Health and care services remain open to help people with all health conditions, including COVID-19.
The majority of people experience relatively mild symptoms that can be dealt with at home with rest and over the counter medicines.
If you do want to speak to a health professional about symptoms you are concerned about but it is not an emergency, contact the NHS 111 online COVID-19 service. If you have no internet access, phone by dialing 111. You can also contact your own local GP service.
Seek prompt medical attention if your illness or the illness of someone in your household is worsening. If it is a medical emergency and you need to call an ambulance, dial 999.
- NHS - helpful guide for treating the main symptoms of Coronavirus
- If you think you need to visit an urgent care centre, hospital or GP, the local NHS are advising people to call NHS 111 before visiting hospital or urgent care centres.
Plan meals for 10 days
If possible, have a small stock of tins, jars and dried food that could be used to make an easy meal if you were unable to get to the shops or had to wait for an online delivery.
- Can you register for online food shopping? You may need to use a different shop than you normally go to if the delivery slots are busy with your regular supermarket. Don’t forget your local shops may also be willing to deliver if you give them a call. Lots of local businesses have adapted their service and are happy to drop off on the doorstep.
- Ask friends or family to drop off anything you need or order supplies online or by phone, making sure these are left outside your home for you to collect. Most major supermarkets offer ‘click and collect’ slots where you can order and pay online and arrange a time slot for your family or friends to pick up – often quicker than waiting for a delivery slot.
- If you are struggling to get food, please ask for help. If you can’t get a delivery or don’t have anyone to ask to drop off essential food items, please call the Knowsley Support and Volunteer Line (0800 073 0043)
- The NHS Change4Life website has lots of good health advice for all the family including child friendly recipes for meals and snacks.
- Making use of what you have in the cupboards will help you stretch supplies and you can check out lovefoodhatewaste.com which has lots of inspiration for using leftovers and what you might already have in the fridge and cupboards.
- There are also lots of good food ideas on the BBC Food website including lots of budget recipes.
The majority of people who experience Covid-19 symptoms are able to manage at home with over the counter medicines e.g. paracetamol, plenty of rest, fluids and good general self-care.
- Have a simple and cheap first aid kit - the NHS has a helpful guide as to the items we should all keep in our medicine cabinet. Most of these items can be bought very cheaply at supermarkets, pharmacies and lots of discount stores. Always store medicine in a safe and secure place, away from children and pets.
- Prescription medicines - your local pharmacy should be able to help with delivery of any medications that you need if you are unable to leave the house.
- If you or someone you know is struggling with getting their prescriptions or other medicines, you can contact the NHS volunteer responders on 0808 196 3646.
If you normally care for others such as older relatives or other members of family or friends, you should not continue to do this whilst you are in self isolation. If the person being cared for is not a positive case or a contact of a positive case, you need to ask someone you trust to take over.
If you need additional support call the Knowsley Support and Volunteer Line (0800 073 0043).
£500 Test and Trace Support payment
If you are on certain benefits or low income, you may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support payment of £500. If you have been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for Coronavirus Covid-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period: apply online.
- If you are worried about paying your bills due to loss of income due to Coronavirus, you can find out about help that may be available through the Government’s Coronavrius advice service
- The Money Advice Service is a free and impartial service set up by the Government with lots of useful information and advice including help with debt, budgeting and lots more. You can also talk to an adviser by phone and online.
- You can also look for advice on money, benefits and support via the Knowsley Council website
- If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax, please give our team a call on 0151 443 4476.
Staying at home and self-isolating for a prolonged period can be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some.
There are lots of things you can do that can help you to feel a bit better and to cope with a period of self-isolation. Try and be kind to yourself, these are tough times that are testing us all so find something that works for you and your family to help you get through.
- Take the NHS mind plan quiz – answer 5 short questions and get a personalised plan to help you deal with stress and anxiety, boost your mood and feel more in control.
