CoronaVirus Tips: Do the Five
- Hands 2. Elbow 3. Face 4. Space 5. Home
Our lives have changed since the first positive test in the U.S. for the novel coronavirus was confirmed in Washington State on January 20th, 2020. In the weeks that have followed, our state, our nation, our world has been affected by the devastating effects of coronavirus. During this difficult time, people must focus on caring for our loved ones, and place the health and safety of strangers above our desire for personal freedom and financial security.
Coronavirus was discovered in humans in late 2019 and given the name COVID-19 by the World Health Organization. It is highly contagious. Tiny droplets are expelled as we breathe, sneeze, cough, and talk. The virus is spread through contact with droplets from infected people. People may be sick with the virus for 2 to 14 days before developing symptoms.
The coronavirus pandemic has profoundly changed our lives, but it has also brought out the best in people across the world. Let’s work together and follow five simple guidelines to protect the health and safety of everyone.
Do the Five
Protect yourself and prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Keeping your hands clean may prevent you from being infected or spreading the virus through contact with other people and surfaces.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean your hands if you can’t use soap and water.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth. If you need to touch your face, please wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds first.
Cover your cough to prevent spreading the coronavirus. Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. If you use a tissue, throw it away and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth. If you need to touch your face, please wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds first. Yes, we said this already. It is that important.
- Use a face mask when you are in public or to avoid accidental transmission at home.
“CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.” (CDC “Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19”)
Keep a safe distance between you and other people during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Social Distancing is a key strategy to slow and prevent the spread of the virus. The CDC recommends at least 6 feet of physical distance between people to avoid spreading coronavirus from person to person through droplet transmission.
- Avoid groups of people. Large social gatherings make it difficult to keep people 6 feet apart. Many pharmacies and grocery stores will deliver or prepare your order for pick-up to help maintain social distancing.
Preventing the spread of coronavirus by staying home protects those that are most vulnerable to severe illness and keeps our healthcare system from being overwhelmed by high numbers of patients. Everyone can help slow the spread of the virus by staying home as much as possible.
- Stay home as much as possible during the coronavirus outbreak. Anyone considered at higher risk of severe illness is safer if they stay home. Staying home reduces the chance of coronavirus being spread through contact with people that may not even know that they have the virus.
- Frequently clean and disinfect “high-touch” surfaces like light switches, faucets, door handles, phones, and countertops.
- If you have coronavirus symptoms, contact your healthcare provider by phone. Your provider will be able to help you determine the best course of action for you. If you do not have severe symptoms, it may be safer for you to remain at home.
- Stay home and avoid contact with anyone else if you have been exposed to someone with coronavirus and/or have had mild symptoms. You should self-isolate until you have had no fever for at least 72 hours, improvement in respiratory symptoms, and it has been at least 7 days since you first had symptoms.
- Protect your mental health. Find ways to cope with stress. Remember to exercise, eat healthy meals, and get rest. Staying home is an opportunity to keep in touch with family and friends through phone and video calls.
Symptoms and knowing when to call for help
Contact your physician if you have symptoms of coronavirus:
- Shortness of breath
Some people also experienced tiredness, aches, running nose, sore throat, and loss of sense of smell and taste.
Get medical help right away if you or someone you know experiences severe symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
Who is most at risk of severe illness?
Statistically, the people most at risk to have serious COVID-19 illness are those who are 65 or older. People with underlying health conditions are also more likely to get very sick because these conditions make it harder to fight and recover from the illness.
Coronavirus is new, and we are still learning the risk factors. People who may be at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19 include people with:
- Chronic lung disease
- Moderate-to-severe asthma
- Serious heart conditions
- Severe obesity
- Chronic kidney disease
- Liver disease
Additional Information About CoronaVirus
Learn more about COVID-19:
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Coronavirus.gov (Federal level response)
- CDC COVID-19 current information
- Washington State official COVID-19 website
- Clark County Public Health Updates
- Clark County Latest News and county-wide COVID-19 response
- City of Vancouver COVID-19 response
- CDC video explaining what older adults should know about COVID-19
- CDC’s COVID-19 informational ASL video
We know this is a difficult time for our friends and their families. Thank you for working with us to prevent the spread of coronavirus.