Anyone can have the coronavirus and not show symptoms, so everyone needs to adhere to safety guidelines and take precautions to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Some infected persons with mild or no symptoms can still transmit the virus.
The coronavirus often spreads through close contact with an infected person. When a COVID-19 patient coughs, talks or sneezes, they release droplets containing the virus. If another person breaths in these droplets, they become infected with the coronavirus.
Another mode of contracting the coronavirus is touching objects and surfaces contaminated with the virus. A surface or object can become contaminated when an infected person sneezes or coughs on them.
If you get the coronavirus, there is the risk of spreading the virus directly or indirectly through touching things with your contaminated hand. Even if you avoid close contact with people, there is no guarantee that your loved ones will not get the virus from someone or somewhere else.
This makes adhering to the following steps important whether you feel well or unwell. Taking the following steps is particularly important for anyone living with a clinically extremely vulnerable person and those at a high risk of severe COVID-19 illness.
Social distancing (keeping a safe distance)
When you leave your house, do the following.
- Avoid direct, and face to face contact with anyone who is not a household member
- Stay at least six feet or 2 meters away from anyone that is not your household member or not in your support bubble
- Limit your stay in crowded places such as supermarkets where social distancing is difficult
You also need to stay at least two meters away from people visiting your homes for urgent or essential work.
Why is social distancing important?
Staying away from people reduces the risk of getting COVID-19 and spreading it to others. COVID-19 spreads through small aerosols or droplets released from an infected person’s mouth and nose when they cough, sneeze, breathe and speak. Being close to an infected person even when the person shows no symptoms increases the risk of getting infected.
Good hygienic practices
Following the basic hygiene rules, regardless of what you are doing or where you are, will protect you and people from COVID-19. The basic hygienic practices include:
- Cleaning your surroundings
- Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly
- Covering your mouth and nose whenever you sneeze or cough
Wash your hands
Always wash your hands with water and soap or use a hand sanitiser if water is not available. Ensure you wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, and before handling food. You should also wash your hands when you touch frequently touched surfaces such as light switches and doorknobs and shared areas like bathrooms.
Whenever you return home, ensure you wash your hands, and if possible, do not touch your mouth, eyes, and nose. If you must touch your face, sanitise your hands first or wash them.
Why do you need to wash your hands?
Your hands touch different surfaces and may likely get contaminated. It becomes easy for the virus to enter your mouth, nose and eye with a contaminated hand, then the virus can get into your body, causing COVID-19 infection.
If you have contracted the coronavirus, you can transfer it from your mouth and nose when taking or coughing to your hands, then to other surfaces you touch.
Sanitising or washing your hands properly helps to remove viruses and other microorganisms, reducing the risk of getting infected when you touch your face. Water and soap are a better option for cleaning the hands, especially if you have visible dirt. However, hand sanitiser is a good alternative when you don’t have soap and water.
Clean your surroundings
Ensure you clean every surface, giving extra attention to frequently touched surfaces like door handles, work surfaces, light switches and electronic devices.
Use paper roll, disposable mop heads and disposable cloths to clean sanitary fittings, floors, chairs, door handles, and hard surfaces. Try to wipe one site once in one direction, and you can dispose of the cleaning material like other domestic waste. You can use the regular household detergent for cleaning surfaces and your surroundings.
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Why is cleaning your surroundings important?
COVID-19 spreads when small droplets or aerosols containing the virus touches surfaces, and someone touches the infected surface or belonging. The aerosols or small droplets get to surfaces when the infected person talks, breathe or cough.
Coronavirus on a surface can infect a healthy person when they touch the contaminated surface, then touch their nose, eyes or mouth. When you clean these surfaces, you reduce the amount of contamination and risk of the virus spreading.
The more you clean surfaces, the more chances of removing the virus on the surface, so another person does not get infected.
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Cover your mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing
Ensure you cover your nose and mouth with disposable tissue when you sneeze or cough. If a tissue is not available, sneeze or cough into your bent elbow, but do not use your hand. Ensure you dispose of your tissue immediately and wash your hands.
Why is covering your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze important?
Sneezing and coughing increases the number of aerosols and droplets released, the distance travelled by the droplets and how long they stay in the air.
When infected persons do not cover their mouth and nose, they increase the risk of infecting people around them, but covering the mouth and nose reduces the spread of aerosols and droplets containing the coronavirus.
Wear a face mask
Wearing a face mask in certain places is now compulsory. You need to wear a face mask when indoors, in places where social distancing is difficult, and you are likely to meet more people than usual.
