By Sharp HealthCare News Team
Right now, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the news about the coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19. While it may be an unprecedented and scary time, being informed and prepared is the best way to protect yourself and your family. Here are four steps you can take to stay healthy.
- Take necessary precautions
COVID-19 is mainly spread from person-to-person contact through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It’s also possible COVID-19 may be spread by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. To protect yourself, it is important to take the following precautions:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your nose, eyes and mouth.
- Cover your mouth with a tissue or your elbow when coughing and sneezing, and then throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
- Frequently wash your hands — at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap — or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant wipes or sprays. The Environmental Protection Agency released a list of disinfectants that are strong enough to protect against the virus.
- Have a plan for yourself and your family if someone were to get sick.
While everyone should take measures to keep themselves healthy, some populations are considered higher risk than others. You may be higher risk if you are over 65; have an underlying health condition, such as congestive heart failure, diabetes or lung disease; or have an impaired or weakened immune system.
At Sharp Coronado Hospital, our medical staff, clinical staff and team members are working together to meet our community health needs. We are taking every precaution to keep you safe, and all appropriate infection prevention measures have been implemented to prevent exposure to other patients and medical staff. As mandated by local, regional and national officials, no visitors are allowed in our long-term, acute or critical care units in order to keep patients, families and caregivers safe. There has been no disruption in provision of patient care.
- Practice social distancing
You may have heard health officials urge people to practice social distancing. This means staying at least 6 feet away from others, especially if they have respiratory symptoms such as a cough, fever or shortness of breath. In addition to staying away from others, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order for residents, with the exception of those working in critical sectors, to stay home for anything other than essential needs. This means gyms, dine-in restaurants, bars and entertainment venues have been closed until further notice.
However, essential businesses, such as gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants, banks and laundromats, will remain open. When you frequent these places, make sure to maintain a 6 feet distance between yourself and others, and clean your hands frequently.
- Know what to do if you feel sick
If you start to feel symptoms of respiratory illness or infection, please do not come to the emergency room or to an urgent care center. Instead, please call your doctor’s office or health care provider. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, please call for a referral at 1-800-82-SHARP.
- Stay informed
Please be aware that information may change and updates will continue to become available as health officials and leaders learn more. For the most up-to-date information, turn to these public health agencies:
- San Diego County Office of Health and Human Services
- California Department of Public Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
For the latest updates from Sharp HealthCare on COVID-19, visit sharp.com/coronavirus.