Is staying at home enough to prevent the spread of coronavirus? Here is a complete list of safety tips and advice for the public to manage coronavirus pandemic.
Cases of coronavirus across the globe continue to rise and health officials continue to announce new cases every day. The disease has become a full-blown crisis and on March 11, the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.
With a high person-to-person transmission rate, coronavirus has affected both young adults and older generations. By the third weekend of March, the global death toll had soared over 14,000 according to Worldometers.info and the numbers continue rising.
With the epicenter of coronavirus spread shifting to Europe, many countries are taking the necessary precautions to contain it. In the US, a national emergency was declared following the growing cases of the disease. Other countries like Italy, France, and Spain are on almost complete lockdown. Germany, on the other hand, has shut its schools, but they remain open for the young in Sweden.
In Kenya, the total number of cases reported by the government had reached 15 by March 22. To this end, schools in the country remain closed, employees are working from home, and supermarkets, as well as passenger service vehicles, have limited the number of shoppers and passengers at any given time, to facilitate social distancing and to manage the potential spread of coronavirus.
Meanwhile, as scientists struggle to find ways of stopping coronavirus, persons who are infected but require no hospitalization are instructed to stay at home. But with the easy spread of COVID-19, this directive leaves families and other people vulnerable. This means that staying at home isn’t enough to prevent the spread of coronavirus, which is why these safety tips outlined by the Red Cross summarize what we should all do to manage coronavirus pandemic.
LIMIT THE SPREAD OF GERMS AND PREVENT INFECTION
The Red Cross recommends the following steps to help prevent the spread of germs during this situation:
- Stay home if you can and avoid gatherings of more than ten people.
- Practice social distancing by keeping a distance of about six feet from others if you must go out in public.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; throw used tissues in the trash. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, computers, phones, keyboards, sinks, toilets, faucets, and countertops.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them – use detergent or soap and water before disinfection. Full information on how to disinfect found here.
- Wear a facemask if you are sick. You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
According to the CDC, COVID-19 symptoms include fever, shortness of breath and a cough. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Call your doctor for medical advice if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms.
WHO IS AT A HIGHER RISK?
According to the CDC, early information shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this virus. This includes older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.
If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or a serious medical condition, it is extra important for you to take action to avoid getting sick.
Stay home as much as you can and avoid crowds as much as possible. Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
- Stock up on supplies.
- Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community and you need to stay home for a prolonged period.
- If you cannot get extra medications, consider using a mail-order option.
- Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
- Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a while.
Full information for those at a higher risk is available here.