General advice on discharge for patients who have tested positive for coronavirus
You will have been cared for with isolation precautions whilst in hospital. If you are discharged within 7 days of your first positive swab, you should self–isolate at home until the 7 days has passed.
Self-isolation means that you should stay at home and not go to work, to any public areas or use any public transport or taxis.
If you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog, you will need to ask friends or relatives. Alternatively, you can order medication by phone or online. You can also order your shopping online. Make sure you tell delivery drivers to leave items outside for collection if you order online. The delivery driver should not come into your home.
Do not allow or invite social visitors to enter your home. If you receive essential care in your home, carers should continue to visit, but will take additional precautions to reduce the risk of infection.
If you are living with other family members, maintain social distance as much as possible. Aim to keep two metres (three steps) away from them. If possible, sleep in a separate room. Do not share towels, clothes or toothbrushes. Minimise the time spent in shared spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas and, as much as possible, keep shared spaces well ventilated.
After 7 days have passed from the date when your swab was positive, if you no longer have a temperature, you will no longer be infectious and can stop self-isolation. You may still have a cough for several weeks after the infection has cleared, but if this is your only symptom, you do not need to continue to self-isolate.
Members of your household
If you are being discharged within 7 days of a positive swab, members of your household will also need to self-isolate.
If you are returning to the same household, the other members of the household need to self- isolate for 14 days from the date you last had contact with them before the positive swab.
If you are returning to a different household, or will be living with people with whom you did not previously live, then the members of your new household should self-isolate for 14 days from when you return to the household.
If you are being discharged more than 7 days after your positive swab, and do not have a temperature, members of your household do not need to self-isolate.
How can I reduce the spread of infection?
Clean your hands frequently by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or by using hand sanitiser.
Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have one to hand, sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hand.
Dispose of tissues into a disposable rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser.
Clean frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles, remote controls, table tops regularly. Household cleaning products are very effective
Why do I feel more tired?
Tiredness is a common symptom when recovering. Tiredness makes you feel less motivated to keep active, which often means that you avoid activities. This can lead to you having less energy, which in turn can make you more tired. The key is to establish a balance of activity and rest.
Imagine your energy in terms of having a “jug of energy”. Some activities will top up the energy in your jug and other activities will use up the energy in your jug. Try to keep 20% of your energy in your jug at all times.
- Pacing - Slow down your activities as this will take less energy. Break down your activities into smaller tasks that are more manageable, use a stool in the kitchen, take your time on the stairs.
- Prioritising - When you have a fixed amount of energy to use, it is worth having a think about which activities are most important to you.
- Positioning - Try to avoid too much bending and twisting which can be tiring. Don't sit or stand in the same position for too long without changing your position.
When can I resume normal activities?
You may have received a Covid Rehabilitation Guide if you were receiving physiotherapy and/or occupational therapy. This has information about your individual exercise plan, breathing exercises, chest clearance etc.
If you did not require physiotherapy and/or occupational therapy during your hospital admission, you may be unsure about which normal activities you can resume.
Regular exercise helps with energy levels and prevents your muscles becoming weaker. It is important to stay as active as you can while also following the principles of pacing, prioritising and positioning (see overleaf).
Start to carry out some normal activities, e.g. make a hot drink for yourself rather than others making it for you, see the stairs as doing some exercise and try and increase this gradually. Have a walk around the garden or to the end of your driveway (not during self-isolation).
Coronavirus cannot be sexually transmitted but is transferred in respiratory droplets, so you get it from kissing and being in close contact when deep breathing. Overall it seems to be that you can have sex with your usual partner if you live in the same household and neither of you are symptomatic or self-isolating, but it is not recommended to start new sexual relationships.
Who can I call for advice after discharge?
Please call the ward that you were discharged from if you are worried or need some advice.
If you were known to the therapies team you can call 0151 6001950 for advice regarding your activities of daily living, breathing exercises etc.
What if I get worse?
Please ensure someone knows that you have been to hospital with suspected/confirmed Covid--19 and ask them to check on you daily via phone or text message.
How will I know if I am getting worse? You or others will notice that you are having more difficulty breathing and carrying out your usual daily activities and may feel that you are getting more ill rather than recovering.
If your condition gets worse and you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home:
Use the online 111 coronavirus service (only call 111 if you cannot get help online).
Government advice is being reviewed regularly and is therefore subject to change. Please visit the following website for updated advice and information: www.gov.uk/corona