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Staying safe during Covid-19

Staying safe during the Covid-19 pandemic

There are a number of steps we can all take to stay safe during the pandemic. You can find more information below.

For advice on Covid-19 in other languages, including Punjabi, Polish and Urdu, please visit the Doctors of the World website.

See the latest statistics in the local area on the Covid-19 Dashboard page on the Berkshire Public Health website

Stay up-to-date with the latest information about Covid-19 in the Wokingham Borough by signing up to our newsletter.

Read more about the current restrictions and what you can and cannot do on the Gov.uk website.

Understanding the symptoms

You must stay at home if you have Covid-19 symptoms - check visit the NHS website for the latest advice. The symptoms are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new continuous cough
  • A loss/change in your normal sense of smell or taste

If you have symptoms and have not had a test, stay at home and get a test to check if you have Covid-19 as soon as possible.

For more support, check out this advice page from the NHS on How to treat coronavirus symptoms at home.

There are general principles you can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Washing your hands more often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitiser when you get home or into work, when you blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home

Watch the video on hand washing from the NHS:

Social distancing guidelines

  • One of the best ways to stay safe and stop the spread of Covid-19 is to follow social distancing rules. Please visit the Gov.uk website for more information on staying safe outside your home.

Work from home if you can

  • Everyone who can work from home should continue to do so
  • If you are unable to work from home, plan your journey to avoid crowds

Staying safe in the workplace

  • You can lower the risks of transmission in the workplace by reducing the number of people you come into contact with regularly, where you can
  • Businesses should also take reasonable steps to avoid people being gathered together. For example, by allowing the use of more entrances and exits, and staggering entrance and exit, where possible

If you are aware of a business, venue or person(s) that you believe isn't keeping to the Covid-19 rules, let us know by completing our Covid-19 query online form so we can investigate and act accordingly

If you have any concerns around fraudsters abusing Covid support , please visit the Covid-19 Fraud Hotline website

What is an outbreak?

An ‘outbreak’ is a situation in which two or more persons have the same disease, and where there is a time, place and/or person association between these individuals.  An outbreak may also be defined as a situation where the number of cases exceeds the expected number. An incident may warrant further investigation to manage the risk and implement further public health measures.

The successful management of local outbreaks is a core element of breaking the Covid-19 transmission. Our local decision makers are empowered to take local action where needed. Local Authorities have a duty to produce an Outbreak Control Plan overseen by Public Health England which sets out how to prevent, contain and manage outbreaks.

What do I do if I am feeling unwell?

Do not go to your GP Surgery or any other medical setting. If you are showing symptoms of Covid-19, please self-isolate and, if you need further support, dial 111 to follow NHS guidance.  Full details can be found on the NHS website.

If you have difficulty breathing please phone 999 immediately.

If I am feeling unwell, can I be tested?

If you have developed symptoms within the last 72 hours you can be tested (the test is not effective otherwise). 

Symptomatic residents can apply via the NHS website, or by telephoning 119, to either be tested at a regional testing site, mobile testing unit, or receive a home testing kit

Essential workers can self-refer through the NHS website or employers are able to sign-up and refer  staff through the ‘employer referral portal’

Care homes can request whole-home testing for all residents (irrespective of symptoms) and asymptomatic staff via the Gov.uk website

Acute hospital patients and staff (including those who are asymptomatic, where indicated by clinical need) will be tested in the hospital setting

I am concerned about someone who is homeless – what can I do?

Guidance and details of support are available on our homelessness page.

I have a business in Wokingham and need help and support. What should I do?

Full guidance and details of support are available on our Covid-19 advice for businesses page.

Covid Community Information Champions

To ensure that everyone in the borough has the information they need to safely go about their day-to-day life during the pandemic, we’ve launched a Covid Community Information Champion initiative.

We’re seeking champions who can help us get accurate information into the community. Anybody can become a champion, but we are particularly keen on hearing from people who have large networks of contacts . Here’s how it works:

  • We’ll email weekly with the latest information from our Public Health team about Covid-19    
  • Share this with anyone in your community, however you want  
  • Ask questions and let us know what is and isn’t working through our Covid-19 query online form        
        

We have also produced a digital welcome pack (PDF document) for our Champions to use. We will update this as, and when, it is necessary.

To get involved, sign up to our newsletter, enter your email address and select ‘Covid Community Information Champions’ on the next page. If you’d like to use imagery when promoting any of the messages you receive from us, feel free to use our Latest information from your Covid Community Information Champion image (PDF document) too.

For more information, scroll please read the following 'Covid Community Information Champions FAQs':

What is a Covid Community Information Champion and can anyone sign up?

Covid Community Information Champions are volunteers who will help to provide Wokingham Borough residents, including friends, family and other community members, with up-to-date and accurate information on Covid-19. We’re specifically inviting representatives from key groups to sign-up to become Champions, although the scheme is open to all.

What will my role as a Covid Community Information Champion involve?

You will be empowered to become a point of contact within your community (family, friends, neighbourhood, place of worship, community organisation etc.) and will be able to pass on the key Covid-19 messages to your contacts.

All you will need to do is share the information we send you with your community - friends, family, colleagues or other contacts - in whichever way you want.

As a Champion, you may also receive information from your community and contacts and we ask that you pass that back to us via our dedicated online form.

How will I receive the information I need to share with my friends, family, and community?

Your welcome pack will be full of useful information on Covid-19, including social distancing rules, self-isolation guidance, the support available from Wokingham Borough Community Response, and more.

As a Covid Community Information Champion, you’ll be signed up to receive a weekly e-bulletin with the latest key messages and insights from our Public Health team. You will also be sent links to social media assets that you will be able to use in any online community groups.

We are in the progress of organising virtual video conference sessions for Champions to join.

Will we be able to feedback on what is and isn’t working?

Absolutely. Champions will have the opportunity to feedback and submit any questions they might have via an online feedback form. We’ll use these insights to help shape our weekly e-bulletins and also look to arrange a video conference session where we can address any commonly asked questions. 

Will I be responsible for enforcing against any breaches of social distancing rules?

No – this is not an enforcement or regulatory role. We have a team of trained officers who are helping with this. However, if you do know of any breaches of social distancing rules, whether they’re committed by a business, venue, or person, you can report it on our dedicated online form. 

How can I apply to become a Covid Community Information Champion?

Simply enter your email on our newsletter sign-up page and select ‘Covid Community Information Champions’ on the next page. You’ll receive your first e-bulletin in the next couple of weeks, including a link to a handy information pack. 

What happens if I want to withdraw from being a Covid Community Information Champion?

That’s no problem. Simply unsubscribe from the emails that we send you by clicking the button at the bottom and we will ensure that your information is removed from the database.

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