How to prepare for Coronavirus? 5 preventative actions in case COVID-19 spreads in your community
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a global health pandemic. It's important you know how to protect yourself, your friends, and your family if the virus circulates in your local community. Here's a rundown of the main steps you should taketo prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Find local information
Keep an eye on your local council website for COVID-19 updates affecting your area. Other local sources to check regularly include:
- Shop opening hours
Know the signs and the symptoms
The three most common COVID-19 symptoms are:
- A new, continuous dry cough
- Shortness of breath
Although most cases of COVID-19 can be managed at home, these symptoms require urgent care:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Bluish tinge to lips or face
Take steps for those at higher risk
Some people are more likely to develop severe COVID-19 symptoms. High-risk individuals include:
- Adults over 65
- Anyone with lung disease, including severe asthma and cystic fibrosis
- Heart disease sufferers
- Anyone on immunosuppressants
- Blood or bone marrow cancer sufferers
- Anyone undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy
- Those with other serious health conditions
Anyone at a higher risk should isolate themselves as much as possible by avoiding social contact and staying home. Check in with these individuals and ensure they have the essential supplies and medication they need.
Protect yourself and your family
The best ways to protect yourself and others during the COVID-19 outbreak are:
- Frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid public transport.
- Order in 2 weeks' worth of prescription medication.
- Work from home.
- Avoid close contact and public spaces.
- Stay at home for at least 7 days if you have signs of COVID-19, and 14 days if anyone in your household has COVID-19 symptoms.
- Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze, wash your hands, and dispose of used tissues immediately.
Stay informed about emergency plans
Stay in contact with local authorities and services, including schools and workplaces, so you're clear on any emergency plans and service suspensions. Check authoritative sources such as the WHO and the NHS regularly for up-to-date planning guidance.
The UK government has issued comprehensive guidance on dealing with COVID-19 and how to self-isolate properly. Wash your hands using good hand sanitiser or soap, keep an eye on vulnerable relatives, and stay calm – we're in this together.