What you need to know if you’re self-isolating because of Covid-19

21 Oct 2020
By Unite Students, Staff writer at The Common Room

If you or your flatmates are showing symptoms or have tested positive for Covid-19, you need to start self-isolating.

But what does this actually mean for people living with Unite Students? Let us explain.

You need to self-isolate in line with NHS advice if:

  • You have tested positive for Covid-19
  • You are showing symptoms of Covid-19
  • You have come into contact with, or live with someone who is showing symptoms of or has tested positive for Covid-19 and you have not received both doses of your vaccine
  • You have travelled here from a country which requires you to self-isolate (find out if this includes you by reading specific guidance for England, Wales and Scotland)
  • If you’ve come into contact with or live with someone who has a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant then you must self isolate for 10 days. Even if you have had two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine and even if you receive a negative test, you must complete the 10 days isolation. You’d know this from the NHS track and trace system, or we may call you to let you know.

If you’re showing symptoms or have tested positive for Covid-19, you should self-isolate for 10 days. Any flatmates that you’re living with may then need to self-isolate for 10 days. Please make sure they know. 

What should I do when I am self-isolating?

If you are self-isolating, please follow the below advice in line with NHS guidance:

  • Only get a PCR test if you’re showing symptoms of Covid-19. When submitting your test, please include your university address rather than your home address
  • If you are self-isolating because of arrival from a country on the red or amber list, make sure you take your travel tests on the correct days
  • Do not leave your flat, even for supplies. Instead, ask a friend to drop them outside your door or order online (check www.shoppingslot.co.uk to find the earliest delivery slots from a range of supermarkets near you).
  • Please keep checking your emails for any updates from your local team about how they can help with deliveries and other tasks throughout your period of self-isolation.
  • If you are sharing a bathroom or kitchen with flatmates, please make sure you clean it thoroughly before and after you use it.
  • Do not share household items with anyone else.
  • Stay away from friends or flatmates, keeping a distance of more than two metres if you have to see them.
  • Make sure all of your rubbish is disposed of properly by tying it up in two plastic bin bags.

We would also advise the following:

  • Keep in regular contact with friends and family by phone.
  • In the event of a fire alarm, please evacuate the building as you would normally, but where possible, keep at least two metres away from other people.
  • Please be aware that we’ll only carry out maintenance in your flat if it’s a safety risk to you or others.

If your symptoms get worse or you can’t cope with them on your own, use the NHS 111 online Covid-19 service. Can’t get help online? Call 111 or, in an emergency, call 999.

If you are no longer showing symptoms after your period of self-isolation, you don’t need to continue self-isolating. But if you still feel unwell, please follow this NHS advice.

What action is Unite Students taking to help?

Unite Students has been implementing official guidance to the letter since the start of this outbreak and will continue to do so. 

Our sole focus is to help our students and employees protect themselves and others, and to support them in every way we can at this difficult time. To do so, Unite Students will take the following action:

  • We will be able to support you in a number of ways while you are self-isolating, which you can read about here.
  • Our Welfare Leads will be on hand to offer any support you may need. You can get in touch with them by emailing your property team.
  • We will continue to provide you with a safe and secure home throughout this situation.

Where can I get extra information and support?

For more information and advice about Covid-19 please visit the NHS website. For anything else, you can find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions in our Help pages. Please also regularly check your emails for updates from your property team.

You can also get free rapid lateral flow tests by visiting the NHS website, which should be done twice a week to help keep yourself and others safe.

If you have not already had your Covid-19 vaccine, you can book yours here. Anyone aged 18 and above in the UK can now receive their vaccine, and these are the best way to get protection against Coronavirus.

If you are feeling particularly concerned by the situation, please remember that our dedicated Welfare Leads are here to help however they can. You can contact them by emailing your property team. 

Your university is also well placed to offer support through their wellbeing services. You can find them by Googling your university name followed by ‘student services’. If you just need someone to talk to, take a look at what support is available to you by clicking here.

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Staff writer at The Common Room