Even though we are now in a post emergency phase, COVID-19 is still with us. As we adjust to living with the virus, we all need to continue taking responsible actions for ourselves and our community. We know there is a risk that things can change rapidly so it's important we continue taking steps that keep levels of transmission down.
The risk of COVID-19 remains high for some. We need to respect the decisions that some people have to make, and we must each do what we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We also need to protect our health and care settings and keep our businesses running.
We have made tremendous progress beyond the most difficult phases of the pandemic. To continue moving in the right direction, and keep protecting ourselves and those around us, all islanders should follow these practical steps.
If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 it remains important that you stay at home and immediately book a PCR test. COVID-19 is highly infectious. The virus can affect people in different ways and different variants also cause different symptoms.
Carrying on as normal when we are unwell with COVID spreads the virus. Ignoring the signs of COVID-19 puts the people around us at risk and causes disruption to our daily lives.
Book a PCR test
To protect those around you, especially those at risk, you should keep testing to check if you have COVID-19 using Lateral Flow tests twice a week. Even if you don't have symptoms, you can still be infectious and spread the virus to others.
If you've recently been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, use an LFT every day for 10 days.
If you get a positive LFT result, you should immediately book in for a PCR test and stay away from others. PCR tests are the best way to confirm COVID-19, particularly in its early stages of infection when symptoms may not be present.
Isolating to protect people around us
The risk of passing on the virus is highest in the days after you become ill or have a positive test. For this time, it's important that you stay at home and away from other people as much as possible.
Whilst the legal requirement to isolate has ended, it is still just as important that you take responsible actions and stay at home.
After the fifth day since you became ill or had a positive test, and if you do not have a temperature, you can start doing LFT tests daily up to the 10 day period. Two consecutive days of negative results indicates you are unlikely to be infectious and can get back to doing what you normally do, if you feel well enough.
Positive COVID-19 cases
Vaccination remains the best step you can take to protect yourself from getting COVID-19. Staying up to date with your recommended vaccinations increases your level of immunity and helps prevent you becoming unwell if you get COVID-19.
If you think that you are due your latest booster, or even if your first or second dose is still waiting for you, it's not too late. Don't lose out on giving yourself the best protection available.
Book your vaccination
During the pandemic, we have got used to simple everyday measures that help reduce the spread of COVID-19. These habits are easy but vitally important, and are behaviours that will continue to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to ourselves and others:
- regularly wash and sanitise your hands
- catch your coughs and sneezes in a tissue
- improve ventilation by opening your windows
- regularly clean and disinfect surfaces, especially in communal areas
- wear a mask or face covering where physical distancing is difficult
Protecting our vulnerable places
The post-emergency stage means we are all encouraged to keep doing the right thing and making the right choices for ourselves. There will continue to be places, such as the hospital and care home settings, where extra measures like wearing a mask is required.
It is important that we continue to do what we can to protect these vulnerable places from COVID-19 and respect what is asked of us. The provision of care to our loved ones is vital and we must follow the rules that are put in place to support them and the staff caring for them.
Visitors to the hospital
Visitors to the hospital must follow specific rules to protect our vulnerable patients:
- do not visit the hospital if you have tested positive for COVID-19 and are within the isolation period
- do not visit the hospital if you have symptoms or waiting for PCR test result
- take a lateral flow test before you visit
- you must wear a mask (unless exempt) and additional PPE is required if visiting patients on wards
- you should use the hospital alcohol hand rub when entering the hospital
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