COVID-19: THE RISKS
The virus that causes covid-19 spreads from person to person. Routes of infection are:
- Respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can then either land in the mouth, nose or eye membrane of another person. This rate of infection is increased when people are within two metres of one another.
- Airborne droplets inhaled. These are produced when a person coughs or sneezes and then linger in the air for another person to inhale. This rate of infection increases when indoors, especially if windows and doors are closed.
- Contact of an infected surface which is then transferred when a person touches their nose, mouth or eyes with their hands. This rate of infection is increased with poor hand hygiene.
SYMPTOMS AND INCUBATION PERIOD
Symptoms vary from mild to severe. If you have the virus you may feel unwell, have a temperature, a persistent cough and may have recently lost your sense of taste and smell. The incubation period is 1 to 14 days (average 5 days). Most patients are not infectious until the onset of symptoms. Recovery can take 2-6 weeks.
The virus can survive on inanimate objects for up to five days at temperatures 22 to 25 degrees Celsius with relative humidity of 40-50% which is typical of airconditioned indoor environments. Survival on environmental surfaces is dependent on surface type; plastic 72 hours, stainless steel 48 hours.
Anyone at any age can contract the virus and die. Even if you do not have any other illness, you may not survive the virus. However, people in vulnerable groups and those that have been asked to ‘shield’ are at an increased risk of contracting the virus, and will have a lower chance of survival.
If you are not sure whether you are in a vulnerable group you should check with your GP before attending the clinic.
TO PROTECT YOU; WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU ATTEND YOUR APPOINTMENT
To reduce the possibility of infection we will:
- Wear personal protective equipment (PPE); apron, gloves and a mask.
- Change PPE after each patient.
- Wash our hands and hard surfaces after each patient.
- Ensure social distancing is adhered. This means that for now; the waiting room at Salthouse Clinic will be closed and therefore patients are requested to either wait in their cars until called by phone, or to wait outside. You will then go straight into the treatment room.
- Have windows open. We will also open doors as regularly as possible to encourage air flow.
TO PROTECT US; WHAT WE EXPECT OF YOU
We politely request that you:
- Do not attend if you or anyone in your household has developed within the last 14 days flu like symptoms, a new cough, increased temperature, or a new loss of sense of smell or taste.
- Do not attend if you or anyone in your household has been advised by the ‘trace and track’ team to self-isolate.
- Wear a mask on entry to the practice.
- Wash your hands immediately on entry to the practice using the wash hand basin in the WC.
- Attend on your own unless previously agreed. Friends and family will be asked to stay in the car.
Remember, you will be protecting any vulnerable person who may be seeking treatment, as well as yourselves and us.
PLEASE THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE ATTENDING THE CLINIC. YOU ARE AT GREATER RISK OF CONTRACTING THE VIRUS WHEN IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH SOMEONE. ASK YOURSELF: CAN THIS BE DONE VIA VIDEO-LINK OR OVER THE TELEPHONE?