Covid – 19 Update and Information from PHE

18th March 2020

Please see the latest update from Public Health England from 17 March as follows:

  • The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed that as of 9am on 17 March 2020, 50,442 people have been tested in the UK, of which 48,492 were confirmed negative and 1,950 were confirmed as positive. As of 16 March there have been 55 deaths in the UK.  Please be aware that tests are now being prioritised for those who require hospital care for pneumonia or acute respiratory illness – while continuing to investigate outbreaks, ie where several cases are connected, especially in a particular setting such as a care home. This change is being reflected in the surveillance data we report which will monitor, support and inform the public health actions we are taking while no longer providing a running commentary of individual cases, or individual deaths.
  • The Prime Minister has confirmed a daily press conference will now be held to keep the public informed of latest COVID-19 advice and the Government’s response. Any relevant updates from today’s conference once held will follow this update if urgent, or otherwise will follow in tomorrow’s update. A statement following yesterday’s (16.03.20) press conference can be viewed here confirming new advice on social distancing for vulnerable groups (see further guidance below also).
  • Latest materials for the public information campaign have been updated with the latest advice and are available on the Campaign Resource Centre (CRC). These include home isolation resources, alternative formats of handwashing advice, British Sign Language versions and an Easy Read document.
  • PHE has published new guidance on:
  • Staying at home, for households with possible COVID-19 infection
  • Social distancing to protect vulnerable groups
  • Other existing guidance is being updated to reflect latest advice.
  • The Government has announced it has put new structures in place to coordinate the response to coronavirus.
  • DfE has set up a helpline offering guidance for anyone with education related questions.