Coronavirus. Novel Coronavirus. COVID-19. Pandemic. You’ve heard all these terms over the last several weeks, but what do you need to do? Where do you need to go? Where should you go for information? Here are some practical tips on where to get accurate information.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently the most authoritative government source, continuously tracking the virus and updating information by collaborating internationally with foremost researchers. They provide information on how to protect yourself, what to do if you are sick and the latest updates on cases in the U.S., as well as other helpful information. Other great resources include the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). There are a lot of other COVID-19 resources online, but many of them may not be reputable. Information should be cross-referenced with CDC, HHS, NIH resources, and grounded in scientific principles and best practices. Axxess has created a COVID-19 Resource Center using credible information and insights from experts that will help the healthcare at home industry stay on top of the latest developments.
While you may experience an overload of information online, on the radio and TV about the virus and how quickly it is spreading, remember that it is fully expected that the number of infection cases will rise since we have had limited testing in the U.S. Now that testing has begun to increase, we will see the number of those infected rise. While this seems alarming, there are definite ways to protect yourself, your family and your patients and clients.
- Stay at home. Work from home if you are able.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are unavailable.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Use sanitized wipes to regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like doorknobs, handles, tables and handrails.
- Keep the kids at home. Many schools are closing and moving classes online. Playdates should be discouraged at this time. Kids love technology, and there are most likely several ways to connect right in your home already. FaceTime or video chats can be used instead of being in face-to-face contact.
- Remain healthy.
The virus is currently understood to spread between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet) through respiratory droplets, usually when someone infected coughs or sneezes. Call your doctor if you or anyone in your family has a fever, body aches, cough or shortness of breath. Many physicians are using a telephonic or video triage method for a first screening. Healthy individuals most likely will not need a COVID-19 test.
While there is no specific treatment for COVID-19, most people with a healthy immune system will recover from the virus. Those with suppressed immune systems, such as the elderly or those with underlying illness, should call their physician to receive specific advice about what they should do to protect themselves. Local authorities are also forming plans and giving instructions, so be sure to listen to your local government officials.
While these are uncertain times, there are trusted sources to receive useful information. Stay informed and stay safe.