Last Update 24 Aug 2020
What do I do if I think I might have coronavirus?
If you think you might have coronavirus or you’ve been in close contact with someone who has it:
- stay at home and avoid close contact with other people
- do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
- use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next
The 111 coronavirus service will tell you if you need to continue to stay at home (self-isolate) or if you need medical help.
If you’ve recently travelled abroad, see the coronavirus advice for travellers to find out what to do.
Further information is available on nhs.uk/coronavirus.
Do I need to wear a face covering?
Face coverings are now mandatory in public transport and shops and several other public places. The guidance is here (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own)
There are a few people who can be exempt on medical grounds which are listed in the guidance above. If this applies to you, you can find details of the exemption process in the link. GPs are not involved in this decision.
We are confident that there is good evidence to support the use of face coverings to protect others from transmission of coronavirus. We ask that everyone attending the surgery wears a face covering. The only exceptions are very small children and those with valid medical reasons not to wear one.
What is track and trace?
Track and trace is the NHS service set up to identify those who have been in contact with a person who has had coronavirus. This may not be someone you know, but simply someone you have come into contact by chance. If you are contacted by NHS track and trace, you should self isolate for 14 days. As long as you have no symptoms, other members of your household or support bubble are not required to self isolate. Here are further details.
Should I have a coronavirus test?
If you have symptoms of fever and general unwellness, particularly if you have a cough or breathing problems or a loss of sense of smell, but sometimes also if you don’t have these symptoms, we would encourage you to arrange a test. It is always better to know. This cannot be done through the GP practice. You will need to contact NHS 11 directly. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested
If you have been in contact with someone who has got coronavirus, you must self isolate for 14 days. If you develop symptoms, you should arrange for a test. A negative test sooner than 14 days does not mean you can return to work or usual social contacts any more quickly.
Can I have a coronavirus antibody test?
Although antibody testing is available, we are not offering it at the practice, unless there is a clinical reason determined by a GP. Although many people are curious to know whether they have had coronavirus in the past, an antibody test cannot reliably tell you this. Many people who have had coronavirus have a negative antibody test. We also do not know whether having antibodies against coronavirus will protect a person from getting the disease again.