COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.
Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.
Read more advice about staying at home.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
How coronavirus is spread
Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.
Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.
It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.
How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus
wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
always wash your hands when you get home or into work
use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
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
try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Stay at home
Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:
- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
- one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
- any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home
Guide for pdf vulnerable (55 KB) people
Treatment for coronavirus
There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.
Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.
Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness.
You'll need to stay in isolation, away from other people, until you have recovered.
Due to the increasing number of Coronavirus cases in the UK, the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) has taken a range of measures to ensure that its hospitals, staff and patients remain safe. You can keep up to date with these ongoing updates via this link to their website.
The following resources are available to support people with a learning disability and their families and carers:
- audio Audio (8.24 MB)
- British Sign Language:
We will share further resources as soon as they are available, including material for people with autism. Please head to our folder COVID-19 Resource folder for the full suite of documents available. Follow this link to access our YouTube video library for Coronavirus advice, including BSL.