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Coronavirus: specific advice for people living with diabetes

To avoid catching or spreading Coronavirus

Having Diabetes does NOT mean you are more likely to catch Coronavirus.  However, if you do catch Coronaviruses, it can cause more severe symptoms and complications in people with diabetes. More severe symptoms are also likely in older people, and those with other long-term conditions such as cancer or chronic lung disease.

New measures have been implemented to control the spread of the virus due to a rise in cases of coronavirus. From midnight (4th of January) all of mainland Scotland will go into lockdown until the end of January. The island areas will remain in Level 3.

You can only leave the house by law for ‘essential purposes’ which include:

  • Essential shopping
  • Caring responsibilities
  • Exercise
  • Being part of an extended household 

Meeting outdoors

A maximum of 2 people from 2 households can meet outdoors only.

Exercise
Unlike the last lockdown, the frequency of outdoor exercise is not being limited. For everyone aged 12+, outdoor exercise should only take place in a way that is consistent with the 2 people from 2 households rule.

Employment
People who are shielding and cannot work from home are being advised NOT to go into work at all. Anyone who is able to work from home, must do so.

Schools
Schools will remain closed for the majority of pupils until February the 1st. This will be reviewed in mid-January.

Travel
You cannot leave your home except for an essential purpose. When you do go out, stay as close to home as possible and away from crowded places. No one is allowed to travel into or out of Scotland unless it is for an essential purpose.

Places of worship
Places of worship during this period will close from Friday the 8th of January, except for funeral services.
 
To read more about the specific details of these new measures, please see the Scottish Government’s update here. 
 
You should still continue to:
·         wear a face covering if you are doing essential shopping
·         clean hands and surfaces regularly
·         stay 2m away from other people
·         self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms

If your GP is closed, phone NHS 24 (111). In addition, it is now recommended that all individuals living in the same household as a symptomatic person should self-isolate for 14 days (household isolation). Information on COVID-19, including “stay at home” advice for people who are self-isolating and their households, can be found on NHS Inform.

If you have diabetes and start to feel unwell you need to follow the sick day rules for type 1 or type 2 and check your blood glucose frequently.

Other TIPS to keep safe and well

If you have type 1 diabetes

  • Ensure you have enough glucose and ketone testing equipment
  • Be aware of you sick day rules provided by your diabetes educator team
  • Make sure you have a good stock of insulin pens, needles and any other medications you are prescribed
  • Stay hydrated – have plenty of unsweetened drinks and eat little and often
  • If you are an insulin pump user you should have insulin pens as a backup and a good supply of insulin pump consumables
  • Make sure your diabetes technical device  (insulin pump /continuous glucose monitor/Freestyle Libre device is in good working order and if you have any concerns phone the company who supplies your device directly to troubleshoot and arrange a replacement if necessary.

If you have type 2 diabetes

  • Ensure you have enough glucose testing equipment and if appropriate ketone testing strips (this might be if you have had your diabetes for a long time or have had ketones in the past). Ketones are uncommon in type 2 but remain a risk if glucose is high for a significant time &/or during illness. 
  • Make sure you have a good stock of your medications, orals tablets &/or injectable therapies. 
  • Be aware of you sick day rules provided by your diabetes educator team
  • Stay hydrated – have plenty of unsweetened drinks and eat little and often 

 

Shielding advice
Due to the current lockdown measures everybody is being advised to stay at home. The Chief Medical Officer will be writing to everyone that falls into this category. People who are shielding and cannot work from home are being advised NOT to go into work at all.
 
Last updated: 04/01/2021

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