Covid advice as list of symptoms is expanded

Published Tuesday 5 April 2022 at 16:46

As the NHS expands the list of Covid symptoms, Blackburn with Darwen’s Director of Public Health offers advice on what to do if you suspect you may have the virus.

Abdul Razaq has reiterated the need for us all to take personal responsibility to manage our Covid risk, including passing on the virus to others.

Abdul Razaq said:

As a result of the last two years of the pandemic, we’re more aware of how important it is to consider the way we behave when we’re ill. There’s been a real shift in people taking responsibility and behaving in ways that protect other people.

As free Covid testing for all has now ended, the government seems keen for Covid infections to be managed in the same way as other respiratory viruses, such as flu.

We can all very simply reduce the risk of spreading an infection to others by staying at home when we feel unwell, and minimising our contact with others. This is particularly important for anyone who shows symptoms of a Covid infection.

My advice would be to stay at home, where possible, for up to five days, and minimise contact with people who are at higher risk from Covid for up to 10 days.

Following the end of free universal testing, in many cases we won’t be know for certain if we have Covid. I would encourage everyone to err on the side of caution and if you have Covid symptoms, assume you have the virus and take sensible steps to avoid coming into contact with others.

The longer list of Covid symptoms is:

  • a high temperature or shivering (chills)
  • a new, continuous cough
  • 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.

If you think you might have Covid, or you are experiencing a number of these symptoms, please follow the NHS advice:

  • Try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people, particularly if you have a high temperature or don’t feel well enough to go to work or do your normal activities
  • Take extra care to avoid close contact with anyone who is at higher risk of getting seriously ill from Covid
  • Go back to your normal activities only when you feel better or do not have a high temperature.

Blackburn with Darwen’s current case rate is 471.9 per 100,000 people, an increase of 4.3% in the last seven days. The borough’s rate is still well below the England and North West averages, and the Council is keen to keep rates as low as possible.

Here’s a reminder of the five things we can all do to help protect ourselves and others:

  1. Get vaccinated against Covid to reduce your risk of becoming seriously ill
  2. Wear face coverings in crowded or enclosed public spaces
  3. Let in fresh air when meeting others indoors, especially if they are at high risk from Covid
  4. Wash hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds
  5. Stay at home if you feel unwell or have Covid symptoms.

Abdul Razaq added:

Vaccination remains our best defence against Covid. I would urge anyone who hasn’t yet taken up the offer of doses they are eligible for to get vaccinated as soon as possible, to protect themselves and to help control the spread of Covid in Blackburn with Darwen.

To find out where you can get vaccinated in Blackburn with Darwen, visit

People who cannot attend a vaccination site may be eligible for the NHS’s Vaccination At Home service. Find out more at or by phoning: 0300 790 6856 (between 10am to 8pm daily).

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