Coronavirus (Covid-19) is a new, potentially serious illness that mostly affects people’s lungs and airways. Anyone can catch it; anyone can spread it.
Coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person who has it, through coughs and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands. To reduce the risk to the public, the NHS has put in place measures to protect patients, our community and NHS staff while ensuring as many services as possible are available to the public.
We can all help stop the virus from spreading if we take precautions. This means you should:
- Stay at home as much as possible and 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
- Wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) on public transport, in enclosed public spaces and when accessing any NHS services
- Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms except to get tested
For the latest Government guidance, please visit the UK Government website www.gov.uk/coronavirus
For the latest health advice, please visit the NHS website www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
For local support and to see how services in Leeds are affected, please visit the Leeds City Council website www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus
Your NHS is still here for you
It is hugely important that people seek medical care when they need it. While access has changed, services are still here when you need them. We’ve launched a local campaign to remind people to seek medical care when necessary, particularly those that are struggling with life changing and life threatening illnesses.
What to do if you think you have coronavirus
If you have any of the following symptoms, you must get a test and self-isolate:
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
You should not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital. If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do. You can also call NHS 111 direct.
Where can I go for testing?
If you have coronavirus symptoms, you should get tested. All testing sites operate on an appointment only basis – please do not attend without an appointment. Appointments can be booked via the NHS online booking system or by calling 119.
When booking, you will be shown a list of the nearest places to go for your test. It is important to be tested no more than five days from when your symptoms started.
Drive through testing
When attending a site for testing, please stay in your car with your windows closed and follow instructions from site staff.
A mobile unit travels around the region so that you can be tested close to your home. If the unit is not near you at the time you need to be tested, you should attend the regional testing centre at Temple Green or order a home testing kit.
If you don’t have a car, there is a walk-to testing site for people living or working within walking distance of the Bridge Street Community Centre, Rider Street, in the LS9 7BQ postcode area of Leeds. Tests are only available by pre-booking and people have to walk to the site. No car parking is available. Please read the information leaflet to find out more
- This easy read summary leaflet explains how you can book an appointment at the walk-to community testing centre.
- Please watch this video to find out what you need to do before your appointment and what will happen when you arrive for your test.
If you cannot get to a testing centre, you can order a home testing kit via the NHS online booking system or by calling 119.
NHS Test and Trace
Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by the service and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.
People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus.
- If you have symptoms, self-isolate for 10 days
- If you live with other people, they should self-isolate 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.
Getting support if you’re self isolating
If you are self-isolating and you do not have friends or family nearby who can help, phone the Leeds City Council Helpline on 0113 378 1877 (7 days a week, 9am to 6pm). Volunteers are available to help with shopping and transport to medical appointments. Phone support is also available to check how you are.
What to do if you’re shielding
For the latest advice for patients who may be at higher risk of severe complications from coronavirus, please visit the Gov.uk website.
Reducing your risk – social distancing, hand washing and face coverings
To stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), you should avoid close contact with anyone you do not live with. This is called social distancing.
- If you live alone or you’re a single parent who lives alone with your children, you can meet with 1 other household without social distancing. This is called a support bubble. Find out more about meeting people from outside your household on GOV.UK.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
In England, you must wear a face covering by law in the following settings:
- when visiting your GP practice or a hospital
- public transport and indoor transport hubs
- shops, supermarkets and indoor shopping centres
- banks, building societies, and post offices
You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes (but is not limited to):
- young children under the age of 11 (Public Health England do not recommended face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
- not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
- if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
- to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
- to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
- to eat or drink if reasonably necessary
- in order to take medication
- if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering
If someone you know is in hospital
Some patients on hospital wards are now able to receive one visitor per day for a one hour visit. Please check the hospital website for the most up to date information.
If you have a friend or relative in one of our hospitals, please visit the Leeds Teaching Hospitals website or the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust website for more details.
Letters to loved ones
To help with the impact of visiting restrictions, an email address has been created for families to send messages to their loved ones who are in hospital.
Emails can be sent to email@example.com where the Patient Experience Team will print them, pop them in an envelope and deliver them, along with the help of their volunteers.
Visit the LTHT Patient Experience page for updates and more information.