Beating bowel cancer together

What does it mean? Coronavirus glossary

Last updated: Monday 18 May 2020

Lots of words and phrases are being used at the moment in relation to coronavirus. We wanted to break them down to explain what they mean, who they apply to and what the differences between them are.

 

Self-isolation

What does it mean? 

Avoiding contact with other people and not leaving the house for any reason if you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus.

Who does it include?

People with symptoms, and people living with someone who has symptoms.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus you must stay at home for seven days from when your symptoms started. 

If you live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, you must stay at home for 14 days, even if you feel well.

Shielding

What does it mean?

Avoiding face-to-face contact with other people and not leaving the house for any reason if you are at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus. You should also strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus.

Who does it include?

People at a very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus. These people are considered extremely vulnerable. People who fall into this group will receive a letter from the NHS. 

Social distancing

What does it mean?

Reducing social interaction with other people and avoiding gatherings with friends and family.        

Who does it include?

Everyone, especially vulnerable people or people living with vulnerable and extremely vulnerable people.

Staying at home 

What does it mean?

People should stay at home unless they need to leave their home for specific reasons. These are:

  • Going to work if you cannot work from home
  • Going to the shops to buy food or collect medicines or goods ordered online
  • To exercise or spend time outdoors for recreation
  • Any medical need, to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk or harm, or provide care and support for a vulnerable person

Who does it include?

Everyone, except those who are self-isolating or shielding.

Extremely vulnerable

What does it mean?

People at a very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus. Extremely vulnerable people should follow government guidance which strongly advises them to follow shielding measures.

Who does it include?

Extremely vulnerable people include:

  • People with cancer who are having chemotherapy
  • People who are having radical radiotherapy for lung cancer. This includes people with bowel cancer whose cancer has spread to the lung
  • People receiving immunotherapy treatments
  • People receiving other targeted treatments which can affect their immune system

For the full list, please refer to government guidance on shielding.

Vulnerable

What does it mean?

People at risk of severe illness from coronavirus. Vulnerable people should follow government guidance which advises them to stay at home as much as possible and follow social distancing measures.

Who does it include?

Vulnerable people include people with cancer who are not in one of the groups outlined above as ‘extremely vulnerable’. They also include anyone over the age of 70 and people with certain underlying health conditions.

For the full list, please refer to government guidance on social distancing.

For more information, please refer to the wider government guidance on:

 

See all our Coronavirus advice and guidance

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