Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Background

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. Clinical presentation may range from mild-to-moderate illness to pneumonia or severe acute respiratory infection. COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on 12 March 2020. We now have spread of COVID-19 within communities in the UK.

Extensive measures have been implemented across many countries to slow the spread of COVID-19. In the UK the current recommendations are for everyone to stay at home as much as possible and severely restrict their interactions with others outside the household.

Information for the public and health professionals advising patients

Further information for the public on COVID-19 can be found on NHS Inform. NHS Inform includes a link to enable people to obtain a self-isolation note for employment and statutory sick pay purposes.

Guidance for use in Scotland

Case definition

As of 18 May 2020 the case definition for suspected COVID -19 was changed. We are working to update the guidance. In the meantime please refer to the Statement from the four UK Chief Medical Officers.

Infection prevention and control in healthcare settings

​​​The four UK countries are adopting the COVID-19 guidance for infection prevention and control in healthcare settings. This official guidance was produced jointly by the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health Wales, Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland), Health Protection Scotland and Public Health England.

This guidance is consistent with the current infection prevention and control advice and guidance that has been issued to and used by NHS Scotland to manage the ongoing response to COVID-19.

View the guidance on the PHE website​

Revised PPE guidance

The posters below may be used to promote the above guidance:

Also available

New learning resources: UK Coronavirus COVID-19 response - Infection prevention and control measures

These infection prevention and control learning resources developed by HPS in partnership with NHS Education for Scotland (NES) are for people supporting the NHS services during the UK COVID-19 response in Scotland who may be required to provide clinical care for a variety of patients including some who are either confirmed or possible COVID-19 cases.

Three resources have been developed:

1. New recorded webinar

COVID-19 Infection prevention and control in Health and Social Care settings - an overview
To support health and social care staff involved in the COVID-19 response, Health Protection Scotland (part of Public Health Scotland), NHS National Services Scotland and NHS Education for Scotland have produced a short recorded webinar.

This resource will:

    • Provide an overview of current IPC information to health and social care staff who are supporting the UK COVID-19 response
    • Highlight and answer frequently asked questions received by Health Protection Scotland
    • Signpost staff to relevant resources

Areas covered include:

    • Coronavirus COVID-19-what is it and how is it spread?
    • What are the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Precautions required to prevent the spread of -COVID-19 including Standard infection prevention and control precautions and transmission-based precautions?
    • Restricting visits to health care facilities
    • Staff health
    • Key messages
    • Signposting for key resources

The webinar is approximately 19 minutes long.

2. UK Coronavirus COVID-19 Response

Infection prevention and control measures - caring for a variety of patients including some who may be suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19

This detailed resource aims to provide practitioners (perhaps redeployed staff) with the key infection prevention and control measures contained in the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual that they will need to protect them and others when caring for a variety of patients including those suspected or confirmed as a COVID-19 case. There is also a section relating to COVID-19 specific infection prevention and control guidance.

Areas covered include:

    • What is Coronavirus COVID-19 and how is it spread?
    • Standard infection control precautions (SICPS)
    • Transmission based precautions (TBPs)
    • COVID-19 IPC specific guidance
    • What to do if you develop symptoms

3. UK Coronavirus COVID-19 Response

Infection prevention and control measures - caring for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients

This resource is a shortened version of the above and aims to provide practitioners with the additional infection prevention and control information you will need to protect yourself and others when caring for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients.

Areas covered include:

    • What is Coronavirus COVID-19 and how is it spread?
    • COVID-19 IPC guidance - disease specific
    • What to do if you develop symptoms

Before reading this resource you must ensure that you are already fully aware and be able to put into practice the current Standard infection control precautions (SICPS) – and Transmission based precautions (TBPs) detailed in the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual.

Healthcare settings

Information and guidance for social or community care and residential settings

Other settings

First responders

View the guidance for first responders on the PHS website.

Travellers

  • For the general public, guidance can be found on fitfortravel.
  • For health professionals, guidance can be found on ​TRAVAX.

Where a COVID-19 risk is identified then country pages will contain updated guidance.

Animal health

The latest COVID-19 guidance for all veterinary professionals and all animal keepers can be accessed on the Scotland's Healthy Animals website.