For many families, their primary concern about COVID-19 is not just how to protect themselves, but how to protect vulnerable family members.
The best way to care for yourself and your family right now is by staying informed and calmly following the recommendations shared by reliable sources.
Recommendations for prevention of COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shared specific recommendations for planning ahead and protecting yourself and your family from COVID-19. Because there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, the CDC emphasizes that the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed.
Here are some of the actions you can take to avoid or minimize exposure.
- Clean your hands often. It’s best to use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you’re not near a sink, you can use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Put some distance between yourself and others if COVID-19 is in your community.
- Discourage children and teens in your household from gathering in public places, such as the local mall.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
- You DO NOT need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick AND is unable to wear a facemask.
If you think you might be sick, take these additional precautions.
- Stay at home, except to get medical care.
- Follow your local health care providers’ guidelines for being screened and tested. [link to our guidelines if/when they’re ready]
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- After coughing or sneezing, immediately clean your hands.
- If you have a facemask, wear it when you are around other people, such as in the same room or vehicle, or BEFORE you enter a health care provider’s office.
Planning ahead for COVID-19
Certain people are at higher risk for developing more serious complications if they get sick from COVID-19. Those at additional risk include older adults and people with chronic underlying health conditions like diabetes, heart disease or lung disease.
If members of your household are at higher risk, follow these additional precautions.
- Consider staying away from crowds.
- Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home.
- Create a household plan of action.
Stay updated on what Mercy Health is doing related to COVID-19.
Call our 24/7 COVID-19 Hotline at (888) 700-9011 for questions and guidance.