Protect yourself from Coronavirus

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By: County Commissioner Robert Weinroth Dist. 4 Special to the Boca and Delray Newspapers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed the following public health recommendations related to the Coronavirus.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as you most likely know, is a respiratory illness, spread from person to person.

The virus causing Coronavirus is a novel coronavirus, first identified in Wuhan, China. Coronavirus spreads by droplets made when people with the virus cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby or may be inhaled into their lungs. It is also possible for a person to become infected by touching a surface or object with the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

Common Sense Practices to Prevent Infection:

Practice “social distancing,” by avoiding close contacts (especially with people who are sick). If you are sick, keep your distance from others. Stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick to prevent spreading your illness to others and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Germs are often spread when people touch something contaminated with germs and then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. Be respectful of others and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing to prevent those around you from getting sick.

Washing your hands often for 20 seconds will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% Ethyl Alcohol.

Use regular household cleaning spray or wipes to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces at home, work or school.

The CDC does not recommend facemasks for people who are well. Facemasks should be worn by people who are symptomatic to help prevent the spread of the disease.

For confirmed Coronavirus cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death.

Symptoms can include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The CDC believes symptoms of the Coronavirus may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

If you get sick:

Stay home and avoid contact with others as much as possible except to seek medical care.

Separate yourself from people and animals in your home.

Call ahead before visiting your healthcare professional.

Wear a facemask, cover your coughs and sneezes, and clean (sanitize) your hands often.

Avoid sharing personal household items and clean all “high-touch” surfaces, daily.

Seek prompt medical attention if symptoms worsen (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and advise them you may have, or are being treated for, Coronavirus. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility.

Persons who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their health care professional.

Patients with confirmed Coronavirus should remain under isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission is minimized. The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made in consultation with your healthcare professional.

If someone you know is diagnosed with Coronovirus:

Help the patient follow their healthcare provider’s instructions for medication(s) and care. You should help the patient with basic needs in the home and provide support for getting groceries, prescriptions, and other personal needs.

Monitor the patient’s symptoms. If the patient gets sicker, call their healthcare provider and advise them the patient has laboratory-confirmed Coronavirus.

Household members should stay separated from the patient as much as possible. Household members should use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available.

Both you and the patient should wear a facemask when you are in the same room.

Keep the air clean. Open a window in the sick room or use a fan to keep fresh air flowing.

Perform hand hygiene frequently. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Wash laundry with normal laundry soap and dry on a hot setting. Keep dirty laundry away from your face and body. Wash your hands immediately after touching dirty laundry.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces (e.g., counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, phones, keyboards, and bedside tables) every day.

Hopefully, the virus will burn itself out when the weather gets warmer. Until then, be prudent and stay healthy!