However, wearing a face mask may not be possible in all situation, and some people with certain health conditions cannot wear a face mask.
Why is wearing a face mask important?
COVID-19 spreads when infected persons exhale aerosols and small droplets from their mouth and nose while sneezing, breathing and speaking. When you use a face mask correctly, it reduces the chances of the droplets getting to other people.
Wearing a face mask also helps reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus in people without symptoms. Face masks protect other people from COVID-19 and are not a replacement for washing the hands regularly and social distancing.
Proper ventilation (let fresh air)
Ensure you uncover vents, open windows and doors in your home to let fresh air in. Doing this for even short periods will allow fresh air to circulate in your home. If you own an extractor fan in your kitchen or bathroom, you can leave it to run for a longer time with the door closes after someone exits the room.
If you have anyone self-isolating in your home, ensure you open the windows in the person’s room and keep the door closed to minimise the spread of contaminated air to other parts of the house.
You can leave your windows open for short periods after someone working in your home like the cleaner leaves. If your concern is the cost of heating, security, or nose, open the windows for a shorter period and wear extra layers or warm cloth to keep yourself. You can also change your room layout, so you don’t have to sit close to cold draughts from the opened doors and windows.
Why is proper ventilation (letting fresh air in) important?
An infected person releases aerosols and droplets when they talk, breathe, and cough. Although the larger droplets fall on the ground or close surfaces, the smaller ones and aerosols containing the virus remain in the air for a while, especially where there is no ventilation.
Ventilation helps to replace the shared and contaminated air with the air outside. The more ventilated your home is, the more fresh air available to breathe and the fewer chances of someone inhaling contaminated air.
Getting tested with symptoms
If you have common COVID-19 symptoms, including the following, you would need a COVID-19 PCR test near me.
- A high temperature
- A new and continuous cough
- A loss or change in taste or smell (anosmia)
If you have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine and experience symptoms, ensure you still get a COVID-19 PCR test.
Why is getting the test important?
Knowing whether you have the coronavirus is important to know if you need to stay at home and self-isolate, which reduces the risk of spreading the virus. If you are positive, others may have gotten infected through you, especially people you recently had close contact with) and you can identify them easily to advise them to self-isolate. Contact tracing is an important step to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Testing is also important because there is no information about how long immunity after a COVID-19 infection or vaccination lasts.
Self-isolation if you test positive to COVID-19 or have symptoms
Ensure you self-isolate if:
- You test positive for COVID-19
- You show COVID-19 symptoms
Your self-isolation period should start from when you notice the symptoms or the day you take the test if no symptom is present to the next ten days. During self-isolation, you have to remain at home at all times and avoid contact with other people, except in special cases, like when you need medical care.
You may need people to help out with basic chores that take you outside, like shopping and do not invite people to your home during your self-isolation period.
Why is self-isolation important?
If you’ve been told to self-isolate, it means you are at a high risk of spreading the virus to others even if you do not have a symptom or feel unwell. Ensure you follow the laid down guideline during your self-isolation.
If your COVID-19 test result is positive, you must self-isolate immediately and remain in self-isolation for the next ten days because you would be more infectious during this period.
Self-isolating when you had contact or live with an infected person
Ensure you self-isolate immediately if:
- You stay in the same house as someone who has a positive COVID-19 test result or has symptoms and waiting for the test result. Your self-isolation will begin from the day the first infected persons has symptoms or the day the person took the COVID-19 test to the next ten days.
- You are a contact of someone outside your household who tested positive for COVID-19. Your self-isolation period will include the day of the last contact with the person to the next ten days.
Self-isolation means you have to stay home and not leave, except in special situations like seeking medical care.
Why is self-isolating when you had contact or live with an infected person important?
If you recently had contact with someone showing symptoms or has a positive COVID-19 test result, self-isolate for the next ten days after contact with the person, which is how long it takes from exposure to the virus to when symptoms will show(incubation period).
If a healthcare provider instructs you to self-isolate, it means you are at a high risk of having COVID-19 and spreading the virus, even if you have no symptoms and feel well. Following this guidance and completing your self-isolation period is important if you want to keep yourself and other safe
The NHS is offering those with a high risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19 the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine helps to reduce the risk of severe illness, but no evidence is available to show if the vaccine can prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Even if you have gotten the vaccine, you can still contract and spread the virus to others, so to protect yourself and others, continue to follow the COVID-19 safety precautions and get private PCR tests near me if you have COVID-19 symptoms. You can get your COVID-19 PCR test today at Blood London. Call us now on 020 7183 0244 to book for your COVID-19 test.