- Have a read of the NHS guide to Coronavirus and mental health
- Ask for help if you need it. We are in very difficult times and even if you have never asked for help before, don’t be afraid to ask for help or support. You can contact Healthy Knowsley.
- Children and young people can be particularly affected by not seeing their friends or being able to go to school. The Government has published a helpful guide for parents and carers of children and young people, which has a range of resources including how to talk to children about the Coronavirus pandemic.
- If you need help with mental health right now, you can call the free 24/7 mental health crisis line on 0800 051 1508.
- In crisis and need support, sometimes it’s easier to text than talk. Text SHOUT to 85258 for free confidential support.
If you’re self isolating, it can be even more difficult to look after your physical health and focus on fitness. If you are feeling unwell, you should be resting and looking after yourself as much as possible. The NHS has an excellent guide for treating symptoms of Coronavirus.
If you don’t have symptoms or are feeling better, there are some things you can do to support your physical health during a period of self-isolation including:
- Try and get plenty of sleep. This is very important and helps our bodies to cope with illness. Have a look at the NHS website for a guide to sleeping well and tiredness.
- The NHS also has free fitness instructor videos with a range of workouts suitable for all abilities and to support certain conditions or challenges that you can do at home or in the garden if you have one.
It is not inevitable that other members of your family will catch Coronavirus even if they live in the same house. There are lots of actions you can take to minimise the risk including:
- Try to use a separate room and bathroom to the other members of your family if you can. Having a bathroom rota can be helpful with priority for any elderly or vulnerable family members.
- Avoid using shared spaces such as kitchens and other living areas while others are present and take your meals back to your room to eat. Observe strict social distancing.
- If a separate bathroom is not available, clean after use, particularly taps and toilet flush buttons/levers.
- Use separate towels from other family members
- Get fresh air into rooms regularly
- Use a face mask if you can’t avoid spending time in shared areas inside your home to minimise the risk of spread to others. It might seem extreme to wear a mask indoors but it can help if someone in the family is positive for Coronavirus.
In addition to your normal cleaning routine, there are some extra things to think about if someone in the family has Covid-19 symptoms or has tested positive.
- Regularly clean frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles and remote controls, and shared areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.
- Many cleaning and disinfectant products available in most supermarkets are effective at killing the Coronavirus on surfaces.
- Clean shared bathrooms each time they are used, especially the surfaces you have touched, using your usual bathroom cleaning products.
- Cleaning cloths and personal waste such as used tissues and disposable face coverings should be stored in disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and 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.
- Use a dishwasher to clean and dry your crockery and cutlery if possible. If not, wash them by hand using standard washing up liquid. Dry dishes thoroughly using a separate clean tea towel.
- To reduce the possibility of spreading the virus through the air, do not shake dirty laundry. Wash items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. All dirty laundry can be washed in the same load. If you do not have a washing machine, wait a further 72 hours after your self-isolation has ended when you can then take the laundry to a public launderette.
- Avoid sharing games consoles and other equipment
- Do not share towels, including hand towels and tea towels.
- Whilst it might be chilly outside, it is important to try and get some fresh air circulating in your home as much as possible as it can help to reduce the risk of Coronavirus spreading.
- Make sure that any vents are open and airflow is not blocked
- Leave extractor fans (for example in bathrooms) running for longer than usual with the door closed after use
- If self-isolating, you should not leave your house to walk dogs or other pets that require exercise. You are able to ask someone else to walk your pet but advise them that you are self isolating and ask that they bring their own lead/bags etc.
- Pet owners who have COVID-19 or who are self-isolating with symptoms should restrict contact with pets and wash their hands thoroughly before and after interacting with their pet. This is because, like other surfaces, the Coronavirus may survive on your pet’s fur for a short time. It is unlikely that you pet will become ill due to Covid-19.
- The PDSA has an excellent guide for pet owners covering a wide range of things to consider if you have pets and need to self-isolate.
- You should not visit the vet with your pet whilst you are self-isolating. If your pet urgently needs care, contact your vet to discuss safe ways for them to be able to treat your pet.