NEW: Information for patients on COVID-19 testing, symptoms and visiting the surgery.
With more and more cases in the area, we at the practice thought it would be helpful to go over advice regarding Covid symptoms and testing and also bust a few ‘myths’.
Last year we all knew the Covid symptoms were fever, cough and loss of smell or taste. New variants of Covid give you symptoms more like a cold with a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat and sneezing.
- Lateral flow tests are for checking that people without symptoms aren’t carrying Covid. They are not reliable for ruling out Covid if you have any symptoms. Many people with symptoms have a negative lateral flow but a positive PCR test.
- If you have symptoms of a cold, cough or temperature you need to get a PCR test to rule out Covid. It's important to identify who has Covid to prevent spreading it but also to help us monitor people more at risk of getting really unwell with it.
- If you have been vaccinated you may not have a cough at all and may just have headaches, sneezing and a sore throat.
- Being vaccinated doesn’t mean you can’t catch Covid. But it does mean you are much less likely to get really sick with it.
- Children can get Covid too and many local cases are in schools. There is no age limit for PCR testing and it's completely appropriate for a baby to have a PCR test.
- Please remember that we have to consider the safety of all our patients and staff. This includes not knowingly bringing people with possible Covid into the waiting room where we have elderly and vulnerable patients if they do not need an urgent review. Most people with symptoms are well enough to wait to take the PCR test before being seen.
- Trained practitioners will speak to patients to identify who has worrying symptoms and will arrange to see them in the safest way possible if they are not able to get a PCR test.
Please remember that we are trying our best to do the safest thing for everyone.
This includes making sure we don’t expose patients or staff to unnecessary risk. Unwell staff means 10 days isolation and even longer waits for appointments.
Please work with us to try to get through this time together.
Finding more information:
Look to see the number of local cases: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/interactive-map/cases
Information regarding when to use lateral flow and when to use PCR:
Information on symptoms from new variants of Covid and after vaccinations:https://Covid.joinzoe.com/post/new-top-5-Covid-symptoms
Information from Great Ormond Street on Covid in Children: https://www.gosh.nhs.uk/news/coronavirus-Covid-19-information-children-young-people-and-families/
Response to COVID-19 Vaccine Oxford-AstraZeneca media reports
The UK Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which is responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work and are acceptably safe, have said that evidence DOES NOT suggest that the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab is linked to blood clots.
People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.
Please read more here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mhra-response-to-irish-authorities-action-to-temporarily-suspend-the-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine
Need to see a GP or nurse in the evening or weekend?
GPs in central Durham, Chester-le-Street and Derwentside are working together to offer extra GP appointments from 6.30pm on weekday evenings as well as Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Just call your surgery to book any available evening and weekend GP appointments