Somerset County Council COVID-19 Information taken from the Newsroom

COVID-19 – well prepared plans in place

UPDATED: 29 MARCH 2020 at 11am


The latest Coronavirus Somerset briefing which can be found on the new site, available at

Latest advice

We’d like to reassure you that our local health and care services are well prepared with well-rehearsed plans in place to deal with the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

For most people, COVID-19 produces mild symptoms which include a cough, high temperature (fever) and shortness of breath and you’ll be fine after plenty of rest. However, for some (usually the elderly or those with an underlying health condition), it can lead to severe respiratory issues.

Public Health England will identify all close contacts of anyone who tested positive and give further advice. For more information about contact tracing, see

What are the symptoms?
If you are showing symptoms (fever, dry cough and shortness of breath), you must self-isolate (stay indoors and avoid contact with others) and contact NHS 111 either online at or by phone for further advice.

What will reduce its spread?
COVID-19 is a new virus and health professionals are learning more about it all the time. However, it’s believed to be spread from person to person through cough droplets.

Simple hygiene measures can help prevent its spread. This includes:

  • wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
  • wipe down objects and surfaces
  • use a tissue when sneezing or coughing and throw it away – ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’. Without a tissue, then use the crook of your arm rather than your hand.
  • Avoid touching your face (particularly your nose, mouth and eyes)

What do I do if I’ve been in close contact with someone who tested positive?
If you think you’ve been in close contact with someone who tested positive, and you start to develop symptoms, then please self-isolate (avoid close contact with others) and contact NHS 111 online at or by phone for further advice. Please do not visit your GP, pharmacy or your local A&E/hospital.

Close contact is defined as spending a minimum of 15 minutes with someone affected and less than 2 metres away.

How do I self-isolate?
If you are self-isolating, you need to stay indoors in a well-ventilated room away from others and don’t share towels, utensils or crockery with anyone else in your household.

Public Health England have issued guidance for anyone who is undergoing COVID-19 testing and self-isolating. This can be viewed at:

There is also guidance on why self-isolation is so important:

I’m over 60 and/or have an underlying health condition, what should I do?
If you are over 60 or have an underlying health condition like a cardiovascular disease, a respiratory condition or diabetes, you have a higher risk of developing a more severe reaction to COVID-19. You may wish to take extra precautions such as avoiding crowded areas or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

Travel information
Check out for the latest advice if you are planning to travel outside of the UK or have recently returned

Need more information?
For the latest public information, advice and guidance on COVID-19, check out

General Public Health questions and answers

Schools, parents and young people helpline
The Department for Education (DfE) has set up a dedicated helpline for schools, parents or young people. Available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, phone 0800 046 8687 or email [email protected]

5 things you can do to protect yourself and your community

Government’s action plan

Useful guidance
Public Health England (PHE) has published a number of useful guides in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). These are:

Boarding schools

Decontamination in non-healthcare settings such as offices, workplaces, libraries

Educational settings

Employers and businesses

First Responders

Healthcare workers

Professionals who need to advise the general public

Social or community care and residential settings

Staff in the transport sector

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas

Information taken from the Somerset County Council Newsroom:
© Somerset County Council 2020


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