An anxious world continues to monitor the Coronavirus Virus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic as the outbreak continues to spread. There are practical safety tips that you can implement today to protect yourself and your family, reduce your risk for infection and remain safe and healthy.
A Brief History Of Coronaviruses
The first coronaviruses were discovered in 1965 and named for the crown-like (corona) spikes on their surface. There are seven types of the coronavirus, four are as common as the flu, however three strains are rare and more dangerous - MERS, SARS and COVID-19, the current strain that has recently spread from central Asia. These last three strains are believed to have originated in animals then mutated and were transmitted to humans as coronaviruses.
How Is COVID-19 Transmitted?
According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 is new and still being studied so much of what scientists know is based on recent research and knowledge of previous coronaviruses.
The virus is believed to spread from person-to-person, in close contact (closer than 6 feet) of one another when an infected person coughs or sneezes producing respiratory droplets. Those infected are most contagious when they are at the height of the illness.
Contact with infected surfaces like tabletops, utensils, door handles, handrails and similar surfaces may also spread the disease. Touching an infected surface or object and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes can quickly lead to infection.
What Are The Symptoms Of COVID-19?
Symptoms range from mild to severe and in the worst case can result in death. Symptoms include fever, a productive cough and shortness of breath and appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after initial exposure, which explains the recommended 14 day quarantine period. Nearly 25% of those infected have no noticeable symptoms and are not aware that they are ill or contagious!
How Can I Protect Myself And My Family Against COVID-19?
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus! Safety measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus include:
- STAY HOME - If you don’t need to go out, staying home can eliminate your risk of exposure! Staying home is currently one of the best solutions, until we have a vaccine or cure for the disease. Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, taxis, stores, shops, restaurants, and groups or gatherings of others - you simply do not know who may have it and is unknowingly, spreading it to others.
- SOCIAL DISTANCING - Avoid contact with anyone and everyone. Assume that everyone you see may be infected and definitely stay at least six feet (or more) from anyone coughing or sneezing. Learn to stay connected with coworkers and family through video/phone calls, texts, and social media.
- WASH YOUR HANDS - Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water immediately after touching any surfaces in public areas (door handles, elevator buttons, stair rails, etc.) or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. DO NOT touch your face, mouth, nose or eyes until after you have washed your hands!
HAND SANITIZER - Soap and water should be your first choice, but if they are not available, immediately use a hand sanitizer (we have limited quantity in stock) that contains at least 60% alcohol. Apply the sanitizer liberally over all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they become dry. Ensure that you wash or sanitize your hands before eating or preparing food.
We recommend putting a bottle of hand sanitizer by your most commonly used entrances (front door, garage entrance, etc.) and also putting a bottle in your car. Make it a habit to immediately use the sanitizer to kill germs after being out and/or touching common surfaces.
- COVER YOUR COUGH - Everyone should cover their coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth, and throw those used tissues away in a lined trash can. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, NOT your hands. Then wash or sanitize your hands immediately.
- WEAR FACE MASKS - Everyone should wear face masks (we have high quality face masks in stock) with high filtration rate, if you are going out and about. It may be uncomfortable but face masks will help reduce your chance of catching anything and also prevent any spread. This is especially important in public or group settings - such as supermarkets, offices, parks, etc.
- SELF ISOLATE - If you feel unwell (fever, chills, nausea or digestive issues) stay home and self-isolate from friends and family. If your symptoms worsen or you experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
- CALL FIRST - If you believe you may be infected, CALL your healthcare provider first and report your symptoms so that the staff can prepare the appropriate tests and protect themselves and others from exposure. If you need emergency care, CALL the nearest hospital or emergency department and ask for instructions, they may send a special ambulance or ask that you enter through a designated entrance near a “negative pressure” or isolation room.
How To Safely Clean And Disinfect Your Home
First clean, then disinfect surfaces around your home and work areas frequently. Wear disposable gloves and ensure that you have plenty of good ventilation. Clean surfaces using soap and water then use a household disinfectant.
Focus on “high touch” surfaces like tables, counter-tops, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desktops, phones, keypads, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc. Use disinfectants appropriate for each surface.
If you need to mix your own disinfectant solution, diluted household bleach solutions ARE effective in killing corona-viruses. To make a bleach solution, mix 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) of bleach per gallon of water OR 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
Electronics - Don’t forget to clean and sanitize your electronic devices, especially your phone and tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remotes. Use alcohol-based wipes or a soft cloth with 70% alcohol solutions then dry the surface thoroughly.
Please continue to use common sense, social distancing, washing hands, and face masks to protect yourself against Covid-19. Most importantly - stay home if possible. Stay safe and healthy!
We have a range of essential protective supplies in stock from 3 ply face masks to hand sanitizers to disposable gloves in stock. Please feel free to send us an email if you have further questions. Thank you.