moderate risk) for coronavirus? SHORTCUT ivy.gs/covid-vulnerable

    In general, those more vulnerable to complications on contracting coronavirus are those patients who are over 70, have underlying long-term conditions, or pregnant women.

    If you are eligible to have a flu jab on medical grounds each year, then you are likely classed as vulnerable.

    Those classed as vulnerable will not receive any notification from the NHS or from their GP. If you fall into a vulnerable group, you are strongly advised to follow social distancing guidance.

    Whatever medical condition you have, the best way to remain well is to avoid catching it in the first place.

    Staying safe guidance

    Follow precautions to prevent spread of infection

    Five things you can do to protect yourself and your community

    Find out more about getting help at home.

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  • Am I classed as extremely vulnerable (very high risk) for coronavirus (shielding group)? SHORTCUT ivy.gs/covid-veryhighrisk

    Shielding has ended - display our previous guidance on this matter.

    Shielded patients guidance

    Some patients are classed as being at very high risk of severe illness requiring admission to hospital if they were to contract coronavirus. Such patients are being identified by the NHS centrally and also by their GP.

    Those at extremely high risk will be advised to shield. This is a measure to keep these people safe, and essentially means staying at home at all times, and avoiding any face-to-face contact for at least 12 weeks.

    Very high risk groups for shielding
    • Solid organ transplant recipients
    • People with specific cancers
      • People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
      • People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
      • People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
      • People having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
      • People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
    • People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD
    • People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
    • People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
    • People who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
    • Renal dialysis patients and those with chronic kidney disease stage 5
    • Adults with Down's syndrome
    If you are on the shielding list
    • Those at high risk will be notified either by personalised letter or text, and will receive further advice and information on how to access support.
    • Depending on your age and conditions, our care co-ordinator may contact you to offer support.
    • If you are identified as being at high risk, you are advised to follow official government guidance to shield.
    • We advise all patients to see common queries below about this issue before getting in touch with us.
    • Please also check the list of high risk groups above, which has been determined centrally by the NHS.
    • Those at high risk will receive a personalised letter, either from us or from the NHS centrally which can be shown to others as needed.
    • We have no control over centrally-sent NHS letters. If you think you have been sent one in error, please see below.
    • We regret we cannot supply any other documentary evidence in this situation, nor any documentatry evidence to anyone else who is not in the high risk group.
    QUERY: I've been removed from the shielding list
    • We have been instructed by NHS England to review the record of every patient identified centrally and also the record of every patient who has self-reported as being at high risk
    • We need to do this because shielding is a severe measure that has risks to your mental and physical wellbeing and this has to be balanced against the benefits from such measures, so we do not put anyone into shielding lightly
    • If you have been removed, this means we have checked your records and determined you are not at very high risk
    • However, as you might still be at moderate risk, we still advise that you strongly follow social distancing guidance in order to keep yourself safe
    • If you still want to shield even if you are not in the shielding group, then this is a personal choice
    QUERY: I don't want to be on the shielding list
    • If you do not want to shield, then again, this is a personal choice
    • We would generally recommend thåat you follow shielding guidance, but if you do not wish to, then you should at least strongly follow social distancing guidance
    • If you think you have been put into the shielding group due to an error in your records, we ask that you check the very high risk groups above first
    • If you still don't know why you are in the shielding group, please contact us and we can tell you
    Get more information

    Follow current guidance on shielded patients

    Find out more about getting help at home.

    Follow precautions to prevent spread of infection

    Five things you can do to protect yourself and your community

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  • I need someone to help me at home SHORTCUT ivy.gs/covid-needhelp

    You have several options on getting help if you are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable:

    Download all the above links as a document you can print out.

    Information for carers can be found on our Carers page

    Get help and support


    Derbyshire Community Response Unit

    This service can help if you have no friends or family you can call on and:

    • You are self-isolating because you or a member of your household is at risk
    • You are struggling to meet your basic needs because of financial, social or health restrictions
    • You are pregnant
    • You have underlying health conditions
    • You are aged 70 or over

    They can help with shopping, fetching prescriptions or finding someone to have a chat with.

