Gorey based, Dr Peter Harrington has backed our Use Your Head to Stop the Spread Campaign here in North Wexford. In our latest blog he gives his advice on our current situation and what we must consider in our fight against COVID!
As North Wexford is experiencing a substantial spike in cases just at the moment I want to move beyond the three fundamentals of wear your mask/ wash your hands/ keep your distance all of which are of course crucial. There is more to know if we are to get our virus numbers down. Briefly, this virus is spreading because we are not also focusing FULLY on the following and are taking too many shortcuts. Here’s what we need to do:
1, This virus is highly contagious just before symptoms develop and in the first few days of symptoms. This means that a lot of Covid 19 is spread by people with no symptoms who feel healthy.
2. That is why it is critical that the FIRST sign of any new respiratory symptoms i.e. snotty nose, sore throat, cough, fever, or alteration of taste or smell we need to isolate ourselves. It means on Day 1 we stay in our bedroom ideally, but certainly away from our housemates, and do not go to work, school, sport, shopping et cetera. If symptoms persist to a second day, even if they seem quite mild and we feel quite well, please contact your GP to arrange testing. Warn your housemates and ask them to restrict their movements at least until you get a test result. They in turn should not go to work or school or sport and keep essential trips, such as shopping, to a minimum.
3. Continue to isolate as completely as you can while you await testing, while you travel for a test, and while you wait for the result. Remember you can only leave isolation if you have a negative test AND if your symptoms have completely cleared for 48 hours. Realistically, for most of us, this will mean at least one week off work or study. Your housemates should restrict their social movements as completely as possible until such time as you have a negative test result, when they can return to normal activity.
4. If you have a positive test result, confirming Covid 19, you need to maintain complete social isolation for 10 full days from the date of the test. You can then return to work or study if your previous five days had been free of fever.
5. If you have a positive test result, your housemates and close contacts now need to isolate for a full 14 days from the date of the test, even if they have had two negative test results.
If we can all follow these simple if uncomfortable rules we will stop the virus spreading and return our society to a healthier position which will allow us to socialise a little more once more.