Coronavirus Prevention Tips

PREVENTION TIPS 


Below are some common-sense measures outlined by the CDC that everyone can take to do their part to prevent the spread of this virus and protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

SYMPTOMS
Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

HOW DOES IT SPREAD
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). This is why it is important to practice social distancing. Even if you yourself are not at risk, you may be a carrier, and staying home can help protect the most vulnerable in our community.
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

IF YOU ARE AT A HIGHER-RISK* OF GETTING SICK FROM COVID-19

*Older adults and people with chronic illnesses

  • Stock up on supplies.
  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others, also known as social distancing.
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
  • Avoid crowds as much as possible.
  • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.

HOW TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS AND PROTECT YOUR COMMUNITY

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Disinfect school and work surfaces with soap and water or household cleaner.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Call your primary care provider right away if you begin to exhibit symptoms.
  • Make sure your vaccinations are up to date. Get a flu shot, if you have not yet. While the flu shot will not protect against Coronavirus, keeping people healthy will keep people out of the hospital or doctor’s office, which will allow physicians to focus on those in need.
  • Avoid gatherings of more than 50 people. As of March 15ththe CDC has recommended halting all gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, citing coronavirus concerns.
  • Rely on trusted sources, such as the CDC, the Palm Beach County Health Department, and the Florida Health DepartmentBe wary of relying on or sharing false information on social media platforms. When in doubt, check the source and date of the article or page! 

WHAT NOT TO DO

  • Do not assume you need a medical mask. You do not need a mask unless you are symptomatic. According to the CDC, masks should be used by people who show symptoms, to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. Medical masks are crucial for health workers. If masks sell out, patients and providers who need them are put at risk.
  • Do not be in close contact with people who are sick.
  • Do not travel to endemic countries. Information about travel to specific countries can be found here through the CDC.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU, OR SOMEONE IN YOUR FAMILY, MIGHT HAVE COVID-19

  • Contact your county health department.
  • Consult a health-care provider as soon as possible. Call ahead, and tell them before you visit that you think you might have COVID-19, so they can take precautions to prevent exposing other people.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • If you have a surgical mask, wear it during close contact with other people. A mask can reduce the number of droplets coughed into the air.
  • Remember, very few respiratory infections will be COVID-19.
  • Please review your signs, symptoms and travel history thoroughly with your physician.

There are confirmed cases here in South Florida, and it is likely that this number will rise. Congress is working to ensure that our public health system has additional resources to protect vulnerable communities and people who are at a higher risk of health complications.

Following the $8.3 billion coronavirus funding to stabilize our public health system, the House passed new legislation—the Families First Coronavirus Response Act—that establishes paid emergency leave; provides free coronavirus testing for everyone, including those without health care coverage; enhances unemployment insurance; expands food assistance programs for the vulnerable; and distributes additional funding to states for ongoing economic consequences. The bill now goes to the Senate, where it must be taken up in order to become law. More legislation is expected in the coming weeks. 

Please check the CDC website and my Twitter feed for updates.