Advice and Guidance for Residents
We can all help reduce the spread of Coronavirus by following the simple steps explained below.
Even if you have had the COVID-19 vaccine it is important to continue to follow this advice because although the evidence is really strong that the vaccine is effective, no vaccine is 100 per cent effective and we don’t yet know if it will stop you from passing on the virus.
There is also a range of advice in easy read format from the charity Mencap.
COVID vaccines are available for everyone aged 12 or over.
COVID-19 vaccinations and booster
If you are over 18 you can find out how to get a vaccination at www.nhs.uk or you can visit a walk-in vaccination clinic so if you haven't already, please make sure you get both doses to ensure the best level of protection.
Booster vaccinations are offered to people most at risk of COVID-19 who have already had two doses of the vaccine more than six months ago. The NHS will be in touch when it is your turn to have one. Booster jabs can also be booked at www.nhs.uk
The UK Health Security Agency has produced a COVID-19 booster leaflet which provides further information.
Young people aged 16 and 17
Children aged 12-15
Children aged 12-15 are being invited for a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. For most children this will happen at school.
Here is a COVID-19 vaccine leaflet with more information for children and young people.
Public Health England produced a leaflet to explain what to expect after having the first COVID-19 vaccination. It answers common questions like “What are the side effects?” and “When can I go back to my normal activities?
Vaccine information is also available in additional languages on the BBC website:
If you have symptoms, stay at home and book a test even if you have been vaccinated.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- A high temperature;
- A new, continuous cough;
- And a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
If you have these symptoms – no matter how mild – you must book a test online or call 119. It is important that you do this as soon as possible.
It’s also important that you and everyone in your household stays at home to self-isolate.
If you don't have symptoms you should book a different type of test called a Lateral Flow Device test.
The Government advises that one in three people who have COVID-19 do not experience symptoms. By regularly testing using a lateral flow device test you can find out if you have COVID-19 so you know if you need to self-isolate to prevent passing the virus on to others.
More information about how to get can be found on our COVID-19 testing page.
Please note, you should not have a test if you've received a positive PCR test result in the last 90 days, unless you develop any new symptoms.
Self-isolate when required
If you are informed you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 you can expect a call from a Test and Trace advisor. Please co-operate with them and give them accurate information. They will advise what you need to do.
You should self-isolate in the following circumstances:
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you must self-isolate and book a PCR test
- If you are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for the virus, and any of the following apply:
- you are fully vaccinated
- medically exempt from vaccination
- have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
- are under 18 and 6 months,You should take a PCR test and self-isolate if the result is positive. You will need to self-isolate for ten days starting from when you took the test, or if you develop symptoms, for ten days from when they started.
- If you aren’t fully vaccinated and are identified as a close contact you should self-isolate immediately, book a PCR test and continue to self-isolate regardless of whether the result is positive or negative. If your result is negative the period of isolation is ten days since you were last in contact with the person who tested positive. If your result is positive you will need to isolate for ten days starting from when you took the test, or if you develop symptoms, for ten days from when they started.
- If you weren't fully vaccinated until less than 14 days ago and you have been identified as a close contact you should self-isolate, book a PCR test and continue to self-isolate regardless of whether the result is positive or negative. If your result is negative the period of isolation is ten days since you were last in contact with the person who tested positive. If your result is positive you will need to isolate for ten days starting from when you took the test, or if you develop symptoms, for ten days from when they started.
If you are identified as a close contact but do not need to isolate, you are advised to limit contact with the clinically extremely vulnerable, take part in regular asymptomatic testing, wear a face covering in enclosed spaces and practice social distancing for 10 days after your contact with the confirmed case.
Information about Test and Trace is available in Punjabi, Gujarati, Sylheti, Tamil and Urdu on the BBC website.
Please be aware you may also need to self-isolate following international travel. Please follow the latest Government guidance.
Follow these safe practices
Continue to maintain good hand hygiene and regularly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
Wearing face coverings in busy indoor areas and on public transport will still help to protect you and those around you.
Allow fresh air to circulate indoors while spending time with others because the fresh air dilutes the virus particles and can blow them away.
Download the NHS COVID Pass
The NHS COVID pass allows people to demonstrate that they are at a lower risk of carrying COVID-19 and transmitting it to others, by showing their test result or vaccination status. This can help businesses and organisations reduce the risk of transmission. Use of the Pass is voluntary but is encouraged to be used in facilities or events where people are likely to be in close proximity with a large number of people outside of their household, for a sustained period of time.
The NHS COVID Pass is available in the NHS app, on the NHS website, or as a letter requested by calling NHS 119.
Use the NHS COVID-19 Contact Tracing App
Sign up and use the NHS COVID-19 tracing app. There is an easy to use QR code to scan when entering eligible premises. See a full list of premises that need to collect test and trace information.
Get a Flu Vaccine
If you are eligible for a flu vaccine, it's now more important than ever to get it. If you are a parent/carer and your child is eligible for a flu vaccination please make sure they get the vaccination.
It’s not just about protecting yourself, it’s about protecting other people too, particularly those who are most vulnerable to the effects of the virus.
If you are concerned about a possible outbreak
Two or more cases of COVID-19 may be considered as an outbreak. An outbreak could happen at a workplace, a school or nursery or any other place such as a gym or shop. The local public health outbreak response team can provide advice about who needs to self- isolate and how long for, help identify close contacts and further measures to manage and control an outbreak. You can contact the team by completing the online form.
You can also contact the team to:
- Report cases of COVID-19 within the Stockton-on-Tees area.
- Provide an update on a previously reported Coronavirus concern.
- Report a business not following COVID rules.
- Request advice regarding COVID-19.
For information on what to do if you think you have Coronavirus go to the NHS website.
Unfortunately Coronavirus is being used as the basis for new scams - for information about this go to Friends Against Scams.
A guide on Coping Strategies for Anxious Times is available including in a range of languages.
50 humanitarian organisations have produced a children's storybook to help children aged 6-11 cope with coronavirus, available online and as an audiobook in 24 languages
Samaritans – If you’re worried about your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak you can visit the Samaritans website for help and support.
Barnardo's - Are offering a free telephone helpline and web chat facility for children, young people and their families from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities with staff available to talk in English, Urdu or Hindi. Visit Barnardo's website for further details.
Cruse Bereavement Care - Freephone National Helpline is staffed by trained bereavement volunteers who offer emotional support to anyone affected by bereavement during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can call Cruse on 0808 808 1677 - lines are open Monday-Friday 9.30am-5pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings when they’re open until 8pm. Email [email protected] or visit the Cruse Bereavement Care website for further information.