    If you need help you can use the link below to register or you can ring 01629 535091 - Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday 9am to 1pm, or email ASCH.CommunityResponseUnit@derbyshire.gov.uk .

    Derbyshire's Community Response Unit .

    Requests are sent out to community partners such as AVCVS to fulfil.

    Download an information leaflet .

    Amber Valley Community Voluntary Service

    Amber Valley Community Volunary Service (AVCVS) is based in Ripley, Derbyshire and is the local organisation for the district’s voluntary sector and the main provider of support for local voluntary and community groups.

    AVCVS offers a range of support and services to respond to the needs of volunteers, voluntary organisations and community groups.

    Email Paulclarke@avcvs.org or ring 01773 748688.

    Request an NHS volunteer via GoodSAM

    You can now request an NHS volunteer through GoodSAM and NHS volunteers and access a variety of different support options:

    Check in and chat support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation.

    Community support provides collection of shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating, and delivering these supplies to their home.

    Patient Transport support provides transport to take patients home who are medically fit for discharge.

    NHS Transport support provides transport for equipment, supplies and/or medication between NHS services and sites. Also involves assisting pharmacies with medication delivery.

    Find your local Covid-19 Mutual Aid group

    Find your local coronavirus support group at Covid-19 Mutual Aid .

    Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK is a group co-ordinating local support for the most vulnerable in our communities.

    In this area, there is the Ripley Community Covid Support Group and Corona Virus Helpers Heage And Surrounding Villages .

    Contact the Royal Voluntary Service

    Contact the Royal Voluntary Service for help and support.

    The Royal Voluntary Service co-ordinates olunteers providing much-needed support for over-stretched public services and for people as they age.

    Ring 0330 555 0310, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

    Links to support on official government website

    Although the service that helped you get priority access to supermarket deliveries has now closed you can find several links on the officiall government website .

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  • Where can I volunteer to help in the efforts against coronavirus?

    Your NHS needs you!

    NHS Volunteer Responders has been set up to support the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak. To do this the NHS needs an 'army' of volunteers who can support the 1.5m people in England who are at most risk from the virus to stay well.

    Find out more about NHS Volunteer Responders .

    See also Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK which co-ordinates neighbourly initiatives and has lists of local groups in your area,.

    The Royal Voluntary Service is a national charity built on local volunteering giving support to the people that need it in hospitals and communities.

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  • I want a test for coronavirus! SHORTCUT ivy.gs/covid-test

    If you have a high temperature new continuous cough loss or change of smell or taste then you need to book a PCR covid test as described below and you should self-isolate.

    There are two types of tests, lab PCR covid tests and rapid lateral flow slide tests as described below.

    Lab PCR covid tests

    BOOK A PCR COVID TEST IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS

    Do not use a lateral flow test - they are not designed for those with symptoms

    Don't use a lateral flow test if you have symptoms. They are not designed for those with symptoms.

    Anyone with symptoms (including children) needs to get a PCR covid test for coronavirus.

    If you have symptoms, self-isolate until you get your results. Do not leave home, except to post a test kit or for a PCR test appointment.

    Book a PCR test and the swab is sent to a lab for testing. You should get the results fairly quickly, generally within 24 hours.

    Book a PCR covid test

    Ring 119 to request a test if you have no internet access - however, in our experience, you may have better success gettting a test if you use the online service (or ask someone who can request a test on your behalf), rather than ring up

    Find out what to do next

    Order tests for care home

    Find out the difference between PCR covid tests and lateral flow tests

    Rapid lateral flow slide tests

    USE LATERAL FLOW TESTS FOR SCREENING ONLY IF YOU HAVE NO SYMPTOMS

    If you have symptoms, book a PCR covid test as above

    Lateral flow tests are rapid slide tests for screening of people who have no symptoms.

