Principles and assumptions for doing support work in the Covid-19 pandemic

This page is specific to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be updated rapidly.
  1. Anyone could be infected with the virus, and could be spreading it asymptomatically. Further, anyone could be already infected with other illnesses or have underlying chronic health conditions that could worsen outcomes or cause further problems.
  2. The aim of community organisations should be to prevent as many infections happening as possible, and where this isn’t possible, reduce the number of cases that need an ICU.
  3. The primary way to do this is to reduce the exposure of people at high risk of developing severe or critical illness as a result of the virus.
  4. Fast and general testing for the virus is not thoroughly available in the United Kingdom at time of writing.
  5. The virus is transmitted via cough droplets during in-person contact and on contaminated surfaces. At the time of writing, there is no evidence to suggest it is spread via sweat (Dr Tara Smith, Epidemiologist, Kent State University).
  6. Public transport is a common location of virus spread.
  7. A solution of 1:9 home bleach to cold water can be used for disinfecting surfaces that are clean of visible dirt or contaminants, if left on a surface for more than ten minutes (WHO Guidelines).
  8. Washing hands thoroughly with soap or with alcohol based hand sanitiser is effective at removing the virus, and preventing it being passed onto things touched by those hands, until they touch an infected surface (including someone’s face, because of proximity to mouth and nose, and other bodily fluids).
  9. It is essential that people feel able to, and are able to, reach out to community support organisations, to ensure they have options other than leaving the house and spreading or being infected by the virus. This means they need to feel those organisations can be trusted with their data, and as such it is vital to prevent data from being used for any purpose apart from than providing support.