TIPS FOR CITIZENS TO AVOID SPREAD OF COVID-19:
- If you have minor symptoms (cough, runny nose, fever, body aches, etc.) it is not likely you need supportive care. It’s best to stay home, treat the symptoms, and avoid infecting others at this time.
- Despite the Trump Administration’s promises, there are still not enough tests for COVID-19. This increases the necessity of self-imposed quarantines if minor symptoms arise.
- If symptoms are severe (trouble breathing most likely) see a doctor immediately.
- Don’t go to the doctor/hospital with minor complaints unrelated to possible COVID-19. Hospitals and medical facilities in hot spots are overwhelmed and short-staffed due to home quarantine of exposed individuals.
- Use tele-health services for any minor complaints to avoid exposure to possible infection.
- Recent trips to places like China, Italy, Iran, Washington and others with large numbers of reported cases increases your risk, but at this point it is likely everywhere and anywhere. Please be cautious.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds regularly, and buy alcohol-based hand sanitizer for yourselves and your kids.
- Be sure to avoid crowded areas when possible.
COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR COMMUNITY LEADERS:
*SOURCE: Andy Slavitt, Covid-19 Governor Response and Protocols*
- Prevention now will be easier than clean-up later. Controlling 10 people is easier than 100, 1000, 10,000, 100,000. That’s how it vectors. Act while your job is easier. You are not over-doing it.
- The number one public interest and concern is safety. State government needs to showcase transparency, competence, and credibility.
- It’s already in your state and many of your communities and you should make plans to act assuming you are both the front line and last line. Federal money, kits, and eventually a vaccine and treatments will show up at some point, but move forward assuming little Federal support.
- Experts believe we are already past the person-to-person stage of transmission and in community transmission in most large communities.
- Infection controls and protocols are poor to begin with in health care settings. Assume there are sufficient deficiencies that need to be closed.
- You can’t do everything. Start with the highest risk areas (nursing homes, hospitals, travelers) and go from there. Allocate resources — dollars and people — to prioritize long-term care and elder facilities that are at enormous risk.
- Let public health officials guide your decisions and provide them the support they need. Protect them from excessive meeting and PR requests.
- An important principle is that the weakest link in the community will drive infection development: International travelers, major metropolitan area commuters, elderly populations. Incubation periods and spreading methods make it hard for people to self-identify.
- The numbers of infected will grow dramatically in the next weeks as testing increases. Make sure the public sees this is not an increase in spread but a baselining and no reason to panic.
- A tight chain of command is critical. Staffing, resources, scorecard development, communication protocols, and budget are important early actions.
- The situation will be very fluid. These are phase 1 basic recommendations. If the virus begins to spread rapidly, protocols will need to change.
The Committee to Protect Medicare is a committee of doctors, patients, and activists advocating for health care for all and holding elected officials accountable when they put our Medicare or preexisting condition protections at risk.
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