Remember these 4 simple steps to staying safe:
Wear a mask
Wash your hands
Watch your space
If you are sick, stay home and contact your physician.
We can prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus by making the following precautions a part of our daily practice:
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household. Please see more information below regarding the medical evidence that shows that masks are safe to wear and do not cause breathing problems.
Masks are safe to wear! A study published December 8th, 2020, in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), looked at people age 65 and older who checked their oxygen saturation before wearing a mask, while wearing a mask, and after wearing a mask. Older adults usually have lower oxygen levels, which makes this information helpful to see if there is a difference in oxygen levels when wearing a non-medical mask. They did not include people with heart or lung problems with limitations to what they could do on their own. The study concluded that wearing a mask was not associated with a significant change in the participants’ oxygen levels. It is always important to consult with a physician with any concerns about wearing a mask.
–Masks should not be placed on children under age 2. Anyone with trouble breathing and anyone unable to remove a mask on their own should not wear a mask.
2. Keep about 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) between yourself and others. We should always maintain social distancing even when wearing a mask.
3. Avoid public gatherings and crowds, especially in indoor spaces.
4.Wash your hands often with soap and water.
If you are unable to wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
5. Always wash your hands:
Before eating or preparing food
Before touching your face
After using the restroom
After leaving a public place
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
After handling your mask
After changing a diaper
After caring for someone sick
After touching animals or pets
5. Cover coughs and sneezes
6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Use products from EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19) according to manufacturer’s labeled directions.
7. Monitor your health daily for symptoms. Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
8. Remember the flu virus is likely to spread in the fall and winter. Protect yourself this Flu Season.
-Get the flu vaccine to reduce the risk of flu illness. This will also help to decrease the burden on the healthcare system that is currently overwhelmed with treating patients for COVID-19 virus.
For additional information on updates on COVID-19, please check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
Chan NC, Li K, Hirsh J. Peripheral oxygen saturation in older persons wearing nonmedical face masks in community settings. JAMA. 2020 Dec 8;324(22):2323-4.