4th March 2020
COVID-19 – Coronavirus concerns
You will be aware of the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the subsequent confirmed cases in the UK. It also appears that there are increasing numbers of the public that have been confirmed with coronavirus. At Havio, we take the health and safety of our staff and clients very seriously, so we are sharing guidance from Public Health England on steps you should be taking.
There is currently no cause for concern at Havio; we are keeping abreast of the daily communication that we receive from the authorities locally and nationally.
Many of you will be very concerned and anxious about what you have heard in the media and may even now know of people who have been affected by this virus.
We aim to keep you informed about any developments from the government and ensure we are doing everything we can to prevent the spread of any virus. We are spending even more time on cleaning and implementing precautions for our staff whilst working, travelling and visiting sites and even going over and above the current recommendations.
- Prevent the spread of infection
Make sure you and your workforce follow these general principles to prevent spreading any respiratory virus:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based sanitiser if soap and water are not available
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- If you feel unwell, stay at home and don’t attend work
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces at work
- Consider conference calls and video meetings instead of meetings in person
- Carry sanitisers and use when travelling, using welfare facilities and eating (before and after)
- Consider and assess who may need to visit your workplace and where they are coming from or where they have been travel wise
- If you are worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111 – don’t go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment
- If you or your staff have returned from a category 1 country or area in the past 14 days
- Wuhan city and Hubei province, China
- Daegu or Cheongdo, South Korea*
- Any Italian town under containment measures* (see the map here)
*Only if you’ve returned on or after 19 February 2020.
Contact NHS 111 for advice, and:
- Self-isolate for 14 days after leaving the country or area (see the home isolation advice sheet for help with this)
- If you become unwell, call NHS 111 immediately for an assessment (or 999 if you require emergency medical attention) – see below for the symptoms to look out for
- If you or your staff have returned from a category 2 country or area in the last 14 days
- China (other than Wuhan city or Hubei province)
- Hong Kong
- Italy: north* (see the map here)
- South Korea (other than Daegu or Cheongdo)
*Only if you’ve returned on or after 19 February 2020.
If you are feeling well:
- You don’t need to avoid contact with other people
- Your other family members don’t need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities
If you become unwell (see below for a list of symptoms):
- Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with other flu viruses (see the home isolation advice sheet for help with this)
- Call NHS 111 immediately for an assessment (or 999 if you require emergency medical attention)
- Symptoms to look out for
If you have returned from any of the category 1 or 2 areas or countries, look out for the following symptoms:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Fever (a temperature of 38 degrees C or higher)
According to other official guidance, while you wait for further advice:
- Avoid contact with others
- Stay at home – don’t go to work
- Don’t travel while sick
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing, throwing tissues in the bin
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (or an alcohol-based sanitiser if soap and water aren’t available)
- What to do if an employee becomes unwell and they believe they have been exposed to COVID-19
If the person has not been to specified areas in the last 14 days, then normal practice should continue.
If someone becomes unwell in the workplace and has travelled to China or other affected countries, the unwell person should be removed to an area which is at least 2 metres away from other people. If possible, find a room or area where they can be isolated behind a closed door, such as a staff office. If it is possible to open a window, do so for ventilation.
The individual who is unwell should call NHS 111 from their mobile, or 999 if an emergency (if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk) and explain which country they have returned from in the last 14 days and outline their current symptoms.
Whilst they wait for advice from NHS 111 or an ambulance to arrive, they should remain at least 2 metres from other people. They should avoid touching people, surfaces and objects and be advised to cover their mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in a bag or pocket then throw the tissue in the bin. If they don’t have any tissues available, they should cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow.
If they need to go to the bathroom whilst waiting for medical assistance, they should use a separate bathroom if available.
For current guidance for employees and employers and further information please click here.
We will continue with regular updates as changes occur.