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Coronavirus Factsheet – Wales (Last update: 13.01.21)
Download our Coronavirus factsheet for Wales here. The COVID-19 outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation and guidance is therefore updated frequently. Our team of specialists are here to provide you with the most up to date guidance.
Alternatively, you can read the factsheet here:
What is it?
Coronaviruses can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness like the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). This new coronavirus started in Hubei Province, China. The virus was renamed (11th Feb 2020) SARS-CoV-2 and the disease the virus causes is now called COVID-19. A new variant of the disease VOC - 202012/01 was discovered in October 2020 and is known to spread more quickly than SARS-CoV-2.
While coronavirus is of concern, it is important to remember that most people displaying symptoms such as fever, cough,sore throat or tiredness are likely suffering with a cold or other respiratory illness, not coronavirus.
COVID-19 Key Facts
- The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person.
- You must not go to A&E if you are unwell and think you may have COVID-19
- Good hand hygiene is one of the best ways of preventing the spread of the virus
- It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. But it may last on some surfaces for a few hours or up to several days
How is it spread?
The coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:
- Direct close contact with a person while they are infectious
- Close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes, or
- Touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face
How can we help stop it spreading?
Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You must:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating and after going to the toilet
- Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues and use alcohol-based hand-sanitiser
- If unwell, avoid contact with others (touching, kissing, hugging etc.)
What do I need to do if I have symptoms?
The advice for anyone in any setting is to follow these main guidelines.
- The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of a new continuous cough, hightemperature and /or a loss or change in your normal sense of smell or taste
- If you have these symptoms, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 10 days from when your symptoms started. If someone in your house has symptoms you must follow the NHS Direct Wales advice called ‘Stay at Home advice'
- You do not need to call NHS Direct Wales or 111 Wales to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better, contact NHS Direct Wales or 111 Wales online
- If you have no internet access, you should call NHS Direct Wales or 111 Wales. For a medical emergency dial 999
- Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so
Following the National Rules
- People must stay at home, except for limited purposes
- When leaving home limit the time and distance you travel
- You must not visit other households or meet other people you do not live with or are part of your support bubble
- Face coverings must continue to be worn and social distancing maintained
- Many types of businesses are required to stay closed
- Regular reviews will take place by the Government, who will tell us of any changes
Make a plan for your family
The best thing you can do now is plan for how you can adapt your daily routine, and that of others in your house hold, so that you can stay at home. Some of the ways in which you could prepare include:
- Talk to your neighbours and family and exchange phone numbers of household contacts
- Consider and plan for those in your home who are considered vulnerable
- Create a contact list with phone numbers of neighbours, schools, employer, chemist, NHS Direct Wales or 111 Wales
- Set up online shopping accounts, if possible
When can you leave your house?
- You should only leave the house for the following reasons:
- Shopping for supplies and services for you and your household for example food and medicine
- To exercise alone, with members of your household or support bubble. This should be done locally where possible
- Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person#
- Time spent outside of the home should be minimised and you should stay at least 2 metres away from anyone you do not live with or are part of your permitted support bubble
- Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home
- To access childcare and education
- To escape a risk of illness or injury, such as victims of domestic abuse
What is Shielding?
Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others. Advise to people shielding has now changed and people have been advised not to attend school or work if they fall within the clinically vulnerable group (as listed below), as they are at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19). People should maintain precautions to keep themselves safe, such as hand hygiene and social distancing measures.
People falling into this extremely vulnerable group include:
- Solid organ transplant recipients People with specific cancers:
a) People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
b) People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia,lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
c) People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
d) People having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
e) People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
- People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD
- People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly in- crease the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
- People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
- Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
Staying safe at home
- If you are classed as extremely vulnerable you are strongly advised to stay at home as much as possible and maintain social distancing when exercising
- It’s ok for your care worker to visit. If they are unwell or have symptoms of COVID-19 they must stay away
- All people coming to your home should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds on arrival to your house and often while they are there
- If you think you have developed symptoms of COVID-19 such as a new, continuous cough or fever, loss or change in your normal sense of smell or taste, seek clinical advice using the NHS Direct Wales or 111 Wales online coronavirus service or call NHS Direct Wales or 111 Wales. Do this as soon as you get symptoms
It’s important to look after your mental health and wellbeing
It is ok to feel worried and anxious as we haven’t experienced anything like this before and things are changing so quickly. Self-isolating and Social Distancing may make you feel lonely and more anxious. Here are some tips to help you self care:
- Keep in touch with friends and family by using phones, video conversations (Microsoft have made their video software availble to use)
- Make sure you eat healthily if you think you are going to need food or medicines, speak to friends, neighbours etc.
- Make sure you sleep and rest. Sleeping helps support your body's ability to fight off infection
- Limit the amount of news you watch, read or listen to. It can feel overwhelming. If it worries you, switch it off and only check once or twice a day
Handwashing Techniques to Stay Healthy
Follow these five steps every time.
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between our fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.How long? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them
- Mind infoline on 0300 123 3393
- Call Rethink on 0300 5000 927
- For support in a crisis, Text Shout to 85258
- The Samaritans Call 116 123 - it's FREE
- NHS Direct Wales/111 Wales
*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.