COVID-19 (Coronavirus) advice

In this page we will be linking all of the current information about COVID-19. Please navigate using the links on the left to find the information you need.

What is coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.

Visit the NHS website to find out information about:

  • Staying at home to stop the spread of coronavirus
  • What to do if you have symptoms (and what those symptoms are
  • What to do if you need medical help for another reason
  • Advice for people at high risk

What is the current government advice about Covid-19?

As of May 10 the government advice to “stay home” was changed to “stay alert”.

They continue to advise people who can work from home to do so. Those unable to work from home are being allowed to return to work with the following guidance:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

How can I get a test for Covid-19?

You can apply to get a test if you’re in one of the essential lists (click here for latest the full list) but it includes:

  • all NHS and social care staff, including:
    • doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff, including volunteers and unpaid carers
    • the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector
    • those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines, and medical and personal protective equipment
    • NHS Blood and Transplant frontline staff (blood donation staff, specialist nurses for organ donation, staff running therapeutic apheresis services in NHS hospitals)
    • those providing ancillary support to NHS workers (such as hotel accommodation for NHS staff)
    • personal care assistants
  • essential public services staff, including: prisons, probation, courts and tribunals staff, judiciary; those responsible for the management of the deceased and public health and environmental staff, such as specialist community public health nursing
  • public safety and national security staff, including: police and support staff; Ministry of Defence civilians, contractors and armed forces personnel; fire and rescue service employees ; National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining security roles.

Guidance says testing is most effective within 3 days of symptoms developing.

If you are eligible (as above) click here for the self-referral form: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

What is the latest advice for people who are shielding?

As of June 1, government advice for people who are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ is that “people who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but can now leave their home if they wish, as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing.”

Strict social distancing means you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres apart.

We know that this is really confusing at the moment and we are struggling to get a clear understanding, just like you. Here’s a link to the guidance but we know that this is changing. We want to get a clear picture and as soon as we do, this will be replaced.

Dental practices to re-open: June 8, 2020

Do not visit your dentist if you have symptoms of Covid-19.

NHS dental practices have been given the go-ahead to re-open from June 8, 2020.

Practices can start to provide a limited range of face to face treatment, if they have the necessary infection prevention control and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements in place.

The face-to-face services will run alongside urgent telephone advice and triage that has been operating since March.

Services will likely resume as follows:

  • Based on the urgency of needs;
  • For unmet needs of vulnerable groups;
  • If practices have capacity to undertake activity.
  • It is expected that full services, including routine dental check-ups and hygienist appointments, will not be in operation until a later date.

Urgent dental centres will remain in operation across the region to provide urgent dental treatment particularly where practices have not yet resumed face to face care. This can be done via the dental practice or 111.

Advice for the public:

Dental practices will look different as they will be operating in a way that observes Covid-19 social distancing and hygiene rules to ensure the safety of patients and the dental team.

Patients should continue to telephone or email their practice, rather than attending in person without an appointment.

If you have a regular dentist, you should call them as a first step. The dentist will assess your situation over the phone, including giving advice and, if needed, prescriptions for painkillers or antibiotics, or arranging treatment.

If a patient does not have a regular dentist during the Covid-19 outbreak, they can still call any local dental practice as well as visiting 111.nhs.uk or call NHS 111 who will provide advice as appropriate.

I live in Calderdale and need help during the COVID-19 lockdown

Out of hours for urgent dental issues the advice still remains to visit 111.nhs.uk or call NHS 111. Patients should not be visiting A&E departments or GPs with dental problems.

If you need more information about any of these services, or if you want to log a request with the council’s volunteer team, then do not hesitate to call us on 01422 399433 and leave an answerphone message. We are picking up all answerphone messages and we’ll call you back as soon as possible

I am a vulnerable person, or I feel I need some support during the Covid-19 lockdown, who can help me?

• Community groups: People in each area of Calderdale have used social media to coordinate support locally. From telephone befriending services to home deliveries, much of this is done via social media. To find out what support is available in your local area click here

• Calderdale Council: the council has established a virtual volunteer hub. If you feel you would benefit from support contact the hub via: volunteeringcovid19@calderdale.gov.uk and provide details about the support you need and get more advice. If you are not able to access the internet, you can call 01422 392890 to register for this service.

