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Covid-19 Latest Update

What is COVID-19?

  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). They are found worldwide in humans and animals.
  • COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. It is closely related to the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus and in the same family as the MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) coronavirus.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, sore throat and runny nose.

Is there support available for staff and students experiencing stress or anxiety as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak?

  • If you do not have symptoms and would like to speak to someone contact your local Student Services who will help explain the services available to you.
  • If you do have symptoms, please contact the World Health Organisation Covid-19 helpline on 0710 107 107 and provide your full travel history, contact risk and symptoms. They will be able to advise you on what to do next.

Is there a difference between self-isolation and self-quarantine?

  • People identified as a suspected case of COVID-19 need to self-quarantine while people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 need to self-isolate.
  • You may see both terms used in coverage of the COVID-19 situation, however in practice, both ‘self-quarantine’ and ‘self-isolation’ mean that you must stay in your home, hotel room or other accommodation.  The only time you should leave your home/accommodation is to seek medical attention.  You cannot attend public places such as work, school, shopping centres or go on a holiday. For consistency, we use the term ‘self-isolate’ in this document.

Health Advice

Q. What should I do if I am feeling unwell?

  • It’s important to stay calm and remember that earlier symptoms of coronavirus are consistent with a range of illnesses, most of which are not considered serious for otherwise healthy people.
  • However, if you have travelled through an affected area or may have been in contact with someone who has, and you develop symptoms, we recommend that as soon as practicable, you contact the World Health Organisation Covid-19 helpline on 0710 107 107 and provide your full travel history, contact risk and symptoms. They will be able to advise you on what to do next.
  • Any members of the ECU community who are unwell or concerned about their health during working hours should contact the World Health Organisation Covid-19 helpline on 0710 107 107 for advice about what to do next.

Q.  Should I attend campus if I have cold and flu symptoms but have had no known exposure to COVID-19 (ie have not travelled or been in contact with a confirmed case)?

  • While coronavirus is of concern, at this stage 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.
  • We encourage staff and students who are unwell with cold and flu symptoms to stay home to allow time to recover and to seek medical attention if required.
  • If  you are concerned about your health or potential exposure to COVID-19, contact the World Health Organisation Covid-19 helpline on 0710 107 107or your medical practitioner for further advice and information.
  • The World Health Organisation is regularly updating their advice and information about coronavirus via the COVID-19 Advice for public pages, including guidance information on when to seek medical review and when to self-isolate.

Q. Do face masks protect against the virus?

The only people who should wear masks in relation to COVID-19 are those who are unwell and have a relevant travel history.

Q. What other precautions can I take to protect my health?

  • The World Health Organisation recommends people:
    • frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub, or soap and water
    • when coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue, then throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands
    • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
    • avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough

For more information, visit the World Health Organisation

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