Overview – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Members of the public have made clear to welovestornoway.com they find the official advice on how to slow the spread of the epidemic is confusing.

This list is compiled from different websites. Numerous weblinks are included to assist with more details. 

Stay at home advice

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

Stay at home for 7 days in as much isolation as possible if you have possible coronavirus symptoms.  These are:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Antibiotics have no effect against a virus and the contact just increases risk to others. 

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 in self-isolation.

Read NHS advice about staying at home.

During the day (8am - 6pm) you contact your GP (not NHS24 on 111) if your symptoms:

  • Are severe or you have shortness of breath
  • Worsen during home isolation
  • Have not improved after 7 days

You contact NHS24 on 111 outwith the above hours. As always, in an emergency, dial 999.

How best to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus…hygiene and social distancing

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this thoroughly for at least 20 seconds each time
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • only use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available - soap and water are more effective
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or in the elbow crease of your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • if at all possible, avoid hugging, kissing, shaking hands or making any close social contact with anyone.

Spread of COVID-19

Spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres or less) with an infected person. The risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.

There are 2 main routes by which people can spread COVID-19:

  • infection can be spread to people who are nearby (within 2 metres) or possibly could be inhaled into the lungs.
  • Someone may become infected by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching door knobs or shaking hands then touching own face)

It is not known how long a person can be infected before symptoms are shown. 

Isolation at home

Coronavirus symptoms are similar to a flu-like illness and include cough, fever, or shortness of breath. Once there is someone with those symptoms, all surfaces that the person has come into contact with, should be cleaned including:

  • all surfaces and objects visibly contaminated with body fluids
  • all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as toilets, door handles, telephones etc

Any shared space should be cleaned regularly using disposable cloths and household detergents. (Similar actions are needed in workplaces.)

Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean. Use of a face mask can help to prevent this.

  • plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure you can successfully stay at home
  • ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home
  • stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible
  • sleep alone, if possible
  • wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
  • stay away from vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions

The key elements of self-treatment to allow the body to cope best with all suspected viral infections are to:

  • rest and sleep
  • keep warm
  • take paracetamol to lower your temperature and relieve aches and pains [Internationally, the advice is DO NOT use ibuprofen]
  • drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (your pee should be light yellow or clear)

More details on www.nhsinform/coronavirus

Daily update of spread of the virus in Scotland