Two weeks ago, the world changed as measures were taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). All over the world, big events were cancelled, workers were sent to work from home, and grocery store shelves were emptied seemingly overnight. We are now living in an unprecedented time in history, a time of uncertainty and change as we attempt to prevent the spread of this virus. But, the greatest tool in times like this is information, so to do our part we want to share the life-saving, disease-preventing tips you’ve been seeing everywhere on our website, too.
Let’s start with the basics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted the following information about COVID-19 to their website:
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Now that you know the basics about the virus and how it spreads, here are the main five tips to remember and follow as shared by the World Health Organziation:
HANDS Wash them often.
ELBOW Cough into it.
FACE Don’t touch it.
SPACE Keep safe distance.
HOME Stay if you can.
Those five steps listed above are the most important things to remember right now, condensed into the shortest and easiest form. Here is a little more information from the CDC:
Clean your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Stay home if you’re sick
Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
Cover coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
Throw used tissues in the trash.
Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a face mask if you are sick
If you are sick: You should wear a face mask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a face mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a face mask if they enter your room.
If you are not sick: You do not need to wear a face mask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a face mask). Face masks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, counter-tops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
By following these tips, you’re doing your part to help protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Together we can make it through this uncertain time! For more information please visit the linked pages to the WHO and the CDC.