We understand that many of you will have concerns about the coronavirus outbreak and be wondering how to respond.
We are monitoring the situation carefully and will continue to do so. Our best advice is to follow the government guidance which is regularly updated.
At the moment the best advice is to take careful hygiene precautions that would protect you from any infection, such as washing hands regularly (the virus has a fatty outer layer so soap and water really is the best defence because it breaks down the outer layer of the virus). Using Dettol wipes (the variety which kills flu virus) to regularly wipe down surfaces, door handles, and use anti flu hand sanitiser when you can’t get to soap and water quickly.
First Defence has been shown to be of some value in protecting against colds and flu and can be obtained from pharmacies. There has been no official comment on whether this would be of any benefit against the coronavirus. Hence you could make your own decision as to whether you would like to use it or not. It is a nasal spray.
In addition other viruses are still around this time of year e.g. the flu virus. If you have not been vaccinated against them either on the NHS or privately you may wish to consider doing so. This is because you want to be as fit and well as possible if you are exposed to the coronavirus and there is a possibility currently you could get both at the same time.
Unless you have travelled to the affected areas identified in the guidance (currently Wuhan city and Hubei Province - China, Iran, Daegu or Cheongdo - Republic of Korea, Any Italian town under containment measures, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Italy: north, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam - but please check the government website as guidance is changing), then you do not need to do anything further at the moment.
We appreciate that some of you with underlying health conditions, such as having breathing issues, COPD, etc. may choose to take additional precautions such as avoiding crowded places, public transport, shaking hands and getting too close to other people although there is no advice that you should do so at the moment.
We know many of you love to travel, so if you have been to any of the affected areas and are experiencing symptoms of fever and shortness of breath, do call 111 or 999 as per the guidance.
If you are planning to travel then click here for the best current advice. If you wish to decide against travelling then unless the Foreign office has advised against travelling currently your medical insurance will probably not pay out. However, if you are caught in a country that does have coronavirus and you are asked to quarantine then most reputable insurances will pay for your extended stay.
None of the Trust staff have travelled to any of the affected areas and we have no reason to believe any of them have been in contact with anyone at risk of having the virus. However we do have a contingency plan in place to allow us to respond in case of staff sickness.
We do not feel there is any need to change any arranged HNAs or other visits to you at the current time however, we will understand if you feel differently and want to postpone a visit.
Last updated: 4 march 2020