Shropshire hospitals director: Follow guidelines as we start to get back to some sort of ‘normality’
Medical director for The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Dr Arne Rose, urges the public to follow Government guidelines as the nation begins to get back on its feet.
On Monday, schools will begin to reopen their doors to pupils. Outdoor markets will resume. Car showrooms will open back up. Two weeks after that we are likely to see other ‘non-essential’ shops reopen as we start to get back to some sort of ‘normality’.
But, as I said last week, this does not mean that Covid-19 – coronavirus – has gone away. The number of deaths is on a downward trajectory. But people are still contracting the virus and people are still dying. Each death is a tragedy for the family and friends of the victim, and for the healthcare workers looking after that person.
As we see the easing of more and more restrictions, it is even more vital that we all follow the guidance to reduce the spread of coronavirus as much as possible. Shops will have social distancing guidelines, people are still being encouraged to shop alone wherever possible.
Again, over the Bank Holiday weekend, we saw images of packed beauty spots as people sought to make the most of the sunny weather.
I know how hard these restrictions have been on people, and how tempting it is to get out as much as possible now that some of those restrictions have been eased, but please continue to follow the guidance to that we can keep the number of cases – and the number of deaths – going down.
Testing for coronavirus has now been expanded to everyone over the age of five with symptoms.
People can ask for a test if they, or a member of their household, have the recent onset of any of the following symptoms:
- A new continuous cough
- A high temperature
- A loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia)
The test needs to be done in the first five days of having symptoms, but it is better to apply for a test in the first three days if possible.
Members of the public who have symptoms of coronavirus should use the national booking system by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
In Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, testing can either be done at home by applying for a home testing kit or by registering for an appointment at a drive-through testing centre. The drive-through centres are by appointment only, and the correct booking procedures must be followed in order to avoid being turned away.
The test itself involves taking a swab of the inside of the nose and the back of the throat, using a long cotton bud. This can be done by the person themselves or by someone else. Results of the test and subsequent advice will be provided.
Testing will help keep NHS and other public services running smoothly, allow people to return to work as quickly as possible and help keep those who are vulnerable safe.