    Up to 30% of patients with coronavirus have no symptoms and lateral flow tests are designed to find these cases.

    You should be provided with free lateral flow tests as part of your workplace, employment or educational setting and should test regularly as instructed. You can also order tests by following the link below.

    Do not use lateral flow tests if you have covid symptoms. Book a PCR covid test instead.

    If you have a positive lateral flow test, you need to book a PCR covid test to confirm the result.

    Order lateral flow test kits

    Report a lateral flow test result

    Find out what to do next

    Find out the difference between PCR covid tests and lateral flow tests

    After doing your test

    Follow precautions to prevent spread of infection

    Find out how to treat symptoms

    Find out what to do if you are getting worse

    Read about your test result

    How long to self-isolate for

    Keeping safe while isolating at home

    Staying at home guidance

    See Why can't I come to surgery?

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  • I want the covid vaccination

    Please visit our new website page which we have set up to provide the latest information on covid vaccination.

    Covid vaccination page SHORTCUT ivy.gs/covid-vacc

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  • I have a query about school SHORTCUT ivy.gs/covid-school

    General information

    Schools, colleges and other educational settings are working very hard to review the government guidelines alongside their own risks assessments to determine the safety of a phased reopening of their institution.

    These measures are overseen by the head teacher, the senior leadership and appropriate governing body (or equivalent) for each school’s individual circumstances.

    Parents/carers need to work with schools if they have individual concerns about their child.

    It is the parents' and carers' choice as to whether they feel it is safe, and not for a GP to decide.

    Teachers and other employed staff will also need to work with schools if they have concerns about their own health and whether they can safely return to face-to-face work.

    GPs have not been provided with additional/specific guidance regarding decision making for staff or students beyond current public health measures.

    Shielded and vulnerable children

    Please follow guidance from the Royal Collage of Paediatrics and Child Health

    GP letters or notes

    GPs will not be issuing notes or letters on behalf of parents or carers if they do not wish to send their child to school or their child is shielding for themselves, or to protect family members who are shielding and/or vulnerable.

    In addition, GPs will not be issuing notes or letters to confirm over-the-counter medicines, or prescribe them so that schools or nurses have an 'official' record of a prescription for them to administer.

    The Department for Education has confirmed to the BMA that a prescription is not required and non-prescription medication can be administered where parents have given written consent.

    We kindly ask that you do not book an appointment to request such letters pr prescriptions from us.

    BMA guidance on over-the-counter medicines

    What if my child has a cold/virus?

    With children returning the school, the usual coughs and colds will start to circulate again. Current advice is that children do not need a covid-test and do not need to self-isolate if they are simply suffering from a common cold.

    Symptoms frequently seen with common colds are runny or blocked nose, aches and pains, sneezing and sore throat. Adults and children with a common cold are generally not acutely unwell.

    If a child is more poorly with a heavy cold, then they might need a day or two off to recover. Keep off school as you would have done pre-covid.

    If a child has definite coronavirus symptoms with high temperature new continuous cough loss or change of smell or taste then you must follow the guidance and self-isolate and test as above.

    Other viruses will circulate during winter as they did before coronavirus; we advise that parents follow the guidance on viral illness as above. There is no need to contact a GP because your child has a cold or sniffles, unless they are unwell.

    If your child is under the care of a paediatric specialist or was previously shielding due to a long-term health problem, then we advise you to seek specialist advice, or you should follow any advice previously received.

    Download our leaflet How can I tell if my child is poorly

    Advice on coronavirus in children

    Other information

    Guidance note from Derbyshire LMC for parents

    Guidance for parents and carers

    Guidance on school opening

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  • How do I treat my coronavirus infection?SHORTCUT ivy.gs/covid-treat

    You should be following directions for self-isolating as described above.

    If you are a confirmed case of coronavirus and your symptoms are mild, you will be advised to self-isolate at home. If you have a more severe case, you might be transferred to and cared for in hospital.

