There are some really good websites available with national
advice and guidance should you have any concerns or queries. We are
sharing below the latest guidance for your information. We will
continue to keep this site updated with both national information
and any information relating to our own Trust as required.
Stay at home if you have coronavirus
Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at
USE THE 111 CORONAVIRUS ONLINE SERVICE IF:
Only call 111 if you cannot get help
ADVICE ABOUT STAYING AT HOME
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild
Who this guidance is for
This advice is intended for people with symptoms of coronavirus
(COVID-19), including those with a diagnosis of coronavirus
(COVID-19) infection, who must remain at home until they are
Will I be tested if I think I have
We will not be testing those self-isolating with mild symptoms.
The following advice is designed to help people prevent the
Why has the advice on self-isolation changed from 14
days to 7 days?
The 14 day period is for those who have had exposure to a
confirmed case but have not shown symptoms. The 14 days represents
the potential incubation period (the time it takes for symptoms to
show if you have been infected).
Most people will no longer be likely to transmit the virus 7
days after the onset of symptoms. You do not need to call NHS111 to
go into self-isolation. If your symptoms persist past 7 days you
should contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no
internet access, you should call NHS 111.
Why staying at home is very important
It is very important that you stay at home whilst you have
coronavirus (COVID-19). This will help to protect your friends,
colleagues and the wider community and will help control the spread
of the virus.
We realise that staying at home may be difficult or frustrating,
but there are things that you can do to help make it easier. These
While you are staying at home, make sure you do the
Stay at home
You should remain in your home. Do not go to work, school, or
public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis. You cannot
go for a walk.
You will need to ask friends or relatives if you require help
with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication.
Alternatively, you can order medication by phone or online. You can
also order your shopping online. Make sure you tell delivery
drivers to leave items outside for collection if you order online.
The delivery driver should not come into your home.
At home, try as best you can to separate yourself from
the people you live with
You should aim to stay in a well-ventilated room with a window
that can be opened. Try to keep the window open as much as possible
to enable ventilation and air flow as this will help to keep clean
air moving through your room.
Try to separate yourself from other people in your home and keep
the door closed. If you cannot stay in a separate room aim to keep
2 metres (3 steps) away from the other people in your house. We
understand that this can be particularly difficult for parents of
small children, people with other caring responsibilities or those
living in studio apartments, for example.
Further advice can be found below. Try to keep yourself
separated from other people as much as possible, and make sure
everyone regularly follows the steps in this guidance (washing your
hands, not touching your face, cleaning surfaces etc.).
Use your own toothbrushes, eating and drinking utensils
(including cups and glasses in the bathroom and bedroom), dishes,
drinks, towels, washcloths or bed linen.
If you have your own garden it is fine to use it as long as you
keep 2 metres away from other members of your household. If
possible they should use the outside area separately.
Use of shared spaces if you live with
Minimise the time you spend in shared spaces such as kitchens,
bathrooms and sitting areas as much as possible and keep shared
spaces well ventilated.
Aim to keep 2 metres (3 steps) away from people you live with
and sleep in a different bed where possible. If you can, use a
separate bathroom from the rest of the household. Make sure you use
separate towels from other people in your house, both for drying
yourself after bathing or showering and for hand-hygiene purposes.
Ask your family or the people you live with to remember to use
their own towels.
If you do share toilet and bathroom, it is important that you
clean them after you have used them every time (for example, wiping
surfaces you have come into contact with). Another tip is to
consider drawing up a rota for bathing, with you using the
facilities last, before thoroughly cleaning the bath, sink and
If you share a kitchen with others, avoid using it while others
are present. Take your meals back to your room to eat. If you have
one, use a dishwasher to clean and dry your used crockery and
cutlery. If this is not possible, wash them using your usual
washing up liquid and warm water and dry them thoroughly,
remembering to use a separate tea towel.
We understand that it will be difficult for some people to
separate themselves from others at home. You should do your very
best to follow this guidance and everyone in your household should
regularly wash their hands, avoid touching their face and clean
frequently touched surfaces.
What if I am living alone with my children?
Keep following this advice to the best of your ability, however
we are aware that not all these measures will be possible.
