17th Mar 2020

We are updating this guidance to support organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic – this document is a work in progress and will be reviewed as necessary. 

Following the news that coronavirus (COVID-19) has now been confirmed as a pandemic, it's important we all take steps to prevent the spread of the illness and support our staff and clients through any concerns. 

What is COVID-19?

Covid-19 is the name for what we have to come to know as coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a group of viruses common across the world and COVID-19 is a new strain first identified in Wuhan in China in January this year. 

Typical symptons include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptons in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. 

The following symptons may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has the COVID-19 infection:

  • Cough 
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fever


We are in the process of producing guides to assist voluntary and community groups throughout County Durham - please check back again soon

Sources of Information


Information to help you decide what steps you and your organisation may need to take in light of the spread of the virus. 

NHS website

The NHS website has more information about how coronavirus is spread and answers common questions about the virus

UK Government Guidance 

This includes guidance on social distancing and vulnerable people and stay at home guidance. 

Public Health Matters Blog 

Continually updated with the latest information available and answers to common questions

Department of Health and Social Care

This Twitter feed is updated daily with the latest information and advice 

UK Government Travel Advice

Guidance for British people living and travelling overseas following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Small Charities Coalition

Information on insurance and risk for charities 

Institute of Fundraising 

Regularly updated information for fundraisers to help everyone in the fundraising community have the right information to guide any action you might need to take. 

Support for other groups

Diabetes UK has an information page for people living with diabetes

Asthma UK has a blog post with advice for people with asthma

The British Heart Foundation has published guidance for people with health problems

The National Eczema Society has offered advice on handwashing techniques for people with eczema and other skin conditions

SignHealth has created British Sign Language (BSL) videos to help deaf BSL users either working in charities or receiving support

Carers UK has produced recommendations for those with caring responsibilities

Housing Justice has issued advice to homeless shelters

The Cystic Fibrosis TrustPrimary Immunodeficiency UK and the Mental Health Foundation have all issued advice and support.

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