Information about Coronavirus

Updated: 30/07/2020

We have been getting many queries about Coronavirus tests. You cannot get tested for Coronavirus at Southernhay House Surgery and should not contact your GP about the results of a test you have had at a testing centre.

Please refer to the testing page and/or the NHS testing page for information on testing such as who is eligible and how to apply for a test. We understand that patients who have been tested will be contacted directly about results via text/phone, your GP may not receive these results. If you have not received your results by text/phone within 48 hours you should chase this with your original referral route or the national testing helpline on 0300 3032713.

UPDATE 30/07/2020: 7 day self-isolation period now increased to 10 days

What are the rules on self-isolating?
Self-isolating means staying at home and not leaving it. Anyone who has either tested positive for coronavirus or shown symptoms should isolate themselves for at least 10 days, and those who show symptoms should arrange to get tested.

Symptoms include:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell

They should continue to self-isolate if they still feel unwell after that initial period. Other members of their household should isolate for 14 days and not leave their homes. If you test positive you will be contacted by contact tracers, who will establish who else you might have passed on the infection to.  Anybody they deem to be at risk will have to isolate themselves for 14 days from the point of contact.

If you develop symptoms of coronavirus

If you have symptoms associated with coronavirus including a new continuous cough or a high temperature or a loss of taste or smell do not visit your GP surgery, pharmacy or hopsital.

If you develop symptoms the most up-to-date public guidance is always online at

If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do. For a medical emergency, dial 999. Only call 111 direct if you are advised to do so by the online service or you cannot go online.

If you develop new coronavirus symptoms symptoms after ending your isolation then you must follow the above guidance again.

For the latest COVID-19 advice please visit

Shielding patients

If you are considered at high risk of complications due to Coronavirus, you will be sent a letter by NHS England advising you of this. As a vulnerable person, guidance around Coronavirus differs from that of the general public.

Updated guidance for shielding patients can be found on the Government website – updated 23rd June.

Support available

The Coronavirus webpage has links to various forms of information and support available to you during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Exeter Community Wellbeing
Exeter Community Wellbeing, set up by Exeter City Council and Wellbeing Exeter, aims to provide support to local people. You can also contact them if you or your organisation would like to offer help.

NHS Volunteer Responders
If you have received a letter advising you to shield at home then you can call the NHS Volunteer Responders service for short-term help on 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm.

NHS: Help Us To Help You

You can still contact your GP, 111 online or call 111 for help. If you are told to go to hospital, you must go. We’ll give you the care you need.

Face coverings
If you are asked to come into the surgery for an appointment, please wear a face covering. Public Health England has produced a guide to making cloth facemasks which are suitable for patients to wear when visiting hospital or other care settings.

Tips for staying active at home
Due to the lockdown, many older people are finding themselves much less active than normal. Public Health England have produced this ‘Active at home’ booklet complete with tips on how to stay active at home to improve fitness and wellbeing.

It is advised that people are aware of potential scams related to the new Test and Trace service, which launched on 28th May. Scammers may attempt to utilise this to try and obtain personal information. You may be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service if you have a diagnosed case of Coronavirus or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

The genuine NHS Test and Trace service contact will:

  • call from 0300 013 5000
  • send text messages from ‘NHS’
  • ask people to sign into the NHS test and trace contact-tracing website
  • ask for full name and date of birth to confirm identity, and postcode to offer support while self-isolating
  • ask about the coronavirus symptoms
  • ask people to provide the name, telephone number and/or email address of anyone they have had close contact with in the 2 days prior to symptoms starting
  • ask if anyone they have been in contact with is under 18 or lives outside of England


  • for bank details, or payments
  • for details of any other accounts, such as social media
  • set up a password or PIN number over the phone
  • to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087

Date published: 31st March, 2020
Date last updated: 30th July, 2020