COVID-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. Here’s what to do if you think you may have coronavirus.

Last updated: 12 July 2021


This advice is for members of the public. If you work for Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, check the staff intranet for current guidelines on coronavirus.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • shortness of breath
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

If you think you have symptoms of coronavirus:


  • follow the advice on NHS UK about testing

  • contact NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms or they do not improve


  • do not go to a GP surgery or pharmacy

  • do not visit our hospitals

NHS 111 service

The NHS 111 service can tell you if you need medical help and advise you on next steps. You should only use this service if:

How to protect yourself and others

You should:


  • regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

  • use hand sanitiser gel, if soap and water are not available

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze

  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands immediately after

  • use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services


  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Wellbeing and safeguarding

The NHS website has information about how to take care of your physical and emotional wellbeing during coronavirus. You can also access mental health support in your area through the Gloucestershire Let's Talk service.

If you need help or are concerned about a victim of domestic abuse, you can get support through the Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS).

If you need to report a child at risk while the UK is in lockdown, visit the health and social care section of the Gloucestershire County Council website.

Information for people with learning disabilities or autism

Our learning disability liaison nurses have produced 3 easy read leaflets about coronavirus:

You can call our learning disability nurses on 0300 422 4953 or 0300 422 4985 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm for advice. They help support adults and children, their carers and family with learning disabilities and work with staff to help them understand how best to support and care for people with these disabilities.

It's also very helpful for the Health Passport to be filled in by patients or their families.

NHS England have also developed a coronavirus leaflet for people with learning difficulties and autism.

Coronavirus and health issues for people with learning disabilities and autism

How to stay safe for people with learning disabilities and autism

What if you get ill? advice for people with learning disabilities and autism

Advice for volunteers

We understand if you would like to temporarily suspend your voluntary activities, or if you would like to move to another area. You should contact the ward or department you volunteer for to let them know, or call us on:

  • 0300 422 3451 (Cheltenham volunteers)
  • 0300 422 6648 (Gloucester volunteers)

We also advise that you follow the national guidance if you:

  • have an underlying health condition
  • are in an at risk category