In this page we will be linking all of the current information about COVID-19. Please navigate using the links on the left to find the information you need.
What is coronavirus?
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.
Visit the NHS website below to find out information on:
- Staying at home to stop the spread of coronavirus
- What to do if you have symptoms (and what those symptoms are
- What to do if you need medical help for another reason
- Advice for people at high risk
And other questions regarding the outbreak.
Public Health Information
Hand washing advice
How to use the NHS
Spot the signs
A message from the Chief Medical Officer
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
We have been asked questions by the public about the type of NHS service they may expect during the Covid-19, also known as coronavirus, pandemic.
For the latest information from the government click here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
The information below is correct as of March 2020. We will endeavour to update it where possible. Most GP surgeries, hospital trusts and so on may operate slightly differently. If you are in doubt, contact your provider by telephone for more information.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
The symptoms of coronavirus infection Covid-19 are:
- A cough
- A high temperature
- A shortness of breath
These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. These can be similar to other illnesses such as the cold and flu.
What do I do if I think you might have coronavirus?
Stay at home.
If you have symptoms of Covid-19, however mild stay at home for 7 days if you have either:
- a high temperature
- a new continuous cough
This will help to protect others in your community while you are infectious.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital even if you suspect you have mild symptoms.
Do I need to tell my GP/call 111 if I have Covid-19 symptoms?
You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home. The NHS will not be testing those self-isolating with mild symptoms.
Stay at home guidance has now been produced and is available by clicking here
How long should I stay at home for if I have symptoms?
If you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days.
If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms.
What should I do if my symptoms worsen?
If your symptoms worsen during home isolation, or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111.
For a medical emergency dial 999.
Is there a specific treatment for coronavirus?
There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.
Current treatment options aim to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness. You are advised to stay in isolation and away from other people until you’ve recovered.
Do I need antibiotics?
Antibiotics do not help, they do not work against viruses.
Can I still visit my GP?
All General Practices are having to alter the way they operate during this unprecedented time.
Do not visit your GP if you have symptoms of coronavirus.
Many GP surgeries are currently running a triage service, which means staff may ask you for symptoms. You may be offered an appointment by telephone or online.
Some face-to-face appointments, for example cervical screening tests, may be delayed. Baby immunisations should continue and patients are asked to follow the guidance given by the GP surgery.
What do I do if I want to see my GP rather than having a telephone appointment?
All GP practices are begin urged to move to a triage-first model as soon as possible. This will help protect patients, staff and reduce risk of the virus spreading.
Currently, unless seeing a patient is clinically-required, patients may be offered an appointment by telephone, video or online to support triage and remote management of patients.
This will mean doctors limit the number of patients they come into contact with and reduce the risk of coming into contact with the virus.
After the triage call, a clinician will decide:
- If the patient needs a home visit
- If the patient needs to come to the surgery,
- Or they can attend an alternative nearby practice.
It is important that patients do not walk into their GP practice, whether that’s to make an appointment, hand in a prescription request or to ask about any other enquiries. All patients are asked to call their surgery first.
Practices are also being allowed to delay over-75 health checks, annual patient reviews and routine medication reviews, possibly until October.
How do I order my repeat prescription if I can’t visit the practice to ask?
GP surgeries are being urged to continue offering a repeat prescription service and they may use more online services. Call your GP surgery by telephone to ask what their policy is and what you can do if you do not have online access.
Can I visit a pharmacy to buy medicine if I suspect I have Covid-19 symptoms?
No, if you suspect you have Covid-19 symptoms you should not leave your house for 7 days, or 14 if you live in a household with someone with symptoms.
Medicines like paracetamol or liquid infant paracetamol may be useful if you/your child has symptoms, but you must ask a friend or relative to obtain it for you. You must not have contact with that person.
Should I still attend the hospital if I have an appointment booked?
Yes, however Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust say they will be contacting patients where changes are necessary. More clinics and appointments may be offered via telephone and video.