• Noah’s Ark is offering food packages. Click here for more: http://www.noahsarkcentre.org.uk/

Am I classed as a vulnerable person?

If you have not already received a letter from the NHS stating thet you are ‘extremely vulnerable’ you can register yourself with the Government as ‘extremely vulnerable’ via this website:  https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable

If you have a medical condition which makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19), register and say whether or not you need support.

You may have received a letter from the NHS telling you that you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, or been contacted by your GP or hospital clinician. If this has not happened, contact your GP or clinician after you register with this service.

It may take time for any support offered through this service to arrive. Wherever possible you should continue to rely on friends, family and wider support to help you meet your needs.

You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else.

Before you start – You’ll be asked for your NHS number but you can still register if you do not have it. You can find it on any letter the NHS has sent you or on a prescription.

If you are not able to access the internet, you can call 01422 392890 to register for this service.

How will Covid-19 affect my benefits?

For information as to the impact of Covd-19  on your benefits please see: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/health/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you/ 

I need help with my mental health needs during the Covid-19 lockdown, are local services still running?

• Open Minds Calderdale – emotional health and wellbeing support for children, young people, parents, carers or professionals: http://www.openmindscalderdale.org.uk/

• Healthy Minds – a Calderdale mental health charity: http://www.healthymindscalderdale.co.uk/

• Samaritans offers a free, confidential service, 24 hours a day on 116 123, https://www.samaritans.org/

• Shout: Text SHOUT to 85258 for 24/7 crisis support, https://www.giveusashout.org/get-help/

Do I need to wear a face mask in public?

The government has advised people to wear a face mask in public, which should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably.

There are some useful tips on how to make your own facemask with an old T-shirt here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering

Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 2 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. For example, primary age children unassisted, or those with respiratory conditions.

I want to help vulnerable people in Calderdale, how can I do this?

• Become an NHS volunteer responder: The NHS and Royal Voluntary Service are working together on this project. You can sign up and volunteer to collect shopping, medication and other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating, and delivering these supplies to their home; volunteer in patient transport; transport equipment and supplied or call people who may be isolated.  Visit: https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHS for more details and to sign up

• Calderdale Council has set up a virtual volunteer hub. The virtual nature means people can still help others, but reduce social interaction between people. Click here to find out more: http://news.calderdale.gov.uk/council-sets-out-plan-to-co-ordinate-community-response-to-covid-19/

• Community Foundation for Calderdale: The organisation is mobilising resources and donors to support front line charities locally and help local vulnerable people. It has launched a Calderdale Community Resilience Fund where donations can be made here: https://localgiving.org/appeal/CalderdaleCommunityResilienceFund/

Public Health Information

Essential Advice

How to use the NHS

Spot the signs

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

We have been asked questions by the public about the type of NHS service they may expect during the Covid-19, also known as coronavirus, pandemic.

For the latest information from the government click here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

The information below is correct as of March 2020. We will endeavour to update it where possible. Most GP surgeries, hospital trusts and so on may operate slightly differently. If you are in doubt, contact your provider by telephone for more information.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The symptoms of coronavirus infection Covid-19 are:

  • A cough
  • A high temperature
  • A shortness of breath

These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. These can be similar to other illnesses such as the cold and flu.

What do I do if I think you might have coronavirus?

Stay at home.

If you have symptoms of Covid-19, however mild stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough

This will help to protect others in your community while you are infectious.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital even if you suspect you have mild symptoms.

Do I need to tell my GP/call 111 if I have Covid-19 symptoms?

You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home. The NHS will not be testing those self-isolating with mild symptoms.

Stay at home guidance has now been produced and is available by clicking here

How long should I stay at home for if I have symptoms?

If you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days.

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

What should I do if my symptoms worsen?

If your symptoms worsen during home isolation, or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online.  If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111.

For a medical emergency dial 999.

Is there a specific treatment for coronavirus?

There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus.

Current treatment options aim to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness. You are advised to stay in isolation and away from other people until you’ve recovered.

Do I need antibiotics?
Antibiotics do not help, they do not work against viruses.

Can I still visit my GP?

All General Practices are having to alter the way they operate during this unprecedented time.

Do not visit your GP if you have symptoms of coronavirus.