    You may have fever, cough or breathlessness or general viral symptoms or only mild or even no symptoms.

    There is no specific cure for coronavirus. Any treatment aims to relieve symptoms only, which for a viral illness includes rest, paracetamol and plenty of fluids.

    Advice on treating coronavirus symptoms

    Advice on viral illness

    Staying at home guidance

    Find out what to do if you are getting worse

    Keeping safe while isolating at home

    Follow precautions to prevent spread of infection

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  • I'm self-isolating but getting worse SHORTCUT ivy.gs/covid-worse

    Use 111 online service or ring 111 if no online access:

    • If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
    • If your condition gets worse
    • If your symptoms do not get better after 10 days

    Examples of getting worse might be:

    • You become so short of breath that you cannot climb stairs
    • You cannot finish speaking a sentence
    • You have stopped doing all the things you usually do

    Ring 999 if you are very poorly, and inform them of your symptoms and that you are self-isolating.

    Need more advice?

    Use 111 online service to find out what to do next. Please do not come to surgery.

    Staying at home guidance

    Keeping safe while isolating at home

    Follow precautions to prevent spread of infection

    See Why can't I come to surgery?

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  • Can I have chloroquine / dexamethasone / vitamin D?

    Current guidance is that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine should be used only as part of a clinical trial for the treatment of coronavirus.

    Dexamethasone is approved to treat all UK hospitalised COVID-19 patients requiring oxygen, including those on ventilators, from June 16, 2020.

    If you do not already take such medication, we kindly ask that you do not book an appointment to request them.

    Vitamin D is sent directly from the government to shielded patients.

    We will not prescribe the treatments to you. Repeat prescriptions will continue to be issued to those existing patients with current clinical need for these medications and for licensed purposes only.

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  • I'm self-isolating as advised, what happens at the end?

    SELF-ISOLATION RULES FOR HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS HAVE CHANGED

    Household members now no longer need to self-isolate in certain circumstances. Please check the updates

    You should be following directions for self-isolating as described above.

    After 10 days, if you feel better and no longer have a high temperature, you can return to normal activity.

    If you still have a high temperature, continue to self-isolate until your temperature returns to normal.

    You may still have a cough for some weeks after, this is normal. It does not mean you have to stay at home for more than 10 days.

    If you do not get any better, continue to self-isolate and 111 online service. Please do not come to surgery.

    Need more advice?

    Use 111 online service to find out what to do next. Please do not come to surgery.

    how long to self-isolate

    Staying at home guidance

    Keeping safe while isolating at home

    Follow precautions to prevent spread of infection

    See Why can't I come to surgery?

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  • I'm not going to self-isolate, I feel fine

    SELF-ISOLATION RULES FOR HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS HAVE CHANGED

    Household members now no longer need to self-isolate in certain circumstances. Please check the updates

    If you have a high temperature new continuous cough loss or change of smell or taste then you should self-isolate as described above.

    You could be fined if you do not self-isolate following a notification by NHS Test and Trace

    Whilst in yourself, you might feel not too bad, and wonder what the fuss is about, there is a risk those who get coronavirus will have severe disease and some will need intensive or critical care.

    It is therefore vital to self-isolate so that you do not spread infection to others in the community, some of whom may be vulnerable:

    • Your family, including grandparents
    • Your friends
    • Your work colleagues
    • The elderly
    • Pregnant women
    • Those with long-term medical conditions

    Self-isolation means exactly that, you must not leave your home. Please do not come to surgery.

    Need more advice?

    Use 111 online service to find out what to do next. Please do not come to surgery.

    Staying at home guidance

    Keeping safe while isolating at home

    Follow precautions to prevent spread of infection

    See Why can't I come to surgery?

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  • I'm self-isolating so I need a sick note SHORTCUT ivy.gs/covid-isolationnote

    SELF-ISOLATION RULES FOR HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS HAVE CHANGED

    Household members now no longer need to self-isolate in certain circumstances. Please check the updates

    In a situation such as this, self-isolation would be advised officially by 111 or Public Health for contact with a confirmed case, or a suspected case, or whilst awaiting results of a coronavirus test.

