Coronavirus restrictions remain in place across the country.
For full guidance on what you can and cannot do visit Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
One important part of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of pupils, students, parents and our communities is testing for coronavirus. We have included helpful links and information in this document to use in the event of arranging a test and self-isolation, from arranging medicine and food deliveries, to support for financial difficulties and looking after your mental wellbeing.
What are the Coronavirus (COVID- 19) symptoms?
You should only book a test if your child or someone in your household has any of these 3 coronavirus symptoms:
1. A high temperature: any new high temperature where your child feels hot to touch on their chest or back (you do not need to measure the temperature)
2. A new continuous cough: coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
3. A loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste: a noticeable loss of smell or taste or things smell and taste different to normal
If my child or I am unwell what should we do?
Do not leave your home if you have coronavirus symptoms:
• a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
• a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
• A loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste: a noticeable loss of smell or taste or things smell and taste different to normal
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.
How do I book a test?
There are currently three options for testing – Home test kit, Walk in and Drive through. Availability and options will vary depending on the area.
Call NHS Direct 119
or click here to use the 111 online coronavirus service to check your symptoms and book a test.
If you’re worried about a baby or child – If they seem very unwell, are getting worse or you think there’s something seriously wrong, call 999.
Do not delay getting help if you’re worried. Trust your instincts.
How do I help myself to stay well while I am at home?
• rest and sleep
• drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration – drink enough so your pee is light yellow and clear
• take paracetamol to lower your temperature
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
• you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
• your condition gets worse
How do I get urgent food and medicine if I have to self -isolate?
If you need extra help during the Coronavirus outbreak, don’t be afraid to ask a friend or neighbour. Alternatively, ask a support organisation you already know.
You can also get food and medicine delivered and left outside your door – if friends and family are unable to help. Register as vulnerable at GOV.UK
How do I access alternative Medical help for my child or myself if we become unwell ?
Anyone experiencing coronavirus symptoms of a constant cough and/or high temperature will still initially be asked to self-isolate for seven days and seek advice from NHS 111 online if required. Patients will then be referred on to their GP practice and/or the hub where appropriate. Find out more about primary care hubs.
Medical advice for children
If your child has a medical condition or injury, they should access treatment and attend medical appointments as recommended by their hospital, GP or healthcare professionals. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPSH) has put together this handy traffic light guide to help you know what to do when your child is unwell or injured.
Who do I contact If I am experiencing Financial Difficulties due to Coronavirus or if we have to self Isolate as a family?
Council officers are available by phone to provide advice and assistance if you are in financial difficulty. They can help ensure you receive the income and/or welfare benefits you are entitled to. You can contact them on 01455 238141 phone lines are open Monday to Thursday from 8:30am to 5pm and on Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. The government has issued guidance for households with possible coronavirus to stay at home and self-isolate. Contact your employer as soon as you know you are unable to attend work and discuss arrangements for your pay. Check with your manager if your company has a sick pay scheme; details will be in your employment contract.
I am worried about my mental health and wellbeing if I have to self Isolate. Where can I find support?
We know that staying at home for a prolonged period of time can be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some people. During this challenging time, it’s important to take care of your mind as well as your body. It’s also important to remember it is OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently. Remember, this situation is temporary and, for most of us, these difficult feelings will pass.
Every Mind Matters is an NHS service that provides simple tips and advice to help you take good care of your mental health. The website also has special sections for coping with isolation.
Top tips for staying well:
• Try to stay virtually connected with friends, family and neighbours – pick up the phone or have a conversation online through conference or social media apps.
• Keep active – look for ideas of exercises you can do at home on the NHS website.
• Eat well – try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals and drink plenty of water.
• Activate your brain – do things you enjoy such as reading, cooking, learning a new craft, or mindfulness exercises.
• Structure your day and make plans for what you can control. Keep to your normal routine as much as possible – set your alarm, eat at regular meal times and go to bed as usual.
• Reach out for help if you are struggling.
• Have a back-up plan in case somebody you normally rely on or look after needs to self-isolate.
• Should you need someone to talk to you can contact the One Reading Community Hub on 0808 189 4325. They can help you access emotional as well as practical support.
• Although it’s good to feel you’re in touch with the world, limit how much time you spend listening to the news and stick to reliable sources. There is a lot of misinformation circulating about coronavirus. You can check facts here: https://fullfact.org
Talking Therapies is a NHS service that offers support if you’re coping with challenges such as depression, stress, anxiety or phobias. Call 0300 365 2000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org The Samaritans provide confidential listening support to help anyone work through what’s on their mind if they are feeling low. Call 116 123 or email email@example.com at any time of the day or night.
Please reach out for support if you are experiencing abuse or worried about another adult you believe may be experiencing abuse.
Escaping abuse is an entirely valid reason for leaving your home during a lockdown. There are many organisations which can help support you to do this as safely as possible. It’s important to know that you are not alone. Even if you are unable to leave your home you can still access support through one of the helplines listed below. If you suspect that members of your family, friends, neighbours or those in your community are victims of domestic abuse, we encourage you to report it to the police.
How to get help
If you feel you are in immediate danger call 999. Press 55 when prompted if you can’t speak. If you can’t use a voice phone, you can register with the police text service – text REGISTER to 999.
If your situation is not urgent, call the police on 101.
Refuge UK supports women, children and men experiencing domestic violence with a range of services and offers support through their 24-hour helpline: 0808 2000 247
Other Helpful Links
Phone lines are open Monday to Thursday from 8:30am to 5pm and on Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm.
Latest Government Guidelines and announcements. https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
There are three simple actions we all must do to protect each other:
– Wash Hands
Keep washing your hands regularly
– Cover Face
Wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
– Make Space
Stay at least 2 metres apart – or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions
For more detail on the Government requirements regarding Covid-19 please Click here to go to the government website.