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Your COVID questions answered

The situation with coronavirus is changing quickly; with new developments, availability of tests and information about the virus changing on a regular basis, it is helpful to stay up to date on current developments. Below are some answers to basic questions about coronavirus; however, for the latest and most up to date information, please visit the dedicated web pages on 


Face coverings and masks

If you are visiting the Trust for whatever reason, you are now required to wear a face covering or mask throughout the entire building(s). This is applicable to hospital buildings and community buildings/clinics etc. We have 'stations' available at all main entrances where you can sanitise your hands and put on a face mask. Please also remember that when entering a clinical area, you will be asked to remove the face covering/mask and replace it with a 'clinical grade' PPE mask.


We appreciate your cooperation in this and thank-you for helping to keep our hospital and community settings COVID-Secure. 


Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Stay at home if you have one of more of the following:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell and taste different to normal.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You can check your symptoms using the 111 service here

See below about how you can book a test for coronavirus. 


How long to stay at home? 

  • if you have symptoms, stay at home for 10 days.
  • if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms.

If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.

If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.


Can I be tested for coronavirus?

It is now possible to be tested for coronavirus, to find out more and how to book a test, click here, where you will be redirected to 


How do you catch coronavirus?

Coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person through coughs and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces so its important to wash hands before eating etc. Guidance on hand hygiene, cleaning and isolation is available on:


People at higher risk: 

It has been identified that there are some groups of people that are at higher risk from coronavirus. You can check who these groups are by visiting the pages on by clicking here


Helpful tips: 

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at


Caring for People at Highest Clinical Risk from COVID-19

Sources of information for people who are shielding Updated 30 May 2020

First Published: 2 April 2020

Please note NHS England will no longer be hosting Frequently Asked Questions for people at highest clinical risk from Covid-19.

This is to help ensure that people are always clear where to go for the latest information, as the Government updates its policies.

For the latest guidance please visit the following sources:

GOV.UK – for the latest updates on shielding guidance from Public Health England, as well as information on the Government support offer for those on the Shielded Patients List (SPL).

NHS.UK – provides patient-facing information on health services and medical conditions

NHS Digital – for detailed information about the Shielded Patient List and the method that has been used for identifying people who may be clinically extremely vulnerable to Coronavirus.

NHS Volunteer Responders - the NHS is also providing further support to those at highest clinical risk via the GoodSam App and NHS Volunteer Responders. People who are shielding can request support from the NHS Volunteer Responders by calling 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm. This service will not replace any local voluntary referral schemes already established but will complement these.