Firstly, there are many trackers out there but the one which we have used and recommended from the start is John Hopkins University one as shown in the graphic and available here. The spread is fast and the site updates regularly and so we’d suggest you click on the map when making decisions to allow you to review where we are in the rising number of cases in our country and within Europe.
Below we have listed out some of the common questions which have been raised when speaking to clients supported under our retained competent person service, Safety~net. Questions covered are means by which you can help to control the spread of the virus within your offices through to specifics such as the effectiveness of masks against the virus. If you have specific questions and are a retained client with Safety~net support please contact us or your retained consultant for access to model risk assessments, flow charts on isolation and home working, toolbox talks for office-based and field-based staff and similar documents which are being developed each day.
Please be aware that the situation remains very changeable and you should always check the latest government advice here; https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
Symptoms and screen for coronavirus COVID-19
Currently, only those who have been admitted to hospital are being routinely checked for the virus. The rest of us can try the online NHS 111 service and it’s possible you may be referred to a testing station or pod but not likely. Test kit numbers are limited and being able to test and then properly segregate hospitals is, and will continue to be, a priority for the NHS. Best knowledge at present is that the signs are of a fever and a dry cough, followed by breathing difficulties for those who are older or have pre-existing conditions. Most people will see their symptoms diminish by day 7 but this is also the time at which a monio=rity of patients may see worsening symptoms and the potential of acute respiratory distress and hospital admission.
Information points towards the young being more resilient and the old more likely to experience problems. There are also a number of higher-risk groups which include those;
- Who are over 65
- Are pregnant
- Who receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill.
- Have certain medical conditions
Among the medical conditions identified are;
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma (that requires an inhaled or tablet steroid treatment, or has led to hospital admission in the past), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)
If you have any questions relating to Coronavirus and your office please contact your retained safety consultant if you are a member of our Safety~net competent person service. We have a number of documents available for retained clients including model risk assessments, flow charts on isolation and home working, toolbox talks for office-based and field-based staff and similar documents which are being developed each day.