    By law, a doctor's fit note (sick note or MED 3) is not required for the first seven days of sickness absence.

    After seven days, a doctor's note may be required - it is actually for the employer to determine what evidence is required, if any, which may or may not be a doctor's note.

    The government strongly suggests that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to self-isolate in accordance with Public Health advice being issued by the government.

    This means that a doctor's note will not necessarily be required. Please download this information sheet .

    111 isolation note service

    Emergency legislation is being brought in to allow employees to claim statutory sick pay from the first day off work in order to help contain coronavirus.

    Please note, if you are not following any official 111 or Public Health guidance to self-isolate, but you have made the decision yourself to do so, you are not entitled to a doctor's note at all in this situation.

    For queries regarding requests for GP letters related to the coronavirus pandemic, please see our GP letters section immediately below.

    Guidance on working safely

    Staying at home guidance

    Keeping safe while isolating at home

    Follow precautions to prevent spread of infection

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  • I need a GP letter SHORTCUT ivy.gs/covid-gpletter

    I need a GP letter because I'm not going on holiday now

    If you have changed your mind and decide not to go on holiday, you do not need a letter from the GP.

    Insurers and travel companies should be basing their decisions to offer refunds on advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Public Health England, not letters from GPs. Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs

    We kindly ask that you do not book an appointment to request such letters from us.

    Please check foreign travel advice

    Please check foreign travel advice by country

    Please check our forms and documents policy where it states that we are happy to complete travel cancellation forms if we have been attending you for medical conditions for which we have advised that you cancel or postpone your holiday. We will not write a letter for any other reason.

    If you are going away, please check out this infographic guide on staying safe.

    I need a GP letter because my boss at work says so

    If you need a note for your employer because you are self-isolating due to coronavirus or have coronavirus in your household, please see our information on self-isolation notes or use the shortcut ivy.gs/covid-isolationnote. We will not supply sick notes for self-isolation purposes.

    If you are in the shielding group, you will have received a text or letter from the NHS or ourselves about this. You can use this letter as evidence for your employer or others, and there is no need for a further letter from us to confirm your status.

    GPs are not in a position to perform or sign-off on any risk assessment for you in your workplace - this is your employer's responsibility.

    GPs are not in a position to authorise any return to work or home-working plan - this is for your employer or the human resources or occupational health department.

    We kindly ask that you do not book an appointment to request such letters from us.

    Should your employer need specific medical information about you or a formal report about your condition, we will be able to provide such information to them if we are provided with a copy of your written consent. Such information will be subject to a fee as this is private work not covered by normal NHS service.

    I need a GP letter because of schooling

    GPs are not in a position to provide letters for schooling.

    Please see our dedicated section regarding coronavirus and schooling or use the shortcut ivy.gs/covid-school.

    We kindly ask that you do not book an appointment to request such letters from us.

    I need a GP letter to exempt me from wearing a face covering/mask

    GPs are not in a position to provide individual risk assessments or letters for patients to authorise any exemption from wearing a mask.

    Face coverings are not to protect you. However, if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with. From a public health point of view, we cannot authorise you to not wear a mask where it is deemed appropriate or regulated by law.

    The legislation states that: No person may, without reasonable excuse, enter or remain within a relevant place (e.g., shops, public transport) without wearing a face covering. The only reasonable excuses for medical purposes for not wearing masks are if someone cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering— (i) because of any physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability (within the meaning of section 6 of the Equality Act 2010), or (ii) without severe distress.

    At no point does the legislation or any other regulation require GPs to provide letters of confirmation of these conditions, or to authorise exemption from wearing a mask and we therefore politely decline such requests for letters. Self-declaration is sufficient and patients wishing to do so may download and use the resources indicated below.

    We kindly ask that you do not book an appointment to request face covering exemption letters from us.

