Coronavirus Update

Posted by Dr Catherine Rutland on 25/03/2020
Washing hands to prevent coronavirus

Last updated: Wednesday 25 March at 1pm

Latest Government advice

On Monday 23 March, the UK Government has now advised stronger measures to tackle coronavirus, covering: 

- Only go to work if you cannot do your work at home.
- If possible, you should not go out, even to buy food or essentials, other than for exercise and in that case at a safe distance from others
- Avoid all unnecessary travel.
- Isolate households for 14 days, if one family member becomes unwell or has Coronavirus symptoms (a new persistent cough or a temperature).
- Only use the NHS when it’s really necessary, or use NHS111 online.
- ‘High risk’ individuals (including those with illnesses, pregnant women and the older population) to take additional care. - Certain at risk groups have been notified and asked to isolate for 12 weeks.

What should dental practices be doing?

We are advising all dental practices to continue to monitor the relevant Government and NHS websites so that they are up to date with the latest advice on Coronavirus. 


On 20th March 2020, updated official guidelines were published for dental teams working in England. Further interpretation of the advice was published by the BDA on the 22nd March. Further guidance has now been published for Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, it is imperative you look out for your most recent local update as these vary between the jurisdictions.

While these guidelines and others are summarised below, for definitive guidance please refer to these documents and any subsequent updates that replace them by following these links:


England (25th March 2020)

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/Issue-2-Preparedness-letter-for-primary-dental-care-20-March-2020.pdf

Latest update from Chief Dental Officer NHS England - 25th March 2020

Northern Ireland (24th March 2020)

http://www.hscbusiness.hscni.net/services/3111.htm


Scotland (23rd March 2020)

https://www.scottishdental.org/2020/03/


Wales (23rd March 2020) 


Links to the latest Government advice for healthcare professionals

The latest NHS advice for healthcare professionals on Coronavirus is available at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/

The latest information on self-isolation, which applies to everyone, including NHS staff, is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

For Primary Care information visit:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/primary-care/

For Secondary Care information visit: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/secondary-care/ 

Link to Novel Coronavirus standard operating procedure publication for Primary Dental Care settings (including community dental services): https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/20200305-COVID-19-PRIMARY-CARE-SOP-DENTAL-PUBLICATION-V1.1.pdf

We would also advise practices to sign up for the latest Government responses on Coronavirus:

https://www.gov.uk/email-signup?link=/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

For Denplan members please see more detailed guidance if you log into your portal.


What to do if you think you are affected by Coronavirus

If you live alone and you have symptoms of Coronavirus however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.

If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

For anyone else in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period.

There is more information available here on the NHS website.

Symptoms are:

- A high temperature (37.8 or above) – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- A new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly


Further advice is:

- Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
- You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
- Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.
- If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days.
- If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.
- If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.


Further information and advice from the NHS for the public can be found at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Denplan from Simplyhealth is continuing to monitor the situation in the UK and will update their advice as things develop.

Dr Catherine Rutland

Clinical Director at Simplyhealth