What we have seen so far is that children with COVID-19 appear
to be less severely affected. It is nevertheless important to do
your best to follow this guidance.
If your child develops symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7
days from the onset of their symptoms.
What if I live with an older, vulnerable or pregnant
If you provide care to an elderly, vulnerable or pregnant
person, keep following this advice to the best of your ability.
However, we are aware that not all of these measures will be
What if I am breastfeeding while infected?
There is currently no clinical evidence to suggest that the
virus can be transmitted through breast milk. Infection can be
spread to the baby in the same way as to anyone in close contact
with you. We believe that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh
any potential risks of transmission of the virus through breast
milk or by being in close contact; however this will be an
individual decision and can be discussed with your midwife, health
visitor or GP by telephone.
If you wish to breastfeed, you should take precautions to limit
potential spread of COVID-19 to the baby:
If you are feeding with formula or expressed milk, you should
sterilise the equipment carefully before each use. You should not
share bottles or a breast pump with someone else.
You can find more information at the
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Cleaning and disposal of waste
When cleaning you should use your usual household products, like
detergents and bleach as these will be very effective at getting
rid of the virus on surfaces. Clean frequently touched
Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning
cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These
bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept
separate from other waste within your own room. This should be put
aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external
household waste bin.
Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.
Do not shake dirty laundry; this minimises the possibility of
dispersing virus through the air.
Wash items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer's
instructions. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an ill
person can be washed with other people's items.
If you do not have a washing machine, wait a further 72 hours
after your 7 day isolation period has ended when you can then take
your laundry to a public laundromat.
What you can do to help yourself get better
Drink water to keep yourself hydrated; you should drink enough
during the day so your urine (pee) is a pale clear colour. You can
use over-the-counter medications, such as paracetamol, to help with
some of your symptoms. Use these according to the instructions on
the packet or label and do not exceed the recommended dose.
If you need to seek medical advice
Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening. If
it's not an emergency, contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you
have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. If it is an
emergency and you need to call an ambulance, dial 999 and inform
the call handler or operator that you have coronavirus
All routine medical and dental appointments should usually be
cancelled whilst you are sick and staying at home. If you are
concerned or have been asked to attend in person within the period
you are home isolating, discuss this with your medical contact
first (for example, your GP, local hospital or outpatient service),
using the number they have provided. If your concerns are related
to COVID-19 contact NHS 111 online. If you have
no internet access, you should call NHS 111.
Wash your hands often
Cleaning your hands frequently throughout the day by washing
with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser will
help protect you and the people you live with. This step is one of
the most effective ways of reducing the risk of infection to you
and to other people.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough
If you have a carer they should take care to use disposable
tissues to wipe away any mucus or phlegm after you have sneezed or
Dispose of tissues into a disposable rubbish bag and immediately
wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser.
We do not recommend the use of facemasks as an effective means
of preventing the spread of infection. Facemasks play an important
role in clinical settings, such as hospitals, but there's very
little evidence of benefit from their use outside of these
settings. However if you receive external care you may be asked to
wear a mask to minimise the risk to your carer.
Do not have visitors in your home
Do not invite or allow social visitors, such as friends and
family, to enter your home. If you want to speak to someone who is
not a member of your household, use the phone or social media.
If you have pets in the household
At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets
such as dogs and cats can be infected with coronavirus
Looking after your wellbeing whilst staying at
We know that staying at home for a prolonged period of time can
be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some people and that you
may feel low. It's important to remember to take care of your mind
as well as your body and to get support if and when you need it.
Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social
media. There are also sources of support and information that can
Think about things you can do during your time at home. People
who have successfully completed a period of staying at home have
kept themselves busy with activities such as cooking, reading,
online learning and watching films. If you feel well enough you can
take part in light exercise within your home or garden.
You should remain at home until 7 days after the onset of your
symptoms. After 7 days, if you feel better and no longer have a
high temperature, you can return to your normal routine. If you
have not had any signs of improvement and have not already sought
medical advice, you should contact NHS 111 online. If you have
no internet access, you should call NHS 111.
Cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the
coronavirus infection having cleared. A persistent cough alone does
not mean you must continue to self-isolate for more than 7
'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after
and very impressed.'
Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital