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Coronavirus prevention facts

Key information about the preventing the spread of COVID-19.


All information has been taken from trusted sources including the NHS and UK government. Information may change so please check the latest updates.

COVID-19 usually spreads by droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking. The risk of spreading is increased when people are:

  • close to each other (within 2 metres)
  • in poorly ventilated indoor spaces
  • in the same room together for an extended period

These respiratory droplets can also be deposited on surfaces where there's the risk they can be picked up and transferred to your face, eyes, mouth and nose.

It's important to continue to follow the precautions to make sure you don't become infected or infect others.

Keep following measures after having the vaccine

It's possible you might still get or spread coronavirus even if you have the vaccines. This means it's important to:

  • continue to follow the latest NHS guidance
  • if you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it's hard to stay away from other people, particularly indoors or in crowded places
  • meet people outdoors if possible
  • wash your hands with soap and water regularly, for at least 20 seconds
  • let fresh air in if meeting people inside
  • limit the number of people you meet and avoid crowded places

Letting fresh air in

Ventilation means letting fresh air into indoor spaces while removing stale air.

Letting fresh air in can help remove air that contains virus particles. This can reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

When someone with COVID-19 breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release particles (droplets and aerosols) containing the virus that causes COVID-19. Smaller droplets and aerosols that contain the virus can then remain in the air. If someone breathes in these particles, they can become infected with COVID-19. This is known as airborne transmission.

In rooms where there's no fresh air the amount of virus in the air can build up. This means there's more risk of spreading COVID-19. The virus can also remain in the air after an infected person has left.

Face coverings

Face coverings are largely intended to protect others, not the wearer, against the spread of infection. They cover the nose and mouth which are the main sources of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 infection.

This is why social distancing, regular hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes is so important in controlling the spread of the virus.

The best available scientific evidence is that when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets helping to protect others.

As face coverings are mainly intended to protect others from coronavirus, the wearer still needs to maintain social distancing and regular hand washing.

Find out more about face coverings on the government's website.

COVID testing

There are 2 types of tests available lateral flow test is used routinely for people without symptoms and a PCR test is used for people with symptoms or to confirm a positive lateral flow test.

If you're showing any symptoms of COVID-19 then you can get a free test to check if you have coronavirus.

Both tests involve taking a swab of the nose and throat one the LFD result is available within 30 minutes.

The PCR test is sent away to a lab. Most people get results within 24 hours but it could take up to 3 days.

Test reliability

None of the tests are 100% accurate. This can be because people are in the early stages of infection. Tests can only tell you if you have the virus at that point in time. A negative result doesn't mean you can stop wearing a mask or social distancing.

The benefit of testing is that it breaks the chain of infection. One in 3 people with COVID-19 doesn't have symptoms and that person could go on to infect many others without knowing it. By getting tested people are protecting themselves, their loved ones and their communities. It's a vital part of breaking the chains of transmission and getting back to a more normal life.

If you have a positive test result for COVID-19 you also need to follow the necessary rules including self-isolating for 10 days.

Testing with no symptoms

Asymptomatic testing (testing for people without symptoms), is being carried out in various locations across Derbyshire. Read about our community testing.

This type of testing uses a rapid test - also known as lateral flow test. You should get your results within 30 minutes.

Testing people without symptoms is important because around one in 3 people have coronavirus do not display any symptoms. Testing makes it easier to find people who may be unaware that they are infected.

If anyone tests positive with lateral flow device, they will need to isolate and take a PCR test. Anyone with a positive PCR will need to self-isolate.

You should do rapid testing on days when you are more likely to catch or spread COVID-19

For example do a test before you:

  • mix with people in indoor crowded places
  • visit someone who is at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19

People over 18 without coronavirus symptoms can also access free testing kits from some community centres.

You can order kits online. Find out which pharmacies are taking part in the scheme.