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How do I protect myself from Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

A common way that viruses are spread is through the hand to mouth route, for example when we cough or sneeze into our hand and then open the door this provides a method of viral transmission.

Most of us unconsciously touch our faces numerous times a day – so if our hands aren’t clean we can transmit numerous viruses. Therefore, an effective way to protect yourself is to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, only use hand sanitiser if soap and water isn’t available.

Consider establishing a routine of washing hands prior to preparing food and eating, before and after work, exercise, using public transport and obviously using the toilet. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue and try to prevent touching your face.

Look at our helpful articles below:

Preventing the spread of bugs is key to Benenden Hospital’s award winning success and using the same principles at home can reduce the chances of illness.

Proper handwashing technique can help you to avoid catching and spreading illnesses such as coronavirus, flu and norovirus. Benenden Health’s Society Matron Cheryl Lythgoe gives her top tips to help you keep your hands clean.

To protect those who are vulnerable within our communities it can help to plan ahead.

The use of social-isolation and social distancing can help with slowing down the spread of coronavirus.

Make sure you have a plan in place to make sure you can still get your essential shopping, consider using online shopping or asking family and friends to help. Please remember you don't need to stockpile food and medicines.

Health care providers are currently busier than ever with not only our normal daily management of health and illness but also the increased Coronavirus impact therefore it's important to consider our use of services.

If you start to experience symptoms and believe you could have Coronavirus do not delay in booking a test. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital as you could pass the infection to others. 

Use NHS 111 or call NHS 111 if you need to speak to someone. The majority of people who contract Coronavirus will experience mild symptoms that can safely be managed at home and will not require medical or hospital treatment. If you're concerned that you are at greater risk or your symptoms are severe contact NHS 111 in the first instance.  All medical emergencies should be managed through 999.

For general health advice, use credited online resources which provide evidence based advice, or alternatively try your local pharmacy for advice and signposting.

In the first instance telephone your GP surgery as they may be able to give telephone advice. Services like 999 or Accident and Emergency should only be used for genuine emergencies.

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be fabulous sources of information but sadly this information may not be fact based and can quickly raise anxiety and spread concern.  The spread of misinformation, myth and rumour can create serious health and social implications for our society. 

When looking for Coronavirus information the following will provide the most up to and evidence-based information:

Government information -

NHS information -

Travel information -

Accredited Twitter feeds - Public Health England @PHE_uk and Department of Health and Social Care @DHSEgovuk 

This information has been compiled using Government advice and third party information. This page is being reviewed and updated as appropriate, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. However, please be aware that Government advice may have changed since the last update.