Select your location for up-to-date news and information in your local area My Area
Worried looking girl

What is coronavirus?

We have been living with and hearing about coronavirus for over a year now.

COVID-19, the name for this particular coronavirus, is an illness that can affect the body’s lungs and airways. This is a new kind of this type of virus, and it is spreading around the world.


The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

If you have any of the above symptoms, self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test.

Some people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms, although many people can have and spread the virus without knowing. Which is why it’s important to take a lateral flow test twice weekly.

From the 11th January in England, those with no symptoms who receive positive lateral flow test results for coronavirus will be required to self-isolate immediately and won’t need to take a confirmatory PCR test.

This is a temporary measure while COVID-19 rates remain high across the UK. Anyone who develops any of the COVID-19 symptoms should still take a PCR test.

5 ways which you can help stop the spread of coronavirus

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, maybe to the tune of happy birthday, or perhaps you could try singing one of your favourite songs to see which last for 20 seconds instead!
  2. Try to keep your hands off your face, so no rubbing your eyes or nose, or putting your hands in your mouth. That way, if there is any of the virus on your hands, you won’t give it a way to enter the body where it can make you feel unwell
  3. If you cough or sneeze, do this into a tissue and bin it. You could also sneeze into your elbow if needed to avoid using your hands
  4. Wear a face mask wherever you can. Even after the 19th July 2021, face coverings are still required in some indoor environments, such as hospitals, to help protect patients and healthcare staff.
  5. Practice social distancing wherever possible.
Coronavirus how to stop the spread

Source: NHS/BBC

If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), get a coronavirus test as soon as possible.

Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your coronavirus test result – only leave your home to have a test. View the latest guidance on self-isolation here.

You can also download the NHS COVID-19 app to log when you visit public places like leisure centres and restaurants, and also be informed if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your school nurse.

Cross Hatch

Find help in your local area

Find help in your local area

Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.

Find help in your local area