More than 30 million Americans have contracted the COVID-19 and 570,000+ have died as a result. To say that the coronavirus is a dangerous illness is an accurate characterization, considering that it’s still causing devastation in the country and across the globe. The virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 virus, spreads easily through close contact. Vaccine efforts have been ongoing in states across the nation, but that doesn’t mean an immediate end to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are regions in the country where infection rates are high. It’s still important for people to adhere to appropriate preventative measures that can help to limit the spread of COVID-19. What are some of how the transmission of COVID-19 can be prevented?
Coronavirus an Immediate Healthcare Risk
Currently, in the United States, COVID-19 is one of the immediate healthcare risks that Americans face. With the ongoing vaccination efforts across the country, those who have been fully vaccinated can breathe a sigh of relief, since they now have immunity against COVID-19. Other Americans who are unvaccinated are still at risk, especially the elderly and those with chronic health issues, such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and lung and heart disease. Individuals in these categories have an increased risk of developing severe health complications after infection with COVID-19. Exposure to the coronavirus occurs more commonly from person-to-person contact. With new confirmed cases of COVID-19 occurring every day, prevention is still necessary.
Ways to Prevent the Transmission of the Coronavirus
It is still important to be vigilant in adhering to safe practices that will limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Prevention is fairly straightforward and includes hand-washing and personal hygiene, physical distancing, wearing face masks, getting vaccinated, and other specific prevention techniques. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) offers recommendations on several ways to prevent transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19:
Wash hands regularly: Develop a strong habit of washing your hands often with soap and water for roughly 20 seconds, especially after being out in a public space, or after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose, before preparing food and eating, using the toilet, and touching animals and handling your mask. If you do not have soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer(minimum 60% alcohol) which is an effective substitute, to cover the whole surface of your hands and rub together until dry.
Physically Distance Yourself From Others: Avoid close, person-to-person contact with others, particularly anyone showing symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection or persons who are not a part of your household. Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or at least 2 arms’ length between yourself and others. If you have an increased risk of developing health complications from infection, you should especially practice physical distancing.
Wear a Face Mask: Wear a face mask in public, covering your nose and mouth, and still practicing physical distance. Wash or sanitize hands before placing your mask on your face. Ensure that you have the right fit that will fit snug against the sides of your face.
Get Vaccinated: If available to you in your state, get a COVID-19 vaccine. Full vaccination provides you with immunity from COVID-19. Check with your state’s health department for further information on the availability and access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes: It’s fine to cough or sneeze in your mask, but you should change it as soon as possible and replace it with a new one. If a mask is absent when you sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or cough or sneeze in the inside of your elbow. Wash or sanitize hands immediately adhering to the proper method.
Clean and Disinfect High-Contact Surfaces: Frequently touched surfaces, especially in your home or workspace, should be cleaned and disinfected regularly daily. These surfaces include doorknobs, tabletops, countertops, and light switches, toilets, sinks, door handles, desks, phones, keyboards, and faucets. Before you disinfect a surface, wash with detergent or soap.
Consult your local urgent care provider to learn about your risks of contracting the coronavirus, and the symptoms of seasonal illnesses that are shared symptoms of COVID-19. Remain home if you have a high risk of serious illness if exposed to the coronavirus, and get COVID-19 testing should you return to work or normal activities. Take advantage of telemedicine services offered by your urgent care provider and stay safe.