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Please click the frequently asked questions below for further information and IPC precautions required:

  • What is COVID-19?

    Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

    Most people infected with the virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. However, some will become seriously ill and require medical attention. Older people and those with underlying medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, or cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. Anyone can get sick with COVID-19 and become seriously ill or die at any age.

  • How does it spread?

    The virus can spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe. These particles range from larger respiratory droplets to smaller aerosols.

  • What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
    • a high temperature
    • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
    • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
    • shortness of breath
    • feeling tired or exhausted
    • an aching body
    • a headache
    • a sore throat
    • a blocked or runny nose
    • loss of appetite
    • diarrhoea
    • feeling sick or being sick

    The symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu.

  • Why is this important?

    If NIAS staff are aware that the patient has a suspected or confirmed case this should be communicated to the Control Room (Emergency or Non-emergency as appropriate) and the staff in the receiving unit when transferring the patient to ensure effective patient care and management.

  • IPC Precautions
    • Droplet precautions (FRSM) should be used for routine care.
    •  Airborne precautions (FFP3 mask) should be used if an aerosol generating procedure for example intubation /extubation etc. is being undertaken.
    • Hand Hygiene should be completed as per the 5 moments in line with usual practice.
    • Eye protection should be risk assessed for any concern regarding a splash risk.
    • A Fluid Resistant Surgical Mask should be worn.
    • Gloves and Aprons should be worn.
    • The patient should be transported via ambulance with no other patients present.
    • The patient should be asked to wear a Fluid Resistant Surgical Mask (if tolerated and does not interfere with their treatment needs)
    • Laundry should be treated as contaminated, placed into an alginate bag and placed into a red laundry bag.
  • What cleaning is required?

    All equipment and the ambulance should have an in-between patient clean, paying particular attention to touch points.

  • Do staff need prophylaxis or follow up?

    If appropriate PPE is worn there is no follow up required for staff.

    If staff have had a breach in PPE they should remain vigilant for any signs or symptoms. There is no prophylaxis required and staff do not need to remain off work if asymptomatic.

    If staff develop symptoms of COVID-19 they should remain off work and contact their Line manager/ Occupational Health.


    All staff are encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves, their patients and their families. The trust will provide details of vaccination programmes which will be shared on the internet and other routes.