Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information and Advice
Coronavirus (Covid-19) information and advice - what you need to know (Updated - 29 December 2021)
Covid-19 is a illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.
Check out the information below to find out more about Covid-19 and how it's affecting our work. If you have any other queries, get in touch with us.
If English is not your first language, you can translate this page using our accessibility features.
- Click the purple Accessibility button at the top of the page
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You can also access translated coronavirus resources from the following links:
Our services continue to be impacted by the ongoing coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) pandemic.
Testing services in Glasgow, Argyll & Bute and the Highlands have resumed. All other in-person support and testing remains suspended or severley reduced. Contact your local team for the most up-to-date information.
Additionally, our residential support centre, Waverley Care Milestone, remains open with a reduced service, taking no new admissions.
We will be continuing to provide support to people who need it by phone, text, and email, and through our live chat service.
If you are already receiving support from our teams, you can continue to contact your worker by calling their mobile phone number. Our teams will continue to support you over the phone during this difficult time. If you’re not sure what your worker’s phone number is, call us on 0131 4416989 from 9am-5pm (Monday to Sunday), to speak directly with a member of our team.
If you are not already receiving support from our staff, you can call us on 0131 4416989 from 9am-5pm (Monday to Sunday) to speak directly with a member of our team. They will advise you on how we will support you by phone during this time.
If you are already receiving support from our teams, you can continue to contact your worker by email. Our teams will continue to support you by email during this difficult time. If you’re not sure what your worker’s email address is, call us on 0131 4416989 from 9am- 5pm (Monday to Sunday) to speak directly with a member of our team.
If you are not already receiving support from our staff, you can call us on 0131 4416989 from 9am – 5pm (Monday to Sunday) to speak directly with a member of our team. They will advise you on how we will support you by email during this time.
If you are already receiving support from our teams, you can continue to contact your worker by texting their mobile phone number. Our teams will continue to support you over by text during this difficult time. If you’re not sure what your worker’s phone number is, call us on 0131 4416989 from 9am-5pm (Monday to Sunday) to speak directly with a member of our team.
If you are not already receiving support from our staff, you can call us on 0131 4416989 from 9am-5pm (Monday to Sunday) to speak directly with a member of our team. They will advise you on how we will support you by text during this time.
Through our live chat:
Our live chat service is available on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 12pm - 5pm. That means you can contact us during this time at www.waverleycare.org, and you will be able to speak directly to a member of our team.
For full information on which services are affected, check the service page of your local area here.
Covid-19 is the illness caused by a new strain of a virus known as a coronavirus.
Typical symptoms of Covid-19 include:
- a new continuous cough
- a high temperature
- loss of, or a change in, sense of smell or taste
Variants of Covid-19, such as Delta and Omicron, have additional symptoms to those listed above. For full information about the symptoms of each variant visit the NHS Inform website. You can also use NHS Inform's symptom checker here.
Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and people with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
If you've developed any of these symptoms, however mild, the advice is to self-isolate at home for 10 days from the start of your symptoms and arrange to be tested. You should also stay at home if someone you live with has symptoms, or if you’ve been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive. Full details of the Scottish Government's advice on self-isolation can be read here.
You should phone 111 if:
- your symptoms worsen during home isolation (especially if you are in a high risk group)
- breathlessness develops or worsens (especially if you are in a high risk group)
- your symptoms have not improved after 10 days
If you have a medical emergency, phone 999 and tell them you have Covid-19 symptoms.
The Covid-19 vaccination is available to all adults and children over 12 years old.
The vaccine is your best protection against Covid-19, so it is strongly recommended that you get the vaccine when offered it. Full information about the vaccines, and vaccination programme are available here.
Practise good respiratory hygiene.
