COVID-19 has spread quickly throughout the United States leaving health care workers, doctors and scientists scrambling to find ways to stop the spread. Bernalillo County Fire Department Deputy Chief Brian Rose gave some tips on how to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Create a household plan of action
- Meet with household members, other relatives, and friends to discuss what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community and what the needs of each person will be.
- If you or your household members are at increased risk for COVID-19 complications, please consult with your health care provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. CDC will recommend actions to help keep people at high risk for complications healthy if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community.
- Talk with your neighbors about emergency planning. If your neighborhood has a website or social media page, consider joining it to maintain access to neighbors, information, and resources.
- Identify aid organizations in your community. Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, health care services, support, and resources. Consider including organizations that provide mental health or counseling services, food, and other supplies.
- Create an emergency contact list. Ensure your household has a current list of emergency contacts for family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.
- Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy. Identify a separate bathroom for the sick person to use, if possible. Plan to clean these rooms, as needed, when someone is sick.
- You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.
How do I protect myself and family?
- Remind everyone in your household of the importance of practicing everyday preventive actions that can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) using a regular household detergent and water. o If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent and water prior to disinfection. For disinfection, a list of products with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved emerging viral pathogens claims, maintained by the American Chemistry Council Center for Biocide Chemistries (CBC), is available.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
What if I think I have the flu or COVID -19?
- Most important if symptoms are minor to moderate without severe respiratory distress
- Stay home o Call state health department epidemiology hotline – or- Contact your doctor or urgent care and follow instructions
- Utilize video visits with health plan if available
- Control fever with Advil and Tylenol
- Get plenty of rest and stay hydrated
- Be cautions of multi-symptom medicines and current medications to avoid overdose or interactions.
- Contact pharmacy for medicine and dosing questions
- Binge watch Netflix and catch up on Downtown Abbey
- Wear mask if in proximity to healthy family members and have them do the same if within 6 feet.
- Try to isolate in room and avoid family contact for 14 days.
- Wash hands
- Cover cough or cough/sneeze into tissue and immediately dispose of tissue in trash.
- If symptoms are severe with difficulty breathing.
- Contact 911 and advise of symptoms and stress Flu like symptoms to the call taker
- If possible place a mask on face covering mouth and nose if tolerable to help protect emergency crews
- You will be transported to appropriate facility for care