Face masks. Hand sanitizer. Gloves. These are all novelty items that stores and nearby hospitals have frequently run out of in the greater Seattle area. Which begs the question, can we still protect ourselves from the coronavirus (Covid 19) in Washington?
The answer is yes. Public health experts across the globe are reminding citizens to stay calm and follow the same precautions as if they were fighting the flu or any other respiratory virus. However, since Seattle was the epicenter of the virus in the U.S, it’s important to be aware of the risks and how you can prevent you and your family from getting sick. Consider the following prevention steps, provided by various medical sources and written by The Advocates law firm.
Here are 10 important steps on how to prevent coronavirus, according to the CDC:
- Frequently Wash Your Hands
- Avoid Close Contact with Strangers
- Wear a Face Mask if You are Sick
- Don’t Touch Your Face
- Seek Out Medical Care if You Feel Unwell
- Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes
- Use Hand Sanitizer Often
- Self-Quarantine if You Become Infected
- Clean Frequently Used Surfaces
- Get Tested if Possible
Like most respiratory infections, Covid 19 spreads from individual to individual through tiny respiratory droplets when a person coughs or exhales. The virus can also be spread through contaminated surfaces. Following the basic steps above will not only protect you and your family, it will help stop the virus from spreading to individuals elsewhere.
Who Should Get Tested for Covid 19?
Anyone experiencing symptoms or has been exposed to the virus within the incubation period of 14 days. If you have a fever, shortness of breath, a cough, or are in one of the high-risk groups below, you should contact your healthcare provider right away to see if you can get tested for COVID-19.
These are the following people who are at risk for COVID-19:
- 60 years and older
- People with chronic medical conditions
- People with weakened immune systems
- Pregnant women
If you or a loved one fall under one of the high-risk groups, you should prepare for coronavirus as much as you can. Make sure you have access to several weeks of supplies and medications as well as avoid large crowds and other people who are sick.
Do You Need a Face Mask to Prevent Coronavirus?
The answer is yes. At this point, you should wear a face mask whenever you leave your home. Wearing a face mask in public will help protect you from inhaling the germs from other people. It will also help protect other people in case you have been infected by the virus and are not showing any symptoms. Keep in mind that COVID-19 can live on surfaces for more than 7 days and survive in the air for at least 3 hours. Stay safe and wear your mask.
How to Prevent Coronavirus from Spreading:
Since there are no vaccines or specific medicines to treat COVID-19, it’s important to find the most efficient ways to stop the virus from spreading as soon as possible. Leading doctors around the world say the spread of the virus comes down to one crucial element: stop touching your face.
Did you know that touching your face is one of the most common ways that respiratory infections like coronavirus spread? And we all do it without realizing. In fact, according to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), you likely touch your face around 23 times an hour. That’s more than 500 times in one day.
Health care professionals are asking the public to please keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth to help stop coronavirus from spreading.
Using Public Transportation/RideShare During Coronavirus:
The best answer to using public transportation or RideShare is simple: you shouldn’t use it unless you absolutely have to. It’s not worth the risk of getting sick. But we do understand that some people are without a car in Seattle and need to use these methods. If that’s the case for you, then make sure you’re wearing gloves, a face mask, and keep extra hand wipes with you. Always wipe down any electronics before you get home or put them to your face.