Protecting Yourself from Coronavirus and COVID-19
With the staggering numbers of sick and new cases of Coronavirus daily, we are all wondering what we need to do to protect ourselves and lessen the spread. The big question is whose advice do we follow. We are taking the advice of credible sources such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.
How is the virus spreading?
If we are to protect ourselves it's important to know how the coronavirus spreads. According to the latest information from the CDC, the main way the virus is spread is between people in close contact or person to person.
The sources of this spread are typically between people within about 6ft of each other and through “respiratory droplets” produced when someone carrying the virus coughs or sneezes and are subsequently inhaled by someone else.
It appears that the Coronavirus is a relatively fast-spreading virus, spreading between people faster than the flu but slower than the measles. That being said, the WHO still states that “most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover.”
What should we be doing?
According to health authorities and health care professionals, there are several key steps we can take to slow and stop the spread of the Coronavirus. We’ve compiled seven top tips from healthcare authorities. Remember we are all in this together and the steps you take don’t only affect you, but everyone you come in contact with.
- Social/Physical Distancing: This means avoiding close contact with people especially outside your household, and those who are sick. Most health authorities recommend maintaining a distance of 3ft-6ft between you and anyone else and staying away from public spaces. This reduces your exposure to or spread of the virus through liquid droplets produced by coughing or sneezing which carry the virus person-to-person.
- Washing your hands: This means washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in public spaces. If you don’t have immediate access to soap and water, a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol can be used. Washing your hands will kill or remove viruses that may be on your hands.
- Covering your face & mouth: Cloth mouth coverings are now recommended by the CDC whenever you are in public spaces, even if you aren’t sick. This is not meant to replace distancing measure; you should still avoid close contact. The intention is to prevent you from potentially spreading the virus. Cloth face & mouth covers are recommended instead of medical masks so that health care workers still have access to proper protective gear when treating sick.
- Avoid touching your face: Keep your hands off and away from your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially when unwashed. Viruses that have come into contact can easily enter your system through the eyes, nose and, mouth, increasing your risk of infection.
- Cover your mouth: If you have to cough or sneeze make sure to do so into your elbow or tissue, covering your mouth. If you happen to have the virus, this will reduce the number of droplets in the air which carry the virus.
- Seek medical care if you have symptoms: If you have symptoms such as fever, cough, or trouble breathing call your healthcare professional as soon as possible. Follow direct guidelines sent in place for testing and treatment. Calling ahead of time will allow your healthcare provider to properly access your needs and direct you to the appropriate facilities.
- Keep a clean environment: Make sure you are regularly clean & disinfecting high traffic areas of your home or work environment. Disinfecting and cleaning are separate items. Cleaning uses detergents to remove dirt and debris from surfaces while disinfecting will kill bacteria and viruses.
- Stay up-to-date: Make sure you are following local, state, and federal health authorities for the latest information. As a novel virus, health authorities and learning more information all the time and updating recommendations.
Prepare today the Cascadia way!