Questions and answers

The questions covered in this section are:

  • What is Coronavirus?
  • What are the symptoms of Coronavirus and what should I do if I'm worried that I have Coronavirus?
  • How can I stop myself catching Coronavirus?
  • Who is at high risk of getting seriously ill from Coronavirus and what does 'shielding' mean?
  • How do I find out what the infection rate (the R rating) for coronavirus is in my region?
  • How do I get a coronavirus test? 
  • What is test and trace? 
  • How can I access NHS services online?
  • My outpatient appointment at the hospital has been changed to a video consultation, what should I expect?
  • I want to visit someone in hospital - where can I find the latest guidance?
  • How does Coronavirus affect pregnant women?
  • What can and can't I do during the Coronavirus outbreak?
  • What does social isolation mean?
  • What does social distancing mean?
  • Should I wear a face covering?
  • How do I access food and support if I’m self-isolating, shielding or I’m in financial hardship?
  • I'm an unpaid carer how should I protect myself and the person I care for?
  • I am experiencing domestic abuse, where can I get help?
  • I am not able to work during the Coronavirus epidemic, what should I do?
  • I own a business and am concerned about loss of income during the Coronavirus epidemic
  • I would like to volunteer to support the NHS, how do I do this?
  • Can I still give blood?
  • I need my car to get me to work but the MOT is due to expire very soon. I cannot get it booked into a garage. What can I do?

Health

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus (Covid-19) is an infectious disease. Most people infected with the Covid-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. More information at the World Health Organisation.

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus and what should I do if I’m worried that I have Coronavirus?

The symptoms are either:

  • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
  • A loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste.

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do. Only call 111 if you are unable to get help online.  

You can find out more information on the NHS website.

How can I stop myself catching Coronavirus?

People can catch Coronavirus from others who have the virus. This happens when an infected person sneezes or coughs, sending tiny droplets into the air. These can land in the nose, mouth, or eyes of someone nearby, or be breathed in. People also can get infected if they touch an infected droplet on a surface and then touch their own nose, mouth, or eyes.

To prevent yourself catching Coronavirus: 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home, before you eat or handle food, after you blow your nose, cough or sneeze and after using the toilet or changing a nappy.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

You can find further advice from the NHS website.

Washing hands for 20 seconds is central to preventing and slowing the spread of Coronavirus. You can view the best way to wash your hands on the NHS website.

Who is at high risk of getting seriously ill from Coronavirus and what does ‘shielding’ mean?

Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others.

With Covid-19 being a new virus, we’re continuing to learn about its transmission. Having looked at other respiratory illnesses, and other countries, around 2.2 million clinically extremely vulnerable people in England with underlying severe health conditions needed to be protected from coronavirus and were advised to follow shielding guidance. These were people of all ages - with specific medical conditions identified by the NHS - who are at greater risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

The Government is relaxing advice to those shielding in two stages. From Monday 6 July, those shielding can spend time outdoors in a group of up to six people (including those outside of their household). Extra care should be taken to minimise contact with others by maintaining social distancing. This can be in a public outdoor space, or in a private garden or uncovered yard or terrace.  

All adults, including the clinically extremely vulnerable, who live alone or with dependent children only can form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble can spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight.  

From Saturday 1 August, advice to those shielding will be further relaxed. The Government is writing out to everyone who has been advised to shield to inform them of the changes in guidance.

More information can be found in this explainer (opens document).

Shielding.png

How do I find out what the infection rate (the R rating) for coronavirus is in my region?

You can find regular updates and forecasts of Covid-19 infections and deaths from the Cambridge/Public Health England Joint Modelling Team website.

How do I get a coronavirus test? 

You can book a test via the NHS website.

What is test and trace?

You can find out all you need to know about test and trace from the Gov.uk website.

How can I access NHS services online?

You can find out more information about how to access NHS services online at NHS Health at home

My outpatient appointment at the hospital has been changed to a video consultation, what should I expect?

Read this information sheet (opens document) produced by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

I want to visit someone in hospital - where can I find the latest guidance?

