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Coronavirus – Remember to follow the guidance

Please read through the latest available guidance to all staff relating to Covid-19

Coronavirus – Updated guidance                                                                                                                       

The Government continues to update its advice on Coronavirus.  We have produced this summary guidance in line with this and we would encourage you to read it carefully and share it with colleagues.  This information is summarised from the following website:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is the illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan city, China. It can cause a new continuous cough, fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste (anosmia).

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. This is a rapidly changing situation which is being monitored carefully.

How to Avoid Catching COVID-19                                                                                                                      

You can reduce your risk of getting and spreading the infection by:

  • avoiding direct hand contact with your eyes, nose and mouth
  • maintaining good hand hygiene
  • avoiding direct contact with people that have a respiratory illness and avoiding using their personal items such as their mobile phone
  • covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with disposable tissues and disposing of them in the nearest waste bin after use
  • following the guidance for households with possible coronavirus infectionand arranging to be tested if someone in your household has symptoms
  • making sure everyone in your household follows the Scottish Government’s Coronavirus advice as much as possible and to stay away from other people


You can’t catch coronavirus from food. But it is possible to catch it if you touch an infected surface or object and then touch your mouth or nose.

The Food Standards Scotland has answered some common questions about coronavirus and food.

Wash your hands regularly

Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol hand sanitiser before eating and drinking, and after coughing, sneezing and going to the toilet.

Stay at home if you have Coronavirus Symptoms                                                                                             

The most common symptoms are new:

  • continuous cough
  • fever/high temperature (37.8C or greater)
  • loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

A new continuous cough is where you:

  • have a new cough that’s lasted for an hour
  • have had 3 or more episodes of coughing in 24 hours
  • are coughing more than usual

A high temperature is feeling hot to the touch on your chest or back (you don’t need to measure your temperature). You may feel warm, cold or shivery. Some people will have more serious symptoms, including pneumonia or difficulty breathing, which might require admission to hospital.

If you think you have coronavirus and would like to assess your symptoms, phone 0800 22 44 88. You will be asked to answer questions through an automated service. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You should only phone 111 if:

  • your symptoms worsen during home isolation, especially if you’re in a high or extremely high risk group
  • breathlessness develops or worsens, particularly if you’re in a high or extremely high risk group
  • your symptoms haven’t improved in 10 days

If you have a medical emergency, phone 999 and tell them you have COVID-19 symptoms.

How long to stay at home                                       

If you’ve developed symptoms (however mild) in the last 7 days, stay at home for 10 days from the start of your symptoms and arrange to be tested. Do not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital. You should remain at home until you get the result of the test, and then follow the advice you will be given based on the result.

If you live with other people and have symptoms, they’ll need to stay at home for 10 days from the start of your symptoms even if they don’t have symptoms themselves. If they develop symptoms within the 10 days, they need to stay at home for 10 days from the day their symptoms started and arrange to be tested. They should do this even if it takes them over the initial 10-day isolation period. Your whole household should follow our stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection.

Precautionary Measures

To stay safe you should:

  • get the vaccine when you are offered it
  • wear a face covering where required
  • wash your hands regularly, and cover your nose and mouth if coughing or sneezing
  • self isolate and take a PCR test if you have symptoms
  • take regular tests if you don’t have symptoms to reduce the risk of spreading the virus
  • meet outside if you can, and open windows when indoors
  • keep your distance from people not in your group
  • work from home, or do a mixture of home and office working if possible
  • use the Protect Scotland and Check-in Scotland apps

Face coverings

You must wear a face covering:

  • in all shops and supermarkets
  • on public transport
  • in public transport premises such as railway and bus stations and airports (this applies to open air train stations but not to bus stops)
  • in a car with someone from another household
  • on school transport (children aged 5 and over)
  • in libraries
  • in museums
  • in banks/post offices
  • in places of worship

A face covering can be any covering for your mouth and nose that’s made of cloth or other textiles, and that you can breathe through. Religious face coverings that cover the mouth and the nose count as face coverings for these purposes. If a face shield is worn, another face covering must be worn underneath.

When applying or removing the covering, it’s important you wash your hands first and avoid touching your face. After each use, you should wash the face covering at 60 °C or dispose of it safely.

For a list of face covering exemptions, and to request an exemption card, visit Face Covering Exemption Card Scotland.

Additional information

Our Employee Frequently Asked Questions provides further information on the above.

Employees who are concerned about the virus should refer to official and expert medical sources such as Gov.UK, National Health Service NHS Inform and Occupational Health Sharepoint site, (you can log into this using your North Ayrshire Council email address.  If you are not able to access this, speak to your line manager).

The Council will continue to keep up to date with Government and public health advice and will issue further communications as required.

Community Impacts

Please bear in mind your friends, family and neighbours during this period, particularly if they are elderly, vulnerable or self-isolating. They may need extra help with everyday activities such as shopping and would appreciate your support.

You should start planning now for how you would manage a period of self-isolation just in case everyone in your household needs to stay at home.

Your plan might include:

  • talking to your neighbours and family and exchanging phone numbers of household contacts
  • making a plan for those in your home who are considered vulnerable.
  • creating a contact list with phone numbers of neighbours, schools, employer, pharmacist and your GP
  • setting up online shopping accounts if possible
  • ensuring adequate supplies of any regular medication, but do not over-order
  • talking to any children or young people in your household as they may be worried about coronavirus

You can find advice for supporting your child’s mental health during coronavirus through Parent Club.

There are also many supports for our employee’s health and wellbeing: Don’t forget to look after your own wellbeing – NAC Staff News (

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