Following the recent outbreak of coronavirus, we have a couple of important notifications for our tenants. Since most of our properties have multiple occupants sharing the communal areas the risk of infection is higher, so it is especially important that you closely follow the NHS and Public Health England guidelines. We would like to make you particularly aware of the following:
- Make sure to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water, cough and sneeze into tissues and dispose of them immediately, wipe down surfaces regularly and try to avoid touching your face.
- If you notice any symptoms of the Coronavirus, such as a high temperature or a new/continuous cough then you should self-isolate for 7 days.
- It is important that you let us know immediately if you are self-isolating. It means that we can protect our tenants by helping them avoid contact with others because they have high risk of infection. It is also so we can protect our staff and tradesman from the spread of potential infection by cancelling all non-urgent jobs at your property.
For more information about the symptoms of Coronavirus and what do if you suspect you may have them, please see the link below:
In line with Public Health England, we would like to make our tenants aware of the following guidelines for self-isolating in shared accommodation:
- Wash your hands frequently. Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially if you come in contact with the patient or with items handled by the patient.
- Limit contact with the patient as much as possible. Where possible, avoid touching them and being in their immediate environment.
- Ensure that shared spaces (kitchen, bathroom) are well ventilated. Make sure to open windows as regularly as possible.
- Do not invite visitors into the home. Only those who live in your home should be allowed to stay. Do not invite or allow visitors (such as friends or family) to enter the property. If you urgently need to speak to someone who is not a member of your household please do this over the phone.
- Ensure that individuals at increased risk of severe disease avoid all contact with the patient. Anyone who is at increased risk should not care for the patient or come into close contact with them. This includes household members who have a chronic illness or who may have a weakened immune system due to treatment or medication, the very young (infants <1 year), those over 65 years and pregnant women. If contact cannot be avoided by those with an increased risk of severe disease, alternative accommodation should be considered.
- Avoid sharing household items. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with a person who is undergoing testing for coronavirus infection until they have been cleaned thoroughly.
- If possible, the person self-isolating should have their own dedicated toilet and bathroom. If a separate bathroom is not available, consideration should be given to drawing up a bathroom rota for washing or bathing, with the isolated person using the facilities last, before thoroughly cleaning the bathroom themselves (if able or appropriate). Ensure the isolated person uses separate towels from other household members.
- Household cleaning. Clean all surfaces every day with household cleaning products, paying particular attention to frequently touched surfaces such as counters, table-tops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets and toilet handles, bedside tables, phones, keyboards and tablets. Follow the instructions on the label and check they can be used on the surface being cleaned.
- Laundry. Wash all laundry at the highest temperature compatible for the fabric using laundry detergent. This should be above 60oC. If possible, also tumble dry and iron using the highest setting compatible with the fabric. Wear disposable gloves and a plastic apron when handling soiled materials if possible and clean all surfaces and the area around the washing machine. Do not take laundry to a laundrette. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling dirty laundry (remove gloves first if used).
- Waste. All waste that has been in contact with the individual, including used tissues, and masks if used, should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. Do not dispose of it or put it out for collection until you know that the patient does not have novel coronavirus. Should the individual test positive, you will be instructed what to do with the waste.
We would like to re-iterate the importance of letting us know in the office (via phone or email!) if you are self-isolating so we can carry out our duty of care to our workers and tenants. Once informed, we can make appropriate arrangements to signpost you to the support available.
For specific information regarding self-isolating in shared accommodation, please see the link below:
For general information of self-isolating, please see the link below:
Sheffield University Coronavirus advice: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/coronavirus
Hallam University Coronavirus advice: https://www.shu.ac.uk/current-students/student-support/student-wellbeing/coronavirus-advice
Information is correct as of 13/03/20. Please be aware that guidelines may have changed since this blog was posted.