As of March 30, patients are being advised not attend their GP surgery without an appointment and should make contact by telephone – but only when necessary.

Those with a confirmed face-to-face appointment with a clinician may be asked to see them at a different GP practice to the one they would usually attend. This is because some practices will be closed or reorganising themselves to effectively cope with increased demand and suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.

The location at which the patient will be seen will be communicated to by the clinical team at their registered GP practice, who are still available to contact via your usual GP practice number.

These changes will begin to take effect from Monday 30 March.

Many GP surgeries are currently running a triage service, which means staff may ask you for symptoms. You may be offered an appointment by telephone or online.

Some face-to-face appointments, for example cervical screening tests, may be delayed. Baby immunisations should continue and patients are asked to follow the guidance given by the GP surgery.

What do I do if I want to see my GP rather than having a telephone appointment?

The latest information for Calderdale is here: https://www.calderdaleccg.nhs.uk/gp-practices-in-calderdale-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19/

All GP practices are begin urged to move to a triage-first model as soon as possible. This will help protect patients, staff and reduce risk of the virus spreading.

Currently, unless seeing a patient is clinically-required, patients may be offered an appointment by telephone, video or online to support triage and remote management of patients.

This will mean doctors limit the number of patients they come into contact with and reduce the risk of coming into contact with the virus.

Calderdale CCG says after the triage call, a clinician will decide:

  • If the patient needs a home visit
  • If the patient needs to come to the surgery,
  • Or they can attend an alternative nearby practice.

It is important that patients do not walk into their GP practice, whether that’s to make an appointment, hand in a prescription request or to ask about any other enquiries. All patients are asked to call their surgery first.

Practices are also being allowed to delay over-75 health checks, annual patient reviews and routine medication reviews, possibly until October.

How do I order my repeat prescription if I can’t visit the practice to ask?

GP surgeries are being urged to continue offering a repeat prescription service and they may use more online services. Call your GP surgery by telephone to ask what their policy is and what you can do if you do not have online access.

Can I visit a pharmacy to buy medicine if I suspect I have Covid-19 symptoms?

No, if you suspect you have Covid-19 symptoms you should not leave your house for 7 days, or 14 if you live in a household with someone with symptoms.

Medicines like paracetamol or liquid infant paracetamol may be useful if you/your child has symptoms, but you must ask a friend or relative to obtain it for you. You must not have contact with that person.

Is the walk-in centre open?

We have been informed that the NHS walk-in centre is temporarily closing during the outbreak. Find all the information in the link below:

Should I still attend the hospital if I have an appointment booked?

Yes, however Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust say they will be contacting patients where changes are necessary. More clinics and appointments may be offered via telephone and video.

Urgent and emergency cases and cancer treatments will be carrying on as normal.  Patients with cancer can get the latest update here: https://www.cht.nhs.uk/services/clinical-services/oncology/cancer-and-coronavirus-covid-19/

Routine NHS services will inevitably come under pressure as the coronavirus spreads and every hospital in England has been asked to suspend all non-urgent elective operations from 15 April for at least three months, with some other procedures likely to be rescheduled before then so we can train our staff and adapt certain areas. 

Can I still go to the hospital for a blood test?

Do not attend if you have Covid-19 symptoms, or anyone in your household has symptoms.

April 15 update: To facilitate social distancing in the Phlebotomy Department at Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH) and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI) it is moving to an appointment only service. This applies to patients attending for warfarin (INR) monitoring as well as patients attending for venepuncture blood tests.

From Monday 20th April, only patients who have a pre-booked appointments will be permitted to enter the Phlebotomy departments. This is to protect all patients and especially those who have medical conditions which increase their vulnerability to infection.

The patient appointment phone number is 01484 355765 for services at both CRH and HRI. The lines are open 9am-4pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). Appointments are released 7 days in advance of the scheduled appointment time. When patients phone to book an appointment, they should have their NHS or MRN (hospital number) to hand and specify whether they would prefer to attend CRH ot HRI (there is frequently more availability at CRH). Patients must bring their paper blood test request form when they attend their appointment. Digital images of request forms are not acceptable as they do not have the facilities to print in the Phlebotomy Department.

To facilitate social distancing, the CRH Phlebotomy Dept is now accessed directly via the Godfrey Road (Women and Childrens) car-park to avoid patients walking through the hospital.

