Living Safely with COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted communities globally over the last two years and whilst there are no longer restrictions in place, it is important for us to remember that COVID-19 is still with us.
The council’s aim throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been to protect the lives and livelihoods of citizens across the city. Vaccines have enabled the safe removal of restrictions and will remain at the heart of the Government’s approach to living with the virus going forward. Vaccines remain the best form of protection from the virus and we encourage all those eligible to get their jab as soon as they can. Get more information on the vaccination programme and how to book or find a walk-in clinic.
To live safely with COVID-19, there are a few key behaviours we can all continue to practise in order to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe whilst further preventing the spread of the virus:
- Wearing a face covering in enclosed and crowded public spaces, or when interacting with people you normally wouldn’t
- Continuing to wash and sanitise your hands frequently
- Ventilating your space if you are indoors, or meeting people outdoors, enjoying the warmer weather
- Staying at home or working from home if you are feeling unwell or have any symptoms
- Getting vaccinated
More information and operational guidance can be found at When to consider wearing a face covering or a face mask.
For some people, COVID-19 can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone. This is sometimes called post-COVID-19 syndrome or "long COVID".
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that between 3 and 12 percent of people who catch COVID will still have symptoms 12 weeks after their initial infection. This is why it is best to do what you can to avoid catching COVID by practising the above listed behaviours.
Symptoms of long COVID
Common long COVID symptoms include:
- Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or tightness
- Problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")
- Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
- Heart palpitations
- Pins and needles
- Joint pain
- Depression and anxiety
- Tinnitus, earaches
- Feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
- High temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
You should contact your GP if you’re worried about symptoms 4 weeks or more after having COVID-19.
Treatment and support
Your doctor will talk to you about the care and support you might need. You may be given advice about how to manage and monitor your symptoms at home.
If the symptoms are having a big impact on your life, you may be referred to a specialist rehabilitation service or a service that specialises in the specific symptoms you have. These services can help manage your symptoms and help you recover.
For more information see Supporting your recovery after COVID-19.
COVID-19 and high risk individuals
COVID-19 poses a risk for everyone, no matter your age, gender, ethnicity or where you live. However, there are groups of people who are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill when contracting COVID-19. People are considered at highest risk if they have:
- Down's syndrome
- Sickle cell disease
- HIV or AIDS
- Chronic kidney disease stage four or five
- Certain types of cancer
- Had certain types of chemotherapy in the last twelve months
- Had radiotherapy in the last six months
- Had an organ transplant
- A severe liver condition
- A rare condition affecting the brain or nerves (multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Huntington’s disease or myasthenia gravis)
- Certain autoimmune or inflammatory conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease)
- A condition or treatment that makes you more likely to get infections
The NHS is offering antibody and antiviral treatments to people who currently have COVID-19 and who are at highest risk of becoming seriously ill after infection.
A doctor or specialist will confirm if you are eligible. If you are at high risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 you will be sent a rapid lateral flow test kit to use if you have COVID-19 symptoms. If testing positive and at high risk of significant infection, you will be contacted by the NHS to discuss antiviral treatments. If you haven’t been contacted within 24 hours, you should contact 111 or your GP.
If you are at highest risk, we encourage you to practise the following in order to keep safe:
- Ensure you have had all the vaccines you are eligible to receive
- Continue to follow any condition-specific advice given by your specialist
- Consider continuing to wear a face covering in public spaces, especially when crowded and enclosed, or when interacting with people you normally wouldn’t
- Work from home if this is possible, or consider with your employer any changes to minimise risk
- Minimise the time you spend in enclosed and crowded spaces
- Continue to social distance if possible
- Ventilate indoor spaces by opening windows and doors to let fresh air in when safe to do so, or meeting people outdoors if you are able to
- Ask friends and family not to visit if feeling unwell
- Wash hands regularly and use sanitiser when out and about
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- If having any symptoms of COVID-19, use the test kits provided following the instructions and making sure the test result is reported on the online portal or by calling 119