Coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus which was first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020. COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on 12 March 2020.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
With COVID-19 now spreading within communities, we are all responsible for taking extra precautions to ensure we practice good respiratory hygiene while those with symptoms should self-isolate in accordance with published guidelines.
Scottish Bakers and Coronavirus/COVID-19
As the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19 accelerates, we have summarised the main advice and have brought together links to the wider sources of information to help our members understand the risks, their responsibilities to employees and the steps necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Slowing the Spread of COVID-19
The usual high standards of hygiene and food safety observed by bakery businesses as an operational requirement will ensure that routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces, as recommended by the Government and NHS sources, will continue to keep potential infection sources at bay.
Members may choose to increase the frequency of routine environmental cleaning and disinfecting while the current situation continues.
Members should also be aware of the following general advice:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Use alcohol-based hand rub where available if you don’t have access to soap and
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Not come to work if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Wherever possible, avoid direct contact with people that have a respiratory illness
and avoid using their personal items such as their mobile phone.
- Cover the nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when sneezing, coughing, wiping
and blowing the nose, Dispose of all used tissues promptly into a waste bin. If you
don’t have any tissues available, they should cough and sneeze into the crook of
In the workplace:
- Maintain, or enhance, regular cleaning, disinfection and environmental cleaning – especially frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Promote hand hygiene by making sure that staff, contractors, service users and
visitors have access to hand washing facilities and, where available, alcohol based
- Ensure any crockery and cutlery in shared kitchen areas is cleaned with warm
general purpose detergent and dried thoroughly before being stored for re-use.
- Ensure that all members of your workforce are aware of the requirement to self-isolate if they develop symptoms and support them in doing this.
- Consider whether individuals can work from home, especially those at higher risk of illness (elderly, immunocompromised and pregnant).
- Consider how you can change working practices to reduce risk of spread of infection (eg – stopping all but essential visitors to your premises).
- Consider staggering start and finish times to reduce commutes at high volume travel
WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?
Common symptoms include:
- new continuous cough
- high temperature
These symptoms can range from a mild-to-moderate illness to severe acute respiratory infection. For most people COVID-19 will be a mild infection. COVID-19 is more likely to cause severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
What should I do if I have symptoms?
If you have symptoms of recent onset (within the last 7 days) of a continuous cough and/or high temperature, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started. This advice is designed to help people prevent the spread. You do not need to be tested for COVID-19. Self-isolating for 7 days will be enough to prevent spread.
Please visit NHS Inform for further guidance and information.
What should I do if my symptoms are worsening?
Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening. If it’s not an emergency, contact NHS 24 or your GP. If it is an emergency and you need to call an ambulance, dial 999 and inform the call handler or operator that you may have coronavirus (COVID-19).
DOWNLOAD THE FULL NHS SCOTLAND INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE
The key points outlined above are taken from the official Scottish NHS publication, COVID-19 Information and Guidance for Non-Healthcare Settings.
Where can I find further information on COVID-19 and how to reduce the risk of infection?
Additional information can be found on the COVID-19 pages of the NHS Inform website.
A COVID-19 communication toolkit is also available on NHS Inform (zip file) and contains posters, video and social media posts for organisations to print, use and share.
People who want more general information on COVID-19 but do not have symptoms can also phone the free helpline on 0800 028 2816 (NHS 24).
The helpline is open:
- Monday to Friday – 8am to 10pm
- Saturday and Sunday – 9am to 5pm
Further extensive information on Coronavirus/COVID-19 the is available from Health Protection Scotland.