The HRI Phlebomy Dept has relocated to Acre Mills which has a large car park and is situated across the road from the main HRI building.

The hospital trust has agreed a schedule with GP services in Calderdale with Phlebotomy provision. Appointments are made via GPs who will triage patients, possibly to a different GP practice. The main Phlebotomy providers are:

  • Kos Clinic, which accommodates Church Lane, Rydings, Rastrick, Northolme, Longroyd surgeries.
  • Meadowdale, which accomdates Beechwood, Keighley Road, Lister Lane, Plane Trees, Woodside and Mixenden surgeries.

Can I visit a local hospital if a family member is there?

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has revised its visiting times. Click here for the latest guidance: https://www.cht.nhs.uk/patients-visitors/visiting-times-from-march-2020/

Click here for the visiting time guidance at Mid Yorkshire Hospital Trusts (Dewsbury): https://www.midyorks.nhs.uk/visiting-restrictions-

Can my dentist strike me off their list if I don’t go for a routine appointment at this time?

Some dental practices require patients to have at least one appointment every 12 months. There is currently no guidance, but due to the unprecedented situation Healthwatch Calderdale has been told (23 March) it is unlikely anyone will be struck off a dental surgery list if they cannot attend. Patients are advised to call their dental surgery to discuss and book a future appointment. 

Sexual Health

Mental health:

Calderdale Children’s Mental Health Services (CAMHS): The Open Minds Partnership has updated its website with useful links, tools, for children, young people & their parents/carers where Covid-19 is concerned. If they’re worried, have questions and so on then take a look & help them understand: http://www.openmindscalderdale.org.uk/category/help-and-support-coronavirus/

The Calderdale CAMHS First Point of Contact telephone service is still running, with referrals via the CAMHS website. Open Minds are offering online support via SilverCloud, a new online platform for young people. That can be accessed via the First Point of Contact.

Healthy Minds: Calderdale’s Healthy Minds is altered its programme, but still has plenty available to support people self-isolating. See their Facebook page here for more details: https://www.facebook.com/healthymindscalderdale/

Calderdale and Kirklees Single Point of Access (adults):

Click here for the latest from the service provider: https://www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk/services/single-point-of-access-2/

Can a Covid-19 patient be discharged from hospital into a care setting?

Yes, if a person has had Covid-19 symptoms, no longer has symptoms and has completed their isolation period, then they can be discharged from hospital into a care setting and care should be provided as normal.

If the person has previously tested positive for Covid-19, the hospital will provide the following:
The date and results of any Covid-19 test;
The date of the onset of symptoms;
A care plan for discharge from isolation.

What should a care setting do if it suspects they have a Covid-19 patient?

Care homes are asked to follow social-distancing measures for everyone, where possible, and the shielding guidance for the extremely vulnerable group. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19)

Care homes are asked to implement daily monitoring of Covid-19 patients. They are asked to assess each resident twice a day for symptoms.

A person with suspected symptoms should be isolated into a single room with a bathroom, where possible. Any person with a fever or respiratory symptoms should be reported to NHS 111 for guidance. Testing may be offered following contact with NHS 111.

Care homes are told to instigate full infection control measures to limit the virus spreading to other care home residents and staff. If the person’s symptoms worsen, and you believe they require hospital admission, this can be done.

Advice for staff who work in a care setting:

Guidance says Personal Protective Equipment should be worn when caring for possible or confirmed Covid-19 patients.

For staff who have Covid-19 symptoms they should:
Not attend work if they develop symptoms
Notify their line manager immediately
Self-isolate for 7 days

How should a care setting report Covid-19 patients?

Care settings with two or more possible or confirmed Covid-19 cases need to inform the local Health Protection Team, which will then provide advice and support to manage how the care setting deals with the virus.

Terms being used:

What is self-isolation, and how do I do it?

Self-isolation

Self-isolation is about protecting others and slowing down the spread of COVID-19. It is very important that anyone who has the virus, or might have been exposed to it, limits the number of people they come into contact with. This is the most effective way of preventing the coronavirus from spreading.

Social distancing

Social distancing can include things like temporarily reducing socialising in public places such as entertainment or sports events, reducing use of non-essential public transport or recommending more home working.

What is social distancing? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Hi9-5F2zW4