Face masks. Hand sanitizer. Gloves. These are all novelty items that local pharmacies and nearby hospitals are running out of in the greater Seattle area. Which begs the question, can you prevent coronavirus from infecting you and your family at this point?
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
- Use Hand Sanitizer Often
- Don’t Touch Your Face
- Seek Out Medical Care if You Feel Unwell
- Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes
- Wear a Facemask if You are Sick
- 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 in Seattle?
Because we’re at the height of flu season, you may be wondering if your symptoms are, in fact, symptoms of the coronavirus. 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 need to be 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.
How to Stop 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.
Getting to Work During Coronavirus
If you rely on public transportation every day, you should consider getting yourself gloves for the commute. While washing your hands and using hand sanitizer will certainly help, there is an untold number of germs and bacteria on handrails, seats and other frequently touched parts of the ride. It’s not worth the risk of getting sick. Protect yourself and those around you.
Do You Need a Face Mask to Prevent Coronavirus?
The answer is probably not. If you do not have any symptoms, having a face mask won’t protect you anymore than the prevention steps above. However, if you are sick or will be in close contact with someone who has coronavirus, then you should wear a face mask. Face masks are better used by people who have COVID-19 or medical professionals who need to wear them around infected patients.