Ten Ways to Protect Your Family From Coronavirus
COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), continues to spread around the world, greatly affecting us here in the United States.
We know that individual risk for the disease is dependent upon individual exposure. So what are the best actions for you to take to keep you and your family safe from COVID-19?
The disease is believed to be most contagious when people are the most symptomatic, but the virus can also be spread by individuals exhibiting no symptoms. Doctors say the most important route of transmission is likely close contact (six feet or less) with sick patients who spread respiratory droplets when they cough or sneeze.
Of course, if someone seems symptomatic, don’t get too near them, but symptoms can appear anywhere between 2 to 14 days after exposure, and sometimes never appear at all. This risk of spread from asymptomatic people as well as transmission from touching surfaces and objects contaminated with virus means it’s smart to take precautions even if you and those around you feel healthy.
Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 and should take higher precautions.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Here are 10 tips to help keep your family safe from coronavirus.
Protect Your Family From Coronavirus Tip #1: Keep Informed
Keep informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider concerning the COVID-19 outbreak. Information is available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority.
National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on COVID-19 in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing about current coronavirus prevention and preparation.
Be aware of the known common symptoms, which are similar to flu: fever, cough, shortness of breath, and possibly loss of smell and taste. It’s good to note that most cases do not start with a runny nose.
Protect Your Family From Coronavirus Tip #1: Keep Informed
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.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
In addition to spread through airborne droplets, the virus can end up on doorknobs, elevator buttons and other surfaces. If you touch those surfaces and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you can become infected.
Wash your hands especially after going to the bathroom, before cooking or eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
Protect Your Family From Coronavirus Tip #3: Maintain Social Distancing
Maintain at least 6 feet (2 meters) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus.
If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease. This is especially important for those who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Older adults and those with chronic conditions (such as diabetes, heart or lung disease, and other conditions that suppress the immune system) especially should avoid crowded places and stock up on household items, groceries, medications, and other supplies in case they need to stay home for an extended period.
Americans are friendly. We not only shake hands, we also hug. These are ways we can transmit the virus. Try doing the elbow bump or other no-touch salutations.
Protect Your Family From Coronavirus Tip #4: Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose and Mouth
Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Protect Your Family From Coronavirus Tip #5: Practice Respiratory Hygiene
Make sure you and the people around you follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the bin and wash your hands.
If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than your hands. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold and flu as well as COVID-19.
Protect Your Family From Coronavirus Tip #6: Disinfect Surfaces Daily
Disinfect commonly touched or used surfaces every day. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface and follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation.
It’s also smart to check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
Use a household wipe or spray to disinfect doorknobs, light switches, desks, keyboards, sinks, toilets, cell phones, and other objects and surfaces that are frequently touched. Studies suggest that coronaviruses can live on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. Clean them regularly with a disinfectant to kill the virus.
Protect Your Family From Coronavirus Tip #7: To Wear a Mask or Not?
First, always obey the local government rules on wearing a mask, as well as rules of any business you are entering, whether you personally agree with them or not.
The CDC does recommend face masks for people who have symptoms of COVID-19, as well as for health care workers and others who may be caring for them. Health care providers are trained to use masks properly, and there's evidence that they're effective in clinical settings.
For people at home, the CDC recommends using masks in certain situations. For instance, if you're caring for an infected person at home, the proper use of masks can protect the caregiver.
Other than these guidelines, we leave wearing a mask to your own judgment. The general belief is that wearing a mask helps keep your germs from reaching others, but does not offer much protection to you.
Protect Your Family From Coronavirus Tip #8: Be Smart about Travel
The CDC updates its travel advisory information frequently. The federal government uses a four-level scale to rank risk. Level 1 equals the lowest risk, and Level 4, the highest.
If and when travel is allowed in your area, the CDC advises that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel and avoid situations that put you in close quarters.
If traveling, be sure to inform yourself of the regulations in your destination as well as those at home. Just because you’re allowed to travel out doesn’t guarantee you’ll be allowed in elsewhere.
If you have traveled to an affected area or been exposed to another person with COVID-19, health officials will give you instructions on limiting your activities and movement for up to 14 days in order to help keep the virus from spreading.
You should call a healthcare professional who will work with the CDC or state public health department to determine whether to test for the virus.
Protect Your Family From Coronavirus Tip #9: Don't Panic — Stay Prepred
Don't hoard, but do stock your cupboards with some extra food and cleaning supplies. Check the medicine cabinet to ensure you have basic medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen. If you take a daily prescription medication, have as much of a supply on hand as possible.
Each time you grocery shop, buy a few extra items. Shelf-stable foods such as beans and rice are good options. Also, utilize your freezer to preserve foods, everything from meats and vegetables to cooked grains and bread. Think about having enough on hand to last a few weeks.
Although summer is starting, we’re not completely in the clear. It’s still smart to have a backup plan if schools or daycares were to close during another outbreak.
Prepare by making sure you have supplies at home in case someone gets sick and needs to be quarantined. This would include prescription medications for anyone in the family, other health supplies such as over-the-counter pain relievers, and disinfectants to clean household surfaces.
You can’t make the news stop, but you can support a news organisation who’ll make sense of it. Since threats like COVID-19 can lead to the circulation of misinformation, it’s important to trust information only from reputable health organizations and government sources such as the CDC.
Protect Your Family From Coronavirus Tip #10: Seek Medical Care Early
If you suspect you have COVID-19, follow the directions of your local health authority. National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area.
Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
If you suspect you have COVID-19:
DON’T go out except to see your doctor, after calling first. And if you do have to go out, avoid public transportation, taxis, and ride-sharing.
DON’T hang out with your family or pets if you suspect you have the virus. In order to protect them, eat and sleep separately from them. Try to stay in one room, and use a separate bathroom if possible.
DON’T reach for antibiotics. If you happen to have some lying around from a previous illness, you may be tempted, but antibiotics work only on illnesses caused by bacteria, and the coronavirus is a virus.
Five Star Restoration Can Help
Extreme caution is warranted because, despite our leaps in understanding the virus, so much still remains unknown.
The best course of action is still keeping up to date with information and following standard hygiene procedures recommended by the CDC. Guidelines will continue to evolve as doctors learn more. Because knowledge about the new virus is evolving rapidly, you can expect recommendations to change.
Five Star Restoration can help you keep your home clean and properly disinfected. Our cleaning experts use comprehensive contaminant eradication and drying techniques that get the household clean, dry, and cleared of any contaminated moisture.
When you hire our cleanup professionals, you can be confident in the fact that our team will properly and thoroughly disinfect your property to help keep you and your family safe. Call us today at (951) 368-2227.
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