Many people are under a lot of stress with COVID-19 taking over the news, conversations and everyone’s lives. It is natural for the community to feel scared and nervous about the unknown, but more than anything it is important to protect ourselves, others and healthcare professionals during this critical time. 

Preventing the spread of diseases is the most important aspect when looking to save lives and resources. While treatment is necessary and important, if we can work to stop transmission, the virus will be treated much quicker and the quicker life can go back to normal. 

Most people are completely aware of how to protect themselves from getting sick, but it is always helpful to get a reminder, as well as a reminder about how to protect others in your community and especially healthcare workers

Protecting yourself 

Wash your hands frequently

This comes as a no-brainer to most people when looking to prevent illness. It should already be a part of your daily hygiene routine, but a reminder on the proper way to wash your hands can make all the difference. Be sure that you are washing with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds after being in a public place or after sneezing or coughing. If you are unable to wash your hands, use a sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. 

Avoid touching eyes nose and mouth

Especially if you are in public, you should be very careful not to be touching your face, especially the eyes, nose or mouth. Once the virus is on your hands, transferring it to any of those places gives it the opportunity to enter your body and make you sick. 

Practice respiratory hygiene

Be sure that when you cough or sneeze you are covering your mouth and nose with your elbow or with a tissue. Once finished, be sure to eliminate the tissue immediately and follow up with sanitation of your hands.

Seek medical care early

If you are having symptoms, be sure to get medical advice early. Especially if you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, call your medical provider early on to see where you should go.

Stay informed

Staying informed is incredibly important at this time. Learning new ways to stay safe and protected and what you can be doing to help is the best way to eliminate the spread of the virus as quickly as possible. 

Protecting community members

Stay home 

The best way to not only protect yourself, but others is to simply stay home. Eliminating contact with the community is the best way to eliminate the spread of the virus. 

Maintain social distancing

While it is recommended to stay home at this time, if you must venture out into the public for necessities like groceries or medicine, be sure to practice social distancing. This means keeping a 6 feet between you and anyone around you. This helps lower the rate of infection amongst the public. We don’t all have the proper medical storage to have everything we may need, but try to stock up (within reason) in one trip.

Wear a facemask if you are sick

If you have symptoms and are traveling into the hospital or wherever your healthcare provider has suggested that you go, try to wear a facemask to prevent infecting others. If a facemask is not available, be sure to be extra vigilant about covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. 

Clean and disinfect

Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces is important for preventing the spread of the virus. This means places like tables, doorknobs, lightswitches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. This should be done multiple times a day after every use. 

Protecting healthcare workers

Do not go to the clinic

If you are having symptoms, contact your healthcare provider first by phone to see what they suggest. They may have you go to a certain location or facility dedicated to COVID-19 in order to not infect those in ERs or other medical facilities. 

Provide proper supplies

When it comes to healthcare facilities, it is important to provide staff with proper medical storage and equipment to do their job properly and safely. A way that medical storage can stop the spread of the virus is with nurse server stations. This is because they can be restocked outside of the room, eliminating contact between the nurse and possible pathogens. 

The most important thing to remember during this time is how to keep yourself and your community safe. With the proper preparation, diligence and care we can continue our normal lives as soon as possible. 

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