The NPA is urging members to familiarise themselves with Government advice on Coronavirus.
It has highlighted advice for businesses and employers published by Public Health England that answers various questions about the virus, from the symptoms, how it is spread and the best ways to prevent spread to do if members of staff suspect they are infected or are confirmed with the virus.
Key points include:
Signs and symptoms
The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:
- difficulty in breathing
Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
How COVID-19 is spread
From what we know about other coronaviruses, spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres or less) with an infected person.
Public Health England (PHE) recommends that the following general cold and flu precautions are taken to help prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19:
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
- put used tissues in the bin straight away
- wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. See hand washing guidance
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
If you are worried about symptoms, please call NHS 111. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.
How long the virus can survive
Under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 72 hours.
What to do if a member of staff or the public with confirmed COVID-19 has recently been in your workplace
If a member of staff or the public with confirmed COVID-19 has recently been in your workplace, closure of the workplace is not recommended.
You will be contacted by the PHE local Health Protection Team to discuss the case, identify people who have been in contact with them and advise on any actions or precautions that should be taken.
A risk assessment will be undertaken by the Health Protection Team with the lead responsible person. Advice on the management of staff and members of the public will be based on this assessment.
The Health Protection Team will also be in contact with the case directly to advise on isolation and identifying other contacts and will be in touch with any contacts of the case to provide them with appropriate advice. Advice on cleaning of communal areas such as offices or toilets will be given by the Health Protection Team.