As lockdown restrictions slowly ease, Leeds NHS is urging people in Leeds to continue to take care and follow precautions in order to keep the COVID-19 infection rate under control.
Dr Alison Best, Associate Medical Director for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, urged people to remember that the country was still in a pandemic. She said:
“As shops and town centres open again, more children go back to school and football returns to our screens, life is starting to look a bit more ‘normal.’ However, we must remember that we’re still in a pandemic, and the last thing we want is for infection rates to rise again.
“We need to carry on with sensible precautions to keep the COVID-19 reproduction rate – often referred to as the R number – below 1. This will help us protect ourselves, our families and our communities and avoid the risk of any local lockdowns.”
The R number relates to how many people someone with the disease will infect. If the R number is 1, then one person with coronavirus will infect one other person, who will then infect another person. The lower the R number, the fewer people there will be with coronavirus.
Here’s how you can help keep the R number down and keep yourselves and those around you safe and well:
· The easiest way to stop infections spreading is to wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and to maintain social distancing from others as much as possible.
· If you have any symptoms of coronavirus – typically a high temperature, new persistent cough, loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – you must self-isolate for 7 days. Anyone living with you must self-isolate for 14 days.
· You can now get tested for coronavirus if you have symptoms: you can either use the online service www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call free on 119 to order a testing kit to be sent to your home. You should only request a test within five days of developing symptoms of coronavirus. This test will not tell you if you’ve previously had coronavirus.
· If you test positive for coronavirus you will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service. You must tell them of any close contacts you’ve had with people so that the NHS can call them and let them know as they will need to self-isolate for 14 days to minimise the risk of passing it on.
· If you have an appointment or are visiting any healthcare service in the city – hospitals, health centres and GP practices – you will be asked to wear a face covering at all times. You must follow this advice; you’ll be told if any exceptions apply.
For the latest information and advice about coronavirus, please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.