Patients and visitors are being asked to wear a face covering or something else that can cover the mouth and nose, such as a scarf. The government is asking people not to buy medical grade masks so they can be saved for frontline health and care workers, and instead make their own face coverings at home.
You can use a simple scarf or bandana that ties behind your head or make your own ‘no-sew’ face coverings using the advice available online at the gov.uk website. Simply search for ‘face covering’. Face coverings are also available to buy in shops or online. Face coverings should not be worn by children under three and people who would find wearing them difficult (such as people with breathing difficulties).
Dr Adam Sheppard, Clinical Chair, NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group said: “As we gradually ease our way out from lockdown we want people to stay alert. This means we’re asking all patients to wear a face covering when they come in for any health appointments in NHS buildings or if they are visiting someone in hospital.”
Tim Breedon, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Nursing and Quality at South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “The wearing of face coverings helps to restrict the spread of coronavirus by stopping droplets being sprayed into the air by coughing and sneezing. That is why we are asking everyone who visits one of our buildings to cover their faces and by doing so help us to keep our service users, carers, and staff safe.”
Clinicians that are seeing patients face-to-face will be wearing personal protective equipment (face mask/gloves/aprons). This is for your safety as well as theirs.
David Melia, Director of Nursing and Quality at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are urging all visitors and outpatients to our hospitals to please remember to wear a face covering. It is important we do everything we can to help prevent the spread of the virus and this is one way we can all help to make a difference. By wearing a face covering you are not just protecting yourself. You are protecting the sick and vulnerable people in our communities and hospitals, who you could be unknowingly passing the virus on to if you do not cover your face.”
Further advice about wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces can be found here www.gov.uk/government/news/public-advised-to-cover-faces-in-enclosed-spaces
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), you must stay at home (self-isolate) and get a test. Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service (https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/) or call 111 if you cannot get help online. Do not go to places like a GP surgery, hospital or pharmacy.
Advice on what to do can be found on the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/