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This page contains information about the current outbreak of the coronavirus (or COVID-19, its official name), and provides advice for people that use Mind in Kingston services.
The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus as a public health emergency of international concern. The .
1. What is coronavirus?
The coronavirus is a type of virus; as a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. It is a new type of virus so it isn’t known how it is spread but it is likely that it is spread via cough droplets, and not via packages or food.
Generally, people experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover within 2-14 days. The 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.
2. What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
The symptoms of coronavirus are:
· a new, continuous cough
· a high temperature
· a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.
If you feel unwell, seek the advice of a health professional by calling your GP or the 111 NSH Helpline (see section 3 below).
3. Government Advice
The government has announced a number of new restrictions on the 22nd of September with some further amendments announced on the 24th of September. This is an extensive list, but key points affecting our services are:
For details and an updated list of what you can and cannot do, please visit the government's website by clicking here.
If you display coronavirus symptoms or if you are self-isolating you should stay at home.
For medical advice, call your GP practice or 111, the NHS helpline. You can also check the NHS Coronavirus page which contains information about the virus, test and trace, the NHS COVID-19 app and other useful information, by clicking here.
4. What you can do to minimise the spread of viruses
It is important that you help to reduce the risk of spreading the virus by following the NHS steps of Catch It, Bin It, Kill It. If you live with others, we advise that you pass on these steps to them as well:
· wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
· always wash your hands when you get home, to work or other places
· use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
· cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
· put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
· try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
· do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
The majority of people who are affected by coronavirus will experience mild to moderate symptoms and will recover within 2-14 days. If you have any existing conditions, we advise you to take precautions and limit exposure to other people - this will ensure that the risk of contracting the virus will be kept to a minimum. Please check in with your GP, care coordinator, CPN, psychiatryst or other health professional and follow their advice.
5. Mind in Kingston’s Services
Mind in Kingston remains committed to maintaining and supporting the safety and wellbeing of our service users, as well as that of our staff, volunteers, trustees and colleagues from other organisations. Staff that can work from home will do so, and staff that provide essential support will do with strict measures in place.
We have started to deliver some services in person again, including our Football project and Get Set to Go and we are working on re-opening the Drop-in Cafe.
In the meantime, we are available by phone on 020 8255 3939 for support, general advice, information and signposting during our usual office hours.
Other services are provided by phone or video, including Counselling, Get Set to Go, Art Workshops, Wellbeing Wednesdays and Mental Health Awareness Training. Please visit our social media pages for updates on courses, services and other (mostly free) initiatives.
6. Reviewing this page
This page is reviewed on a regular basis and updated as and when the government updates its advice.