By Samuetta Hill Drew
With our state and nation being under a State of Emergency due to Coronavirus COVID–19, I would be remiss not to address the subject in a safety article. Since I am not a medical professional and my desire is to share only factual information as known year to date, I will be quoting information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The individuals who have been deemed at high risk are older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes. They are considered to be a thigher risk for developing more serious complications from the COVID–19 illness. It is recommended you consult with your health care provider when seeking additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.
It’s important to know how the virus spreads. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID–19. The CDC states the best way to prevent the illness is to avoid exposure to the virus which is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
This also includes between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet) and 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.
Other important safety methods to help protect yourself is to 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.
Many recommend singing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” or two stanzas of “Happy Birthday” when washing your hands. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent 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.
It’s important to avoid close contact with people who are sick. Distance between yourself and other people if COVID–19 is spreading in your community is essential. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them with detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
It’s critically important to Keep an Eye on Safety by staying current with the Coronavirus COVID–19 updates from the CDC, Jefferson County Health Department, our mayor and governor, as well as our national leaders.