March 18, 2020
The information below is adapted from the CDC website, and you can find more information there. Most of the information will not be new to you, but please take these guidelines seriously. Our behavior changes could be the difference between our hospitals being able to function adequately in this crisis or our hospitals being overwhelmed, leading to more deaths. Please also be sensitive to the fact that you may not be worried for yourself, but we all have a responsibility to protect vulnerable people in our community (older people, people with chronic conditions, etc).
To protect yourself from exposure at work and in your personal life:
- WASH YOUR HANDS often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place and after coughing, blowing your nose, or sneezing.
- Or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub until they dry—do not wipe them off on your pants!
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- AVOID CLOSE CONTACT with people who are sick. It is difficult to differentiate between COVID-19, flu, common cold, and even allergies, and testing has not kept up with demand, so avoid contact with people with any symptoms.
- Maintain a respectful distance from other people—keep 6 feet apart. Do not shake hands! Just wave hello.
To protect your community:
- Stay home if you’re sick, even a little bit. Call your doctor to talk about your symptoms.
- Know the symptoms: the primary symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath, but there seems to be wide variation in how sick people get. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow or with a tissue, and discard tissue immediately.
- WASH YOUR HANDS or use hand sanitizer immediately after coughing/sneezing.
- If you are sick, wear a mask if you must share a room or vehicle with another person or enter a healthcare facility. You do not need to wear a facemask if you are not sick. Masks are in short supply and should be saved for caregivers.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
- There are travel restrictions for some parts of the world, and you should carefully consider travel even in the US. Follow the CDC’s travel guidelines.
Here are a few resources that present the facts very well:
Basic questions about life under Coronavirus: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/world/coronavirus-tips-advice.html
If you are sick: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/13/if-you-feel-sick-are-worried-about-coronavirus-call-your-doctor-dont-rush-er/
Information from NCDHHS: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/public-health/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-response-north-carolina
Information from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
Medium blog (free): https://coronavirus.medium.com/
Online Coronavirus symptoms check: https://c19check.com/start
Center for Disease Control (CDC) / Spanish
- Download/print: What You Need to Know (English / Spanish)
- Download/print: What To Do If You Are Sick (English / Spanish)
- Download/print: Stop the Spread of Germs (English / Spanish)
World Health Organization (WHO)
NC Public Health Department (great resource to stay informed on how NC is responding to COVID-19)
Talking to Kids about Coronavirus
Kids are going to hear about coronavirus, so be prepared to answer questions and talk to them about it.
- Coronavirus and Kids (what you need to know – CDC)
- How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus (NY Times)
- Just for Kids: A New Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus
- How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus – and ease their fears (NBCNews)
- Talking to Children About COVID-19 (National Association of School Psychiatrists)
- Talking to Children About Coronavirus (COVID-19) (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry)