How to avoid catching coronavirus

Reducing infection rate


There are currently no treatments to cure COVID19 or vaccines to prevent the disease. As cases rise again around the UK it is vital that we do all we can to stop infection. This is especially important as we do more ‘normal’ things like see friends and family, go out and importantly, get our kids to school.

Act as if you are infectious and your behaviours will also protect you from others.

Thankfully there are a number of things that can be done to reduce the transmission of the virus.

What causes the spread?

Generally, coronaviruses and other respiratory viruses are spread through droplets or on surfaces. Droplets are created when an infected person sneezes, coughs, talks and breaths. Surface contamination can happen when someone with the virus touches an object or an airborne virus lands.  By following the general principles listed below you will help prevent coronavirus and other diseases like flu.

1. Avoid people who are unwell

It sounds straightforward but one of the easiest things to do to break the transmission, is avoid close contact with anyone who is unwell. Please encourage them to self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days and get tested if they have COVID19 symptoms. We MUST also self-isolate if we feel ill.

2. Wash, wash, wash …

Viruses can be easily picked up from contaminated surfaces, so you should wash your hands often (and properly) with soap and water, or alcohol sanitiser. This will help prevent the spread of germs and is especially important where there are lots of other people. This includes public transport, shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs and gyms. Wash you hands when you come home from being outside, always before eating and of course after going to the toilet (you do this anyway right?).

If you have unwashed hands, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as this can greatly increase your risk of infection. It is recommended that you also clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched to kill any potential germs.

Gloves are not necessary unless you are in a healthcare setting caring for people. Gloves can actually increase the risk of transmission if not used properly.

3. Catch it, bin it, kill it!

You should carry a tissue with you to catch your coughs or sneezes to prevent surfaces becoming contaminated. As viruses can live on tissues for hours, bin the tissue as soon as possible once used. Your hands can easily transfer the virus, so remember to wash your hands frequently and always after a sneeze, cough or handling a tissue.

4. Wear a face mask

Face masks play an important role in minimising the spread of the virus in the air. They protect others if you have the virus (which is a selfless thing to do) and protect you from others (which is the reward for doing the right thing).

Masks must now be worn on public transport, in healthcare settings and shops. From 8th August, masks must be worn in other indoor settings too. Check out the Government guidance to keep up to date (see below).

We recommend you wear them in all situations where 2 metres social distancing cannot be maintained, even outside.

To be effective, you must wear you face mask properly and change it regularly. This means keeping the mask over your nose and mouth and avoid touching the mask. If you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your mask, it’s like you have licked the surface directly (yuk!). Your mask must be removed correctly and disposed of safely. 

5. Get a virus test

You can reduce infection by being aware of how you are feeling and if you are unwell then you  have a COVID19 test through the NHS:

  • for yourself, if you have coronavirus symptoms now (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • for someone you live with, if they have symptoms
  • if you live in England and have been told to have a test before you go into hospital, for example, for surgery
  • if you live, work or study in an area with a coronavirus outbreak (Leicester, Luton, Pendle, or Blackburn with Darwen local councils)

This service is for people in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Remember to self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days and don’t go out until you know the result of your test! 

Leave contact details if you’re out and about so that your close contacts can be contacted through Test & Trace if necessary.

6. Follow Government Guidelines

The guidance changes frequently and it is difficult to keep track! Do keep up to date so that you know what you should and should not be doing. 

What if I have had COVID19 already?

Currently we don’t know what impact having had the disease has on our ongoing immunity. It’s also very difficult to know whether the general respiratory symptoms you have had during the Winter and Spring were COVID19. Very few people were being tested then.

If you don’t know whether you’ve had COVID19 then we offer rapid COVID19 antibody testing with results in ten minutes. Contact us for more information

Regardless of your COVID19 status you should reduce the risks by following the advice above.