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Advice for reception and front of house staff | Birmingham City Council

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check out the latest advice, service disruptions, information and support about Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest updates

Advice for reception and front of house staff

This guidance has been created in the interim, while awaiting further guidance from central government. It is important to remember that information is frequently changing and being updated, therefore if you require further advice please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus. This briefing highlights some of the steps you should be taking to reduce the risk of transmitting and contracting COVID-19.

How COVID-19 is spread

Close contact i.e. less than one desk width from an infected person, the risk increases the longer someone has had close contact with an infected person, approximately 15 minutes of exposure.

Inhaling droplets or secretions from an infected person. These virus particles can then be passed by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19

  • Cough
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fever

These symptoms are similar other illnesses, like common colds and flu. If someone has these symptoms it does not necessarily mean they have coronavirus. However, the government is advising that you stay at home and self-isolate for 7 days if you have either a high temperature or a new, continuous cough.

Please see the HR Guidance for what to do if you have symptoms.

Preventing spread of infection

Public Health England (PHE) recommend that the following general cold and flu precautions are taken to prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19:

  • 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 immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds – hand washing guidance
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work and before touching your face
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available, needs to be at least 60% alcohol
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • do not shake hands or exchange close personal contact.

If you are worried about Coronavirus symptoms, please visit NHS 111 online. Do not call NHS 111 or go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.

Further information is available on the PHE blog and NHS.UK.