The Coronavirus

Risk Level

Based on the latest advice from the World Health Organisation the coronavirus is now a very serious emergency and is now of international concern to the UK as well as every other country in the world.  The UK has now raised the risk level and it now now classes as a pandemic and precautions have been recommended by the government.

Precautions

Many businesses, schools, and colleges are now taking action and issuing advice on how to avoid the risks associated with the virus.

Prevention

Obviously, during any driving lesson or period of time travelling in a car, you will be in very close proximity to others and for longer than 15 minutes.  Therefore with this in mind, it is worth taking precautions to help possible contamination.  For the driving schools, this will include regular decontamination of surfaces with antibacterial wipes and additional car cleaning. Before starting a lesson you should wash your hands and then wash them again immediately after the lesson.

Cancelling Lessons

If you genuinely believe that you may have or been exposed to the virus government advice is to self isolate for a period of 14 days.  This may mean that you need to cancel your driving lessons for a period.  If you do genuinely believe you could be a risk then please do get in touch with your instructor so arrangements can be made to release you from any lesson commitments for a period of time.  Please do not cancel a lesson using the virus as a reason and then expect any lessons until the 14 day period has passed.

The latest advice on avoiding the virus is to have good hygiene.  Good old fashioned hand washing and using tissues if you cough or sneeze can help prevent the spread of the virus.  Regular hand washing and limiting hand to hand contact with others is also advisable at this stage – if at all possible avoid greeting people with a handshake, especially in large crowds. It is not believed that simply walking past a stranger in the street can spread the virus, NHS advice is that you would need to be closer than two meters and for longer than 15 minutes for there to be any substantial risk.

You should also avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands are not clean.

Who is at risk

The cases of the virus is now growing on a daily basis as is the speed of the virus.  Therefore it is not just those who have been travelling or been in contact with others who have recently travelled. There are now reported incidents of the UK and also include a school closer in Alton due to a student trip to Italy where pupils may have been exposed.  

Symptoms

NHS advice is that the symptoms of the virus are similar in nature to the flu.  This can include fever, breathing difficulties and a cough, but the severity of the symptoms can vary.  A patient may not show any signs or symptoms of the virus for up to 14 days from the initial exposure to the virus.

Information about the virus

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

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.

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.

More information and updates can be found on the official NHS website here.  You can also go to the NHS 111 website if you would like to get help here.

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