Protect your family and community from the flu and coronavirus

Protect your family and community from the flu and coronavirus

Are you concerned about the spread of coronavirus in your area? Read on to learn what you can do to protect yourself and others in your community.

Guidance for the general public

  • Even if you are not ill, avoid visiting hospitals, long term care facilities, or nursing homes to the extent possible. If you do need to visit one of these facilities, limit your time there and keep 6 feet away from patients and employees of the facility.
  • Do not go to the emergency room unless essential. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular doctor first.
  • Stay home when sick and away from others in your household.
  • Practice excellent personal hygiene habits, including washing your hands with soap and water frequently, coughing into a tissue or your elbow, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay away from people who are ill, especially if you are at higher risk for serious illness.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects (like doorknobs and light switches). Regular household cleaners are effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you’ve just washed your hands.
  • Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, and manage your stress to keep your immunity strong.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility).
    • Stay informed. Information is changing frequently. Check and subscribe to Public Health’s website and social media pages:

Guidance for people at higher risk for severe COVID-19 Illness

The County Public Health Department is recommending that persons at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from crowded social gatherings of people as much as possible such as parades, conferences, sporting events, and concerts where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another.

Those at higher risk include:

  • People over 50 years of age. The risk increases significantly thereafter and escalates with age, with persons over age 80 in the highest risk category.
  • People, regardless of age, with underlying health conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or chronic lung diseases like COPD, as well as those with severely weakened immune systems.

New Guidance for Persons Hosting Mass Gatherings and Large Community Events

At this time, we recommend postponing or canceling mass gatherings and large community events where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another.

If you can’t avoid bringing groups of people together:

  • Urge anyone who is sick to not attend.
  • Encourage those who are at higher risk for serious illness to not attend.
  • Try to find ways to give people more physical space so that they aren’t in close contact as much as possible.
  • Encourage attendees to follow increased hygiene, such as:
    • Washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
      • If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used in a pinch
    • Avoid close contact with other people
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
    • Covering their cough or sneeze with a tissue – if available – or into their elbow
  • Clean surfaces with standard cleaners.

Additional resources on COVID-19:

https://www.sccgov.org/sites/phd/DiseaseInformation/novel-coronavirus/Pages/home.aspx

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus