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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Coronavirus / COVID-19

If you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell, do not come to our hospitals. Follow the national advice and stay at home for seven days.

Important information about our services and restrictions on visiting our hospitals can be found in the COVID-19 section.

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COVID-19 Staff FAQs: Self-isolation

Last updated: 19 May 2020

This is a fast moving situation and we will try to keep this page as up-to-date as possible.
Please continue to check national guidance on the COVID-19 pandemic.

If your question is not answered below, please speak to your line manager or email

If your question is about an HR matter that isn't addressed here, please discuss this initially with your line manager who can then raise it with the HR consultant for your Division.

Some links are to documents on the OUH internal staff intranet: if you can't access the intranet, please email and we will send you the document you need.

Please remember guidance is likely to change rapidly, so check back to see if you have the most up-to-date version of a document.

Self-isolation FAQs

What is the guidance on self-isolation?
Self-isolation is a really important part of protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your colleagues.

If you are not feeling well, you are not expected to be at work. You should also self-isolate if a member of your household has symptoms of COVID-19.

Symptoms consistent with COVID-19 include a fever of over 37.8, a new continuous cough, loss of sense of smell or taste, hoarseness, nasal discharge or congestion, shortness of breath, sore throat, wheezing or sneezing.

If you have concerns that you have symptoms of COVID-19 or a household member does, please follow the procedures to get tested:

Testing for COVID-19 (pdf)

Staff testing is available daily, including at the weekends, and is for all staff, including PFI colleagues, ROE colleagues, NHSP colleagues and medical students.

If you test negative for COVID-19 between day 2 and 4 of symptoms, and you are otherwise well, you can return to work immediately.

If you test positive, you need to self-isolate for 7 days. If you have been feeling well for at least 48 hours, you can return on day 8 from the start of your symptoms. You may still have a cough at this point, as the cough can persist for some weeks.

If someone in your household has symptoms of COVID-19, you can arrange for them to be tested as above. If their test for COVID-19 is negative between day 2 and 4 of symptoms, you can return to work. If they test positive and you and everyone else in your household remains well, you can return to work on day 15.

Public Health England has also produced a simple, easy-to-follow document on steps you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe while self-isolating (1.4 MB).
I live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term health condition, or has a weakened immune system. Should I self-isolate?

If you live with someone who is at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 because of an underlying health condition, you can read the Government's advice on how to stay safe. If you are still concerned, please read the information below on how you can apply for temporary accommodation.

When can I come back to work after self-isolation?

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (a fever of more than 37.8, or a new continuous cough, loss of sense of smell or taste), you need to self-isolate for 7 days. If, after 7 days, you are feeling well and have had no fever for two days, you can return on day 8 from the start of your symptoms. You may still have a cough at this point as the cough can persist for some weeks.

If you've been in contact with someone in your household who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19, you need to self-isolate for 14 days. If you have not developed any symptoms, and no-one else in your household has become unwell, you can return to work on day 15.

If during the fourteen days you get COVID-19 symptoms, you need to isolate for SEVEN days from the first day of their symptoms, in addition to the time already spent self-isolating.

Do I have to call FirstCare or my line manager if I have to self-isolate and I can't work from home?

Yes, you do. You will need to follow the normal procedure for reporting absence, which is to call FirstCare. You should check with your line manager for any local procedures regarding the reporting of absence after making contact with First Care. If you are symptom-free, this will be classed as a non-medical absence (as you are not unwell), and you will be given up to 14 days' authorised paid leave.

If I self-isolate with no symptoms but I'm still able to work from home, do I need to phone FirstCare?

No, there is no need to phone FirstCare in this instance.