You can reduce the chance of getting and spreading Coronavirus by practicing good respiratory hygiene.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol hand sanitiser. You should do this after coughing or sneezing, after going to the toilet, and before eating or drinking
- Avoid direct contact with people that have a respiratory illness where possible, and avoid using their personal items like mobile phones or pens
- Cover your nose and mouth with disposable tissues when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of them in the nearest bin after use
- Follow the guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection and arranging to be tested if someone in your household has symptoms
- Make sure everyone in your household follows the Scottish Government’s coronavirus advice as much as possible
- Make sure your household follows the physical distancing advice, staying 2 metres (6 feet) apart from others, especially anyone in a vulnerable group
We recommend this good hand guide produced by the NHS.
Download the Protect Scotland app.
The Protect Scotland app from NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect is a free, mobile phone app designed to help us protect each other, reduce the spread of coronavirus and avoid further lockdowns.
The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another app user who tests positive for coronavirus. And if you test positive, it can help in determining contacts that you may have otherwise missed while keeping your information private and anonymous.
We have answered some FAQs about the impact of coronavirus on those living with HIV, hepatitis C, and sexual health. If your question has not been answered, please get in touch with us.
If you’re living with HIV, you should follow the advice given to the general population.
If you are on treatment, with an undetectable viral load and a good CD4 count, then you should be at no greater risk.
If you’re living with HIV and do not have an undetectable viral load or have a low CD4 count, it is even more important that you follow the guidance.
The British HIV Association (BHIVA) is posting regular updates on Covid-19, based on the most up-to-date science. You can read them here.
During this time, PrEP will continue as a top priority for the NHS in Scotland to help reduce the transmission of HIV.
Many clinics will speed up their PrEP service to reduce risks for patients. This might include some virtual services and shorter times at the clinic.
The likelihood is that people using PrEP will be able to get tested for HIV and syphilis only. Testing for other STIs might be cut back if you don’t have symptoms.
PrEP is still very safe and effective, even with reduced testing.
Find out more about PrEP and coronavirus here.
If you’re living with hepatitis C, or have previously been successfully treated, you should ensure that you follow the advice given to the general population.
If you're living with hepatitis C, or have previously been successfully treated, and also have other conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, you may be at increased risk of serious illness if you get Covid-19.
This is also the case if you have developed advanced liver diseases (including cirrhosis) and deteriorating health as a result of hepatitis C.
If you are living with hepatitis C and currently undergoing treatment, you should not change or stop treatment unless you have been advised to do so by your doctor.
If you are looking for support, you can find out about how to get in touch with us during the coronavirus situation here.
If you’re taking drugs that aren’t prescribed, there are a few things you need to be aware of:
- Viruses (such as the common cold, flu and hep C) and bacteria (such as E. coli and Staph), can be passed on when you take drugs with unclean or shared equipment. To help prevent the spread, you should practice good hygiene and never share your equipment.
- Always rest well before and after taking drugs, stay hydrated and eat nutritious meals. This helps give your immune system the best possible chance against coronavirus should you become infected.
- Taking some drugs by smoking can harm your respiratory system, and may lead to an increase in your risk of coronavirus. Cutting down on or avoiding tobacco can also help keep your lungs prepared to fight off any illness. Your local Stop Smoking Service can offer resources and advice if you want to stop or cut down.
Crew have lots of helpful advice about coronavirus for people who are taking drugs. Read more on their website here.
As Covid-19 develops, NHS sexual health services are regularly updating the services that they are able to offer.
The best way to know what's happening locally is to visit your sexual health service's website - and links are provided below:
- Lothian Sexual Health - 0131 536 1070
- Greater Glasgow and Clyde Sexual Health Services (Sandyford Clinics) - 0141 211 8130
- Highland Sexual Health Services - 01463 888 300
- Lanarkshire Sexual Health Services - 0300 303 0251
- Ayrshire and Arran Sexual Health Services - 01294 323 226
- Borders Sexual Health Services - 01896 663700
- Dumfries and Galloway Sexual Health Services - 0345 702 3687.
- Fife Sexual Health Services - 01592 647979
- Forth Valley Sexual Health Services - 01324 673554
- Grampian Sexual Health Services - 0345 337 9900
- Orkney Sexual Health Services - 01856 888917
- Shetland Sexual Health Services
- Tayside Sexual Health Services - 01382 425542
- Western Isles Sexual Health Services - 01851 708305