Coronavirus (COVID-19) v5-0 17 Mar 2020
Advice regarding coronavirus is changing on a day to day basis. Industrial Diagnostics Company (IDC) Ltd, as your Occupational Health Provider, advise you to check publicly available resources daily. In addition, please refer to information that is provided by IDC Ltd on an as and when required basis.
Government bodies, including The Department of Health and Care, Public Health England, Foreign and Commonwealth Office are providing updates on a regular basis via the following gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public
The World Health Organisation (WHO) are also a good reference point: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
The most common symptoms of coronavirus include: Fever, tiredness and a dry cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Some individuals may also have: Aches and pains, runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat or diarrhoea.
Symptoms can be more severe in individuals with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
What to do if you think you have symptoms
Anyone in a household displaying flu-like symptoms (a fever of above 37.8C) or a persistent cough - everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
If you feel it is necessary, you can access the NHS 111 on-line assessment https://111.nhs.uk/service/covid-19
If symptoms worsen or continue longer than 7 days then you are advised to contact 111. If you are in Northern Ireland, call 0300 200 7885.
Potential at Risk Groups
A full list of potential at risk groups can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults These include those who are aged 70+, those with diabetes, those with chronic respiratory conditions, e.g. asthma and COPD, those immunosuppressed and/or pregnant. Before attending for a face to face occupational health appointment risk assessment should be conducted to ensure the individual does not have an underlying condition. If this were to be the case a non-face to face assessment would be arranged.
Guidance for reducing the risk of catching Coronavirus
Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water. If you don’t have access to soap and water use a hand sanitizer until you do.
Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
The potential risks in each business will vary and may include operations which have vehicles and personnel entering from outside of the UK (from an affected area or not), resources that have been working within an affected area or are at risk in a current area. It is therefore a business decision as to what risks are relevant within your business and for you to assess these risks accordingly.