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COVID-19 Preparedness and Prevention

March 23, 2020 | Tami Binger, RN

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Preparing

For a full checklist, view the Household Checklist provided by the Ohio Department of Health at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces often. These include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
  • Keep an adequate supply of water, food, and pet food in your home.
  • If you take prescription drugs, contact your health care provider, pharmacist, or insurance provider about keeping an emergency supply at home.
  • Keep a working thermometer and respiratory medications, like decongestants, expectorants, and analgesics (ibuprofen, acetaminophen), on hand.

Get a flu shot this season if you haven’t already. It won’t protect against COVID-19, but it can help protect against flu or lessen symptoms if you get it, lessening the strain on health care facilities.

Preventing/Slowing the Spread

To help stop the spread of any viral respiratory disease, including Coronavirus, you should:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
  • Cover coughs/sneezes with your arm or a tissue.
  • Avoid exposure to others who are at risk.

Additional precautions you can take include social distancing measures specific to Coronavirus and recommended by state, local, and federal health agencies, such as:

  • Stay home if you are sick and contact your primary care provider for further guidance.
  • If your children are sick, keep them at home and contact your primary care provider.
  • If someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19 or is suspected of having COVID-19, keep the entire household at home.
  • If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people as you are at greater risk for getting seriously ill from the coronavirus.
  • If you have a serious underlying health condition that weakens your lung, heart, or immune system functions, stay home and away from other people.

Even if you are young, don’t feel sick, or are otherwise not a greater risk for being affected by COVID-19, you can take the following precautions in order to protect yourself, your community, and your loved ones:

  • Work from home whenever possible.
  • If you work in a critical infrastructure industry (such as health care, pharmaceutical, and food supply) and will be maintaining normal work schedules, you should follow CDC guidance to protect your health at work.
  • Avoid social gatherings in groups of ten or more.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel including shopping trips, vacations, and social visits.

The best thing to do is remain calm, take preventative and precautionary measures, and use credible sources such as the CDC, local health department, and the Ohio Department of Health for updates. For more information about how Fisher-Titus is responding to the COVID-19 situation including up-to-date visitor restrictions, visit fishertitus.org/coronavirus.

About Tami Binger

Tami Binger, RN is an infection preventionist certified in infection control at Fisher-Titus. For more information on COVID-19 preparedness, visit fishertitus.org/coronavirus.