    Download a Derbyshire LMC information sheet

    Guidance on face coverings

    Print face covering exemption card

    Download face covering exemption file for mobile

    I need a GP letter because I need to self-isolate before hospital admission

    This issue has nothing to do with GPs regardless of who has requested this letter. You have various options:

    • The admission letter from the hospital should be sufficient evidence for an employer.
    • Go to the isolation note service and declare 'yes' to the question: “Have you been told to self-isolate by an NHS service or a healthcare professional?” and if you then tick the box that says “I have been told to self-isolate by a test and trace service” they will be able to get a self-isolation note sent to you.
    • Download this template letter for your employer.

    We kindly ask that you do not book an appointment to request such letters from us.

    I need a GP letter because the DVLA has told me to ask the GP to declare that I am fit to drive

    We understand that due to the pandemic, DVLA have a backlog with licence renewals so are advising people they may be able to continue to drive under section 88 of the Road Traffic Act. This may allow you to continue driving even though you do not hold a current driving licence. In practice, this will be when you have applied to the DVLA to renew your licence, but the licence expires while they are processing the application.

    However, DVLA are advising people that in order to meet these criteria a GP must document their fitness to drive and a number of practices have received such requests.

    The declaration that an applicant is fit to drive must be made by the applicant NOT the GP (s92 of the Road Traffic Act).

    Any medical decision about fitness to drive is made by the DVLA in-house medical team, not GPs.

    It is not the responsibility of GPs to help DVLA clear their backlog.

    We kindly ask that you do not book an appointment to request such letters from us.

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  • I've had coronavirus - what advice can you give me?

    You may have residual symptoms after having had coronavirus infection. This is a new condition and more information regarding after effects of infection are emerging.

    Please see our dedicated section regarding post-covid recovery or use the shortcut ivy.gs/covid-postcovid or ivy.gs/postcovid.

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  • I'm well, but worried about coronavirus

    If you are well, the best way to remain well is to avoid catching it in the first place.

    This advice applies whatever medical condition you have.

    Follow precautions to prevent spread of infection

    Five things you can do to protect yourself and your community

    Keep up with updates on coronavirus with the links below or follow this page. We will try to keep this page regularly updated with the changing guidance, as long as we've not been taken out by someone infecting us.

    We will aim to keep this page regularly updated with the changing guidance, as long as we've not been taken out by someone infecting us, so please do not come to surgery if you have it.

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  • All this coronavirus is affecting my mental health!

    These are very anxious times for everybody.

    Because this virus is entirely new, no-one physically, or figuratively, is immune from its effects.

    Everybody has been affected in some way, be it, with colleagues self-isolating or sick, with workplace changes, with national lockdown. One cannot help but be moved by the tragic stories we hear all around the world.

    If you feel you need more help and support, please visit the mental health section of our General Practice 2.0 page or use the shortcut ivy.gs/covid-mentalhealth. We have built this page specially to help those who are struggling with their mental health during this current crisis.

    For general mental health support, please visit our self-help and self-referral page or use the shortcut ivy.gs/mentalhealth. We have built this page specially to help any patient with mental health issues.

    NHS staff who are finding their mental health is being affected during this pandemic can visit a special section on this page for staff, or use the ivy.gs/covid-staffhealth.

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DISCLAIMER

This page is © Dr M Wong 2021 and is compiled from multiple sources for ease of use by patients and is for guidance only. The information shown is not intended to be a full and comprehensive guide to coronavirus, nor is it intended to replace the advice of the 111 service or that of a dedicated health professional.

If you are concerned that you have or might have coronavirus, please follow current guidance on self-isolation and if you are getting worse, please use 111 online service or ring 111 if no online access. Do not come to the surgery.

Contact us

If you wish to provide feedback on the contents of this page, please get in touch. If any other GP surgeries wish to share or link to this page, please let us know first. Please do not cut and paste content as it is liable to change on a regular basis.

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Medicines Order Line (MOL)
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