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Last updated: 9 April 2020, 13:30

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19)

If you think have developed the characteristic symptoms of Covid-19 (i.e. a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, however mild) you should:

  1. Access and follow the advice of your county's relevant health authority. In the UK, this is the NHS, who can provide up-to-date guidance through their online 111 service.
  2. If you are in Cambridge, remain your room and notify your College's porters' lodge by phone. Your College will then be able to support you during your illness.

Looking after your mental health

Key resources

The NHS, through their Every Mind Matters campaign, have created the following pages to help you maintain your mental wellbeing during the Covid-19 outbreak:

In addition, Student Minds, the national student mental health strategy, have created a comprehensive set of resources specifically to support students through this emergency.

The UK Government have released detailed guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19).


General advice and self-care

To look after your mental health during this time, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that you:  

  • Try to minimise watching, reading or listening to the news if it makes you anxious or distressed.
  • Protect yourself and be supportive to others.
  • Do not associate the Coronavirus with any particular ethnicity or nationality.
  • Amplify positive and hopeful stories and positive images of people in your community who have experienced the Coronavirus.    
  • Learn simple daily exercises you can perform at home.

Yale University has made the most popular class in its history, The Science of Well-Being, available online for free via Coursera. Prof Laurie Santos, the course's director, also presents a podcast, The Happiness Lab, which has published a series of special episodes focussing maintaining well-being during the coronavirus pandemic.


Online support through Qwell

Adults who live in Cambridge are eligible to sign-up for a free account with Qwell, an online counselling and wellbeing platform. Quell provides:

  • Chat-based counselling
  • Peer support
  • Self-help resources
  • Articles and posts from experts and users

The Qwell service is requires no referral, and is free and available all day, everyday. Counsellors are online and available between 12pm and 10pm on weekdays and between 6pm and 10pm on weekends.


Further sources of support

Specific guidance and resources about maintaining good mental health during the Covid-19 outbreak are available from the following:


University and College counselling

From Monday, 16 March the University Counselling Service (UCS) will be offering telephone consultations for all booked appointments. As the situation develops, please check the UCS's website for the most up-to-date information.

For counselling provided by your College, you will need to contact your College or check their website for information on how the pandemic has affected this provision.


For students working in healthcare

Students who are currently working or volunteering in health services across the globe, or who have graduated early from the Clinical School to work as doctors, can refer to the following resources:

Fitness and exercise

The NHS provides a range of instructor-led videos across our aerobics exercise, strength and resistance, and pilates and yoga, lasting from 10 to 45 minutes, through their online Fitness Studio.

Sport England's #StayInWorkOut campaign provides tips, advice and guidance on how to keep or get active in and around your home.

Martin Lewis's Money Saving Expert site has published a blog post listing free videos, apps, etc to help you keep fit from home without equipment.

BBC Sport has collated a catalogue of resources to support everyday exercising at home, without equipment.

The University Sport Service will be publishing news posts with tips and advice on how to stay active and healthy while staying at home.

Specific issues or circumstances

For guidance on what you should do in specific circumstances not covered here, or for general pastoral support, you should contact your College in the first instance.

The Student Advice Service also remains available to provide free, confidential and independent support. Booked appointments and "drop-in" windows are being delivered over telephone or Skype.