Coronavirus in Charlton update: What to do if you test positive

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An update in the coronavirus emergency from Greenwich Council’s public health team, with special advice on what to do if you need to self-isolate.

In the past seven days, there have been 2,447 confirmed new cases of coronavirus in Greenwich borough. There are signs that lockdown is beginning to work, with cases lower than they were a week ago. However, numbers are still very high across the country, and are even higher in London – including Greenwich. We need to stay safe and avoid our health system being overwhelmed by following the guidance explained in this update.

242 people are in hospital right now in the borough because of coronavirus. Hospital numbers remain high and are not yet reducing. To have to go to hospital because of coronavirus means your case is very serious, and these high numbers are putting a strain on our hospitals and everyone who works in them.

A national lockdown is in place across the country. This means everyone must stay home except for when it is absolutely necessary to leave.

It has never been more important to take every measure we can to fight the virus. Everyone needs to stay at home, except for essential activities. If you do need to leave home: Wear a mask. Make space. Wash your hands.

You can read all the details about the lockdown at

Self-care at home if you test positive

If you do test positive with coronavirus, try not to panic. There are things you can do at home to help you recover.

It’s common for symptoms to re-emerge when you think you’ve recovered. Don’t worry if this happens – continue to rest and look after yourself and the likelihood is you’ll feel better in a few days.

If you have a high temperature, it can help to get lots of rest, drink plenty of fluids (water is best), and take paracetamol or ibuprofen if you feel uncomfortable.

If you have a cough, it’s best to avoid lying on your back. Lie on your side or sit upright instead. You can also try at home cough remedies such as lemon and honey or cough medicine.

If you’re feeling breathless, it can help to keep your room cool. Try turning the heating down or opening a window. Do not use a fan as it may spread the virus. You could also try:

  • breathing slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth, with your lips together like you’re gently blowing out a candle
  • sitting upright in a chair
  • relaxing your shoulders, so you’re not hunched
  • leaning forward slightly – support yourself by putting your hands on your knees or on something stable like a chair

Try not to panic if you’re feeling breathless. This can make it worse. has more information about self-care at home, and a helpful video on what to do if you’re feeling breathless.

If you feel breathless and it’s getting worse, get medical advice from the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.

Getting tested for coronavirus

If you have coronavirus symptoms: (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste), even if they’re only mild, it’s important to get a test and stay at home until you get your result.

There are several local testing centres – please go to to book a test. Booking is essential for all testing centres. Order a home test kit if you cannot get to a test site. If you have problems using the online service, call 119. Lines are open 7am to 11pm.

Rapid testing centres
If you can’t follow the Government guidance to stay at home and have go to work, you can get a test very quickly in a number of walk-in centres around the borough, including at The Valley.

The test takes five minutes, and the results are emailed to you in 30 minutes. It will tell you if you have Covid-19, but no symptoms, so that you can protect those around you by self-isolating for 10 days until the virus clears from your body. Book a rapid test here.

Testing is NOT available at the Emergency Department at the hospital or at your GP practice, so please do not attend here trying to get a test.

Support if you test positive and have to self-isolate

If your test result is positive, you and your household will need to stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days (this has changed from 14 days). This is important to stop the virus spreading and to keep your community safe.

This can be stressful and worrying when you need to go to work. If you are unable to claim sick-pay from your employer and are a low income household, a one-off £500 payment may be available from the Government to support you and your family during these 14 days. Find out if you are eligible to apply for this payment or call 0800 470 4831.

Training available

If you’re interested in helping your community through volunteering, short training is available to introduce and prepare volunteers for the role of Neighbourhood Champion. This is an opportunity to learn, ask questions, share information and practice.

For more information, please email victoria.smith[at]


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