22/10/2020 - Permalink

Coronavirus: Using the ‘Swiss cheese’ approach to protect yourself and others from COVID-19

Related topics: Coronavirus / Health / Public protection

A stack of Swiss cheese can help protect you from coronavirus / COVID-19.

Physically, it cannot. But the idea can.

Think of all the measures designed to keep you safe

  • Social distancing
  • Hand hygiene
  • Face coverings
  • Surface cleaning
  • Self-isolating
  • Testing

We should all be doing these things or be ready to do them, but none of them are 100% effective on their own.

The 'Swiss Cheese' approach

The ‘Swiss Cheese’ approach

Some people believe there’s no point wearing a mask, ‘because’. Others say social distancing alone is enough to keep them safe, as if there’s an invisible forcefield around them.

Each measure is a bit of like a slice of Swiss cheese. There are holes in it, and so the virus can get through in certain ways. But if you follow all these measures and stack them together, it’s less likely the holes in every slice of cheese will align to make as clear a path through the entire stack.

If we stack those things up, then we have a block of cheese that the virus will find it much more difficult to get through.

So basically, if we follow all the measures designed to keep us safe, the chances of us either having or spreading the virus are vastly reduced.

Further information

Step Up and help us stop the spread of coronavirus:

  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance from people not in your household bubble (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Stick to a maximum group of 6 people when meeting socially – indoors or outdoors
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms
  • Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will meet people you do not normally meet.
  • Anyone who has any symptoms should book a test and not leave home for at least 10 days. Those living in households should self-isolate for 14 days if they or any members of the household receive a positive test.
  • You can book a test by calling 119 or click here

Download ‘Step Up Shropshire’ posters here.

For local advice and support during the pandemic (especially if you are self-isolating), call Shropshire Council’s COVID-19 Helpline on 0345 678 9028 (lines open on the weekend on Saturday from 9am-4pm and Sunday 9am-12pm) or visit our website at www.shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.