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Government guidelines

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The Ministère des Solidarités et de la Santé regularly updates its recommendations to protect your health and recommends the right actions to take in the face of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

When faced with infections, there are simple steps you can take to protect both your health and that of people around you:

  • Wash  your hands very regularly
  • Coughing or sneezing into your elbow or into a handkerchief
  • Greeting without shaking hands, avoiding hugs.
  • Use disposable tissues and dispose of them.
  • Avoid gatherings, limit travels  and contacts

If I have symptoms (cough, fever) that make me think of VIDOC-19: I stay at home, avoid contact, call a doctor before going to his office or call the 24-hour care number in my area. I can also benefit from a teleconsultation.

If the symptoms worsen with breathing difficulties and signs of choking, I call the SAMU – Centre 15.

What individual behaviour should I adopt when dealing with the Coronavirus?

If I don’t have any symptoms, I apply barrier gestures (I wash my hands very regularly, cough and sneeze into my elbow, use disposable tissues, greet without shaking hands and avoid hugging. I reduce my outings to the bare essentials: work (if telecommuting is impossible), shopping and medical visits if they  are essential.

If I have no symptoms but have had close contact or live with someone who is ill with VIDOC19 : I isolate myself at home, I strictly reduce my outings except for food supplies, I apply barrier gestures (I wash my hands very regularly, I cough and sneeze into my elbow, I use disposable tissues, I bow without shaking hands and I avoid hugs), I take my temperature twice a day and I self-monitor the symptoms of the disease, I telework.

If I have symptoms suggestive of COVID 19 (cough, fever, breathing difficulties): I call my GP or a doctor by teleconsultation, I only call on the 15th if I have breathing difficulties or if I have been ill, I isolate myself strictly at home. I only get tested if I am a fragile or at-risk person, if I show signs of seriousness, if I am already hospitalized, if I am a health professional, if I am a fragile person in a collective structure (EPHAD, handicap). If I do not belong to any of these categories, a doctor will make a diagnosis based on clinical signs. Outpatient tests are possible.

If I test positive or if I am clinically diagnosed: I stay strictly at home, if I have an essential medical appointment I wear a mask to go there. In case of respiratory difficulty, I call 15. I am prescribed an initial work stoppage of 7 to 14 days, between the 6th and 8th day I have a medical opinion, from a distance, to have my symptoms monitored. Depending on my condition I renew this stop for 7 more days. My isolation will be lifted 48 hours after the complete resolution of my symptoms.

If I test negative, I continue to apply (ou keep applying) the barrier gestures (I wash my hands very regularly, I cough and sneeze into my elbow, I use disposable tissues, I salute without shaking hands and I avoid hugs) and I limit my movements to what is strictly necessary.

Do I have to wear a mask?

Wearing a surgical mask is not recommended without symptoms. The mask is not the right answer for the general public because it cannot be worn permanently and above all has no indication without close and prolonged contact with a patient.

It is the barrier gestures and social distancing that are effective.

Are gloves useful?

No. Gloves can also be used as a support for the virus after being soiled by droplets (respiratory secretions that are emitted when coughing, sneezing, or talking), which are the means of transmission of the coronavirus. Wearing gloves is therefore useless, except in very specific situations (healthcare personnel taking samples or performing high-risk procedures). These are barrier gestures (frequent hand washing, coughing into the elbow, using disposable tissues and throwing them away after use) and measures of social distancing.

Is it necessary to disinfect the surfaces?

Yes, commonly used cleaning products and disinfectants are effective against VIDOC-19. In addition to regular cleaning, surfaces that are frequently touched with hands should be cleaned and disinfected twice a day, especially when visibly soiled. Examples include door handles, elevator buttons, light switches, toilet handles, counters, handrails, touch screen surfaces and keyboards.

What health measures are taken to avoid contact?

On 16 March 2020, the President of the Republic decided to take measures to reduce to the strictest minimum contacts and travel throughout the country from Tuesday 17 March at 12 noon for a minimum of 15 days. Travel is prohibited except in the following cases and only on the basis of an attestation

– To travel from home to work when teleworking is not possible;

– Shopping for basic necessities in authorized local shops;

– Going to a health professional;

– To travel for childcare or to help vulnerable people, under the strict condition that the barrier gestures are respected;

– Exercise only on an individual basis, around the home and without any gathering

Infringements of these rules will be punished by a fine of between EUR 38 and 135.