Care Workers: A Need to Know About COVID-19

COVID-19, Coronavirus and unprecedented. Three words we have all heard to much recently. We are living in a generation defining time in history and a time where the value of care workers is plain to see for all. It is also an immensely confusing, stressful and upsetting time for many people. This blog is setting out in plain terms what care workers need to know about COVID-19.

As I said, this is a generation defining time and when it passes, we will be able to look back and know as a team we made a difference when it counted. Everyone of you should be very proud of the role you are playing during this time of national crisis.

There are going to be questions, I have tried to answer some below. Please message us on Facebook or Twitter if you have any other questions!

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

A high temperature, usually considered to be over 37.5 degrees Celsius.

A new, continuous cough. Which means coughing a lot for more than an hour or having 3 or more coughing fits in 24 hours.

Do I need to stay home?

Yes. The government have implemented a lock down on the entire nation.

This excludes;

  • Essential shopping for food and medicine, done infrequently
  • One form of exercise a day, which can be a walk, run, or cycle. You can only do this alone or with people in the same household.
  • Medical needs or caring for a vulnerable person
  • Travelling to work that is not able to be done from home

Complying with this is going to reduce the spread of the disease and limit the risk to you and your family.

Who is most at risk of COVID-19?

At the moment, the most at risk are the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. At the time of writing, 0.9% of the death toll are people who had no pre-existing condition.

How long do I need to self-isolate?  

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you must isolate for 7 days.

How long does my family need to self-isolate?

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, your family must isolate for 14 days. The extended time for your family, to catch it (as the belief is that as you live together they will catch it anyway) and to not spread it.

When that family member starts to show symptoms, they must then isolate for 7 days from that date.

When will this be over?

The national lock down will be reviewed in 3 weeks, which would be the 13th April. They may choose to extend.

In truth, no one knows when this will be over. The best thing we can do is comply with the government instruction to keep the risk low, until a vaccine is developed.  

What am I paid when in self-isolation?

If you are employed, you are paid Statutory Sick Pay, you can now claim this from day one. Those that are self-employed there will be support, which is expected to be announced by the government this week, 25th March.

If you are on a zero hour contract, you will also paid statuatory sick pay.

Depending on your contract, you could be entitled to better sick pay terms.

What is furlough?

Furlough is a leave of absence. In this circumstance, people are being furloughed instead of being made redundant. This is ensuring/giving them the best chance that they will still have a job to come back to when this is over.

How much will I paid when furloughed?

The government are paying 80% of furloughed workers wages. Employers have the option to top up the other 20%.

The impact of Coronavirus

It goes without saying, that the impact of Coronavirus has had a far reaching and devasating impact on care homes across the UK. At the time of writing it is estimated that 4,000 residents have passed away due to Coronavirus.

Is there any hope to be found?

There is absoluely hope to be found, despite the Coronavirus. We have seen a coming together of humanity that two months ago, was probably unthinkable.

This is the first time most of us have experience not being able to do exactly as we want. We can truely appreciate being free, which can only be appreciated once it has been taken away.

There is hope that there will be more kindness in the world post COVID-19.

We will continually add to what care workers need to know about COVID-19. If you have any questions or input. Please contact us on Facebook or Twitter.