Urgent and emergency cases and cancer treatments will be carrying on as normal. Patients with cancer can get the latest update here: https://www.cht.nhs.uk/services/clinical-services/oncology/cancer-and-coronavirus-covid-19/
Routine NHS services will inevitably come under pressure as the coronavirus spreads and every hospital in England has been asked to suspend all non-urgent elective operations from 15 April for at least three months, with some other procedures likely to be rescheduled before then so we can train our staff and adapt certain areas.
Can I still go to the hospital for a blood test?
Currently (23 March) CHFT are operating phlebotomy services as usual.
Do not attend if you have Covid-19 symptoms, or anyone in your household has symptoms.
Can I visit a local hospital if a family member is there?
Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has revised its visiting times. Click here for the latest guidance: https://www.cht.nhs.uk/patients-visitors/visiting-times-from-march-2020/
Click here for the visiting time guidance at Mid Yorkshire Hospital Trusts (Dewsbury): https://www.midyorks.nhs.uk/visiting-restrictions-
Can I still see my dentist?
Do not visit your dentist if you have symptoms of Covid-19.
Dental practices are being urged to reduce the number of routine check-ups by cancelling appointment for patients from vulnerable groups. Others who do not wish to attend can cancel their appointments to reduce the need to travel and have close contact with other people. You should contact your dental surgery to discuss this with them.
Updated guidance given to dental surgeries is that they should not deliver any service to people with potential Covid-19 symptoms or anyone in their household, during the self-isolating period of up to 14 days. This means you may be asked questions when you call to make an appointment.
Patients with urgent dental treatment needs that cannot be delayed, who have Covid-19 symptoms, should be referred to local services which are appropriate. Call your dental surgery or 111 if you think you require this.
Can my dentist strike me off their list if I don’t go for a routine appointment at this time?
Some dental practices require patients to have at least one appointment every 12 months. There is currently no guidance, but due to the unprecedented situation, our office in Calderdale has been told (23 March) it is unlikely anyone will be struck off a dental surgery list if they cannot attend. Patients are advised to call their dental surgery to discuss and book a future appointment.
Looking after your wellbeing while staying at home
Mental Health Foundation (links below).
NHS – Every Mind Matters – Coronavirus and mental wellbeing
Expert advice and practical tips to help people look after their mental health and wellbeing
Samaritans – Call free on 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website
Crisis support for young people – If you are under 35 and feel that life is not worth living any more, call Papyrus’s HopelineUK from 9am to 10pm weekdays and 2pm to 10pm on weekends.
Call HopelineUK on 0800 068 41 41
Text 07786 209697
CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for people in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason.
Call 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)
Free, anonymous webchat with trained staff
Calderdale and Kirklees Single Point of Access (adults):
Click here for the latest from the service provider: https://www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk/services/single-point-of-access-2/
Terms being used:
What is self-isolation, and how do I do it?
Self-isolation is about protecting others and slowing down the spread of COVID-19. It is very important that anyone who has the virus, or might have been exposed to it, limits the number of people they come into contact with. This is the most effective way of preventing the coronavirus from spreading.
Social distancing can include things like temporarily reducing socialising in public places such as entertainment or sports events, reducing use of non-essential public transport or recommending more home working.
What is social distancing? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Hi9-5F2zW4
How can I help my local community during this time?
If you are able to volunteer your time to help the local community, please follow the link here https://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/advice-support-and-sharing/covid-19-community-response.aspx to sign up.
Alternatively you can call 01484 226919
If you would like a printable copy of the kindness cards which can be pushed through neighbours letter boxes, please click here https://healthwatchkirklees.sharepoint.com/:w:/s/data/EXLsp9syHwRIisOmsF9zrzsBf4NZ4RhmMBJ9LuoOPGQCYw?e=Ikb5fd
How do I get help from volunteers if I am unwell or self isolating?
If you need some additional help from volunteers at this time Kirklees Council are asking people to contact them via phone 01484 226919 or complete the online form here https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd3EQl47AbxXd7cv-vcLgkabjr7yhSfPzb2ofX3110dGhRydg/viewform