How Can My Family and I Prepare For COVID-19?
3/13/2020 3:37:00 PM
HOW CAN MY FAMILY AND I PREPARE FOR COVID-19?
Create a household plan of action to help protect your health and the health of those you care about in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community:
• Talk with the people who need to be included in your plan, and discuss what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community.
• Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications, particularly older adults and those with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.
o Make sure they have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home for prolonged periods of time.
• Get to know your neighbors and find out if your neighborhood has a website or social media page to stay connected.
• Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, healthcare services, support, and resources.
• Create an emergency contact list of family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
WHAT STEPS CAN MY FAMILY TAKE TO REDUCE OUR RISK OF GETTING COVID-19?
Practice everyday preventive actions to help reduce your risk of getting sick and remind everyone in your home to do the same. These actions are especially important for older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
• If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
(e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles).
**REMEMBER, Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
1) Don't panic. There is no reason to stockpile tons of food, masks etc. Make sure you have enough of your prescription medication for 1-2 weeks. Make sure you have some over the counter medication like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Have 1-2 weeks of the food you normally eat.
2) Don't rush to the ER, urgent care or our office for a test. TESTS ARE NOT WIDELY AVAILABLE AND ONLY VERY SPECIFIC CASES ARE BEING TESTED. If you have mild symptoms, stay out of the ER - otherwise it makes the wait longer for those who are truly sick and you risk catching something more serious while you wait.
3) Continue all the things you've already been doing - wash your hands, don't touch your face, avoid large gatherings of people - order groceries online, go through pharmacy drive thru, watch church services online, especially if you are high risk.
4) If you or your child is sick - STAY HOME. Don't go back to work or school until you are fever free for 24 hrs or as directed by your doctor.
** If you or your child has mild cold symptoms, no travel history, no close contact with coronavirus - treat the cold symptoms as you normally would
**If you or your child do have fever and cough, but no travel history and no close contact with coronavirus - treat your symptoms and call your doctor, or utilize Teladoc services
**If you or your child have fever, cough and DO have travel history or a close contact with coronavirus (close contacts are usually household members and those who were within 6 ft of an infected person for a prolonged period of time - the health dept. will be tracking down the close contacts and informing you), call your doctor or the health department for further guidance. DO NOT just show up to the ER, urgent care or doctor's office if you are not experiencing severe symptoms like shortness of breath.
**If you or your child have fever, cough, AND shortness of breath or difficulty breathing - call an ambulance or go to the closest emergency room. If you also have a history of travel or a close contact with coronavirus, call the ER and let them know you are coming so that the medical team can be prepared.
Bottom line - if you are sick enough that you would normally go to the ER, then go. If you are not sick enough to be in the hospital, stay out of the ER.
These are general guidelines. Call us if you need further guidance on your situation. We will be available to help triage these situations. We will post as more information becomes available. Remember, TESTS ARE VERY LIMITED AND ONLY OFFERED IN SPECIFIC SITUATIONS. Wash your hands and use your best judgment regarding travel.
Rebecca Cogswell, RN, CLC
Healthy Start Coordinator
Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
Nimkee Memorial Wellness Center/Public Health
2591 S. Leaton Rd
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
Phone: (989) 775-4621
Fax: (989) 775-4659