Older adults and people with severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Centers for Disease Control offers these reminders to stay healthy. (Please consult with your health care provider about your specific medical condition and additional steps to take to protect yourself.)
Know How it Spreads
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:
- between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- these droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Take Steps to Protect Yourself
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. View the proper handwashing video at www.kec.coop/covid-19.
- Clean your hands often.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Take Steps to Protect Others
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Wear a facemask if you are sick when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a health care provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), cover your coughs and sneezes.
If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and Disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.
- Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs but lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfecting.
- Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. Clorox, Lysol and Purell products are on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of disinfectants that will kill the coronavirus.