The guidance on visiting someone in hospital is subject to change and each hospital has its own policy. It is best to check their website. See the Royal Derby Hospital website and Chesterfield Royal website.

How does Coronavirus affect pregnant women?

You can find useful leaflets from NHS England on looking after yourself and your baby during the coronavirus pandemic and planning your birth.

This video, produced by the Royal College of Midwives, shares information on the effects of the infection, appointments and maternity services. Please click here.

Social and domestic

What can and can’t I do during the Coronavirus outbreak?

The Government has produced some useful guidance on what you can and cannot do during the Coronavirus outbreak covering when you are allowed to leave the house, for example, can you go to the park to take your dog for a walk? See the Gov.uk guidance.

What does social isolation mean?

Self-isolation helps stop Coronavirus spreading. Do not leave your home if you have symptoms of Coronavirus or live with someone who does.

This is called self-isolation. There is strict guidance as to how long you should self-isolate if you have symptoms of Coronavirus, or live with someone who does, these can be found on the NHS website.

What does social distancing mean?

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of Coronavirus. You can find guidance on the Gov.uk website.

Should I wear a face covering? 

If you can, wear a face covering in an enclosed space where social distancing is not possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas, for example, on public transport or in some shops. You can find more information from the gov.uk website.

You can find information about how to make and wear a face covering from the gov.uk website.

How do I access food and support if I’m self-isolating, shielding or I’m in financial hardship?

Ask family, friends and neighbours to support you and use online services. If this is not possible, then the public sector, business, charities and the general public are gearing up to help those advised to stay at home. Please discuss your daily needs during this period of staying at home with carers, family, friends, neighbours or local community groups to see how they can support you. 

Please visit the Gov.uk website which is a register for the extremely vulnerable and it will help you get the support you need. This includes help with food, shopping deliveries and additional care you might need.

The Government is helping pharmacies to deliver prescriptions. Prescriptions will continue to cover the same length of time as usual. If you do not currently have your prescriptions collected or delivered, you can arrange this by:

  • Asking someone who can pick up your prescription from the local pharmacy (this is the best option, if possible)
  • Contacting your pharmacy to ask them to help you find a volunteer (who will have been ID checked) or deliver it to you
  • You may also need to arrange for collection or delivery of hospital specialist medication that is prescribed to you by your hospital care team.

You can find more information on the Gov.uk website.

Derbyshire County Council’s public health team has produced a summary of information (opens document) on food access and support and how to access that support in the county.

We have two community response units in Derbyshire. Both of these services offer support to people who are vulnerable and/or self-isolating, aided by volunteers. Referrals for help and to volunteer can be made by phone or online, see: 

I’m an unpaid carer how should I protect myself and the person I care for?

There is guidance on the Gov.uk website.

I am experiencing domestic abuse, where can I get help?

This information sheet (opens document) has guidance and local and national contact details. There is also information and useful weblinks in this poster (opens document).

Work

I am not able to work during the Coronavirus epidemic, what should I do?

You can get advice on what you should do if you are unable to work on the Gov.uk website.

I own a business and I’m concerned about loss of income during the coronavirus epidemic

You can find information on the Gov.uk website on help for businesses.

Supporting the NHS

I would like to volunteer to support the NHS, how do I do this?

You can register your interest and look at the roles available on the GoodSam website.

Can I still give blood?

NHS Blood and Transplant are working with the rest of the NHS to keep supplying lifesaving blood to hospitals during the Coronavirus pandemic.

We need people to keep donating blood as normal. Giving blood saves lives. If you are fit and well, please try to keep your appointment or book for the future. Donor centres are open, extra safety measures are in place, and staff are taking special measures to provide a clean and safe space for you. 

Hospitals need our blood supply now and in the coming weeks more than ever.

Other

I need my car to get me to work, but the MOT is due to expire very soon. I cannot get it booked into a garage. What can I do?

The Government has announced that from 30 March 2020 MOT due dates for cars, motorcycles and light vans will be extended by six months.

It is still the owner’s responsibility to make sure the vehicle is roadworthy as you can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get three penalty points for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition. More information on the Gov.uk website.