COVID-19: guidance for health professionals

Information on COVID-19, including guidance on the assessment and management of suspected UK cases.

Background information and management

Infection prevention and control

Sampling, testing and laboratory diagnostics


News and announcements

On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed by the People’s Republic of China of cases of pneumonia of unknown microbial aetiology associated with Hubei Province, central China.

On 9 January 2020, WHO announced that a novel coronavirus had been detected in patient samples in Wuhan.

On 30 January 2020, the WHO Emergency Committee agreed that the outbreak now meets the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Published 10 January 2020
Last updated 27 May 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added COVID-19: information and advice for health and care professionals.

  2. Added COVID-19: genomic surveillance of patients treated with neutralising monoclonal antibody or immunosuppressed.

  3. Added 'COVID-19: investigation and management of suspected SARS-CoV-2 reinfections'.

  4. Added 'SARS-CoV-2 VOC: investigating and managing individuals with a possible or confirmed case'.

  5. Added 'COVID-19: rapid point of care (near-person) testing for service providers'.

  6. Added 'COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2): E53 sequencing request form'.

  7. Added 'COVID-19: investigation and management of travellers returning from Denmark and their household contacts'.

  8. Added 'COVID-19: epidemiological definitions of outbreaks and clusters'.

  9. Added COVID-19: long-term health effects to the Management of possible or confirmed cases section.

  10. Reinstated COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2): laboratory testing request form (E28).

  11. Added 'COVID-19: how to work safely in domiciliary care'.

  12. Added 'guidance for taking swab samples'.

  13. Added 'National COVID-19 surveillance reports'.

  14. Added 'How to work safely in care homes'

  15. Added Guidance for stepdown of infection control precautions within hospitals and discharging COVID-19 patients from hospital to home settings.

  16. Added 'management of exposed healthcare workers and patients in hospital settings'.

  17. Added 'Personal protective equipment use for aerosol generating procedures', and 'Personal protective equipment use for non-aerosol generating procedures' documents.

  18. Added 'COVID-19: evaluation of commercially available diagnostic products'.

  19. Added 'COVID-19: rapid tests for use in community pharmacies or at home'.

  20. Added 'Guidance for healthcare providers who have diagnosed a case within their facility'.

  21. Added Coronavirus (COVID-19): number of cases in England.

  22. Added: 'COVID-19: affected countries and specified areas'.

  23. Added COVID-19: guidance for Ambulance Trusts.

  24. Added interim guidance for first responders.

  25. Added new and updated sampling and laboratory guidance.

  26. Added guidance for first responders.

  27. Added guidance for healthcare providers with staff who have travelled to China

  28. Added guidance to assist professionals to advise the public.

  29. Updated terminology for novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

  30. Added guidance on self isolation for patients undergoing testing.

  31. Added link to WN-CoV laboratory request form (E28).

  32. Added links to news stories and blog.

  33. Added WN-CoV: interim guidance for primary care.

  34. Added 'Background information' document.

  35. Added information on diagnostic laboratories, and updated guidance on case definitions and infection prevention and control.

  36. First published.