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Safety Measures During COVID-19

Coping with COVID-19 -

Information Resource

Table of Contents:
Step 1: Wear a Mask
Step 2: Physical Distancing
Step 3: Wash Your Hands
Step 4: Testing
Step 5: Contact Tracing
Precautions Not Needed
How to Respond Effectively to the Corona Crisis

Focus on what's in your control
Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings
Come back into your body
Engage in what you're doing

Committed action
Opening up
Identify resources
Disinfect & distance

F.A.C.E. C.O.V.I.D  is a wonderful short video by Dr Russ Harris to give us a quick reminder of the steps we need to take to cope with COVID-19. Have a look at:

Step 1: Wear a Mask

Mask Myth Busters

The Medical Minute: Separating mask myths from facts

Appeared on MDLinx and sourced from Penn State Health July 9, 2020


We see and hear new COVID-19 news almost every minute of the day. But separating facts from fiction can get challenging, especially when it comes to masks. We bust some common mask myths with two experts—infectious diseases physician Dr. Catharine Paules with Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and pediatric allergist and immunologist Dr. Tracy Fausnight with Penn State Children’s Hospital.

Myth: We didn’t need masks early in the pandemic, so we don’t need them now.

Fact: Very little data existed prior to COVID-19 to assess whether masks are useful to prevent community transmission of respiratory viruses. This, combined with the relatively low number of COVID-19 cases early on and concerns about potential global mask shortages, stopped U.S. health officials from recommending masks. Recently it has become clear that asymptomatic people can transmit COVID-19 from speaking, coughing or sneezing. These individuals are highly likely to spread COVID-19 to others because they feel well and may not be limiting their actions in the community. This led to public health officials strongly recommending masks to prevent COVID-19 spread from individuals who do not know they are infected.

Myth: No studies exist about the effectiveness of masks.

Fact: “Several observational studies published since the COVID-19 pandemic began show emerging data that masks coupled with other distancing measures help to prevent the transmission of COVID-19,” Paules said.

Myth: Wearing a mask prevents oxygen from getting into the lungs.

Fact: Surgical masks and cloth face coverings allow some air to flow in and out of the lungs. They will not cause hypoxia (oxygen deprivation). Surgeons routinely wear masks for several hours during procedures without developing lung problems. Even some patients with chronic lung disease wear masks for protection. “The Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation recommends surgical masks for all CF patients during doctor’s visits,” Fausnight said.

Myth: Masks trap in bacteria and fungus and make people more susceptible to bacterial or fungal pneumonia.

Fact: “There is no data to support this statement,” Paules said. In fact, health care providers ask patients at high risk for fungal infections, such as oncology patients, to wear masks for protection. Meantime, it is important to wear your mask correctly (over the nose and mouth) and refrain from touching your face, as failure to follow these steps can promote the spread of viral infections.

Myth: Masks won’t keep me from getting sick.

Fact: Masks do help keep you from getting sick but they are even more effective at preventing somebody else from getting sick. They inhibit some of an infected person’s droplets from spreading. This is especially important for people who either have no COVID-19 symptoms or have symptoms so mild that they don’t realize they are infected. “Wearing a mask is a way to say, ‘I care about you,’ to those around you,” Fausnight said. However, masks alone aren’t a complete savior. Social distancing and hand hygiene also play crucial roles in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Myth: Masks weaken the immune system.

Fact: The immune system is exposed to germs all the time. Wearing a mask doesn’t prevent it from “remembering” all of those prior exposures and staying strong.

Myth: We don’t need masks. We need herd immunity.

Fact: Herd immunity works only if about 70 percent of the total population has COVID-19 from either a past infection or from a vaccine. Getting to that 70 percent comes at a substantial cost: a catastrophic number of deaths due to COVID-19. That’s why it’s important to prevent the spread of COVID-19 whenever possible until effective treatments or a vaccine are found.

One “myth” that has some truth—wearing a mask can cause some people anxiety and a sense of claustrophobia. But it can be conquered. “Try wearing a mask at home for short periods of time,” Paules said. “Then you can gradually build up to wearing it for a whole trip to the grocery store, for example.”

How Respiratory Droplets can - or be stopped 
This YouTube video helps you understand how masks stopp the spread of repiratory droplets:
Why do we need to wear a mask?

Coronavirus is in the air. At first, experts thought the virus was spread primarily through globs of mucus and saliva expelled when people cough or sneeze. They thought these droplets were heavy enough to drop out of the air fairly quickly. Based on early cases of hospital spread, the virus seemed to be aerosolized—that is, lofted into the air in particles small enough to float—only by certain medical procedures such as placing someone on a ventilator. But we now know that the virus is expelled in a range of droplet sizes, with some particles small enough to persist in the air, especially in indoor, poorly ventilated spaces. 

Masks work. When the pandemic began, experts worried that mass mask-buying could exacerbate shortages of personal protective equipment for health care workers and others who needed them. They also warned that masks might make people complacent about social distancing and that cloth or paper masks (unlike N95 surgical masks) can’t stop the smallest aerosolized viral particles. Now we know that masks can greatly reduce the amount of virus that people expel into the air while speaking, and that masks protect people who are wearing them—not perfectly, but enough to reduce transmission of the disease.

Face Shield or Face Mask to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

People need convincing that using face shields alone shouldn't be used to stop the spread of COVID-19 so a group of researchers from Florida Atlantic University's College of Engineering and Computer Science used qualitative visualizations to test how face shield and masks with valves perform in impeding the spread of aerosol-sized droplets. The reason being that widespread use of these alternatives to regular masks could potentially have an adverse effect on mitigation efforts. Their study demonstrated that the high quality cloth or surgical masks were most clearly capable of better protecting one from aerosol-sized droplets. This research demonstrated the importance of proper face coverings. One suggestion would be to use the face shield in addition to the cloth face mask for added protection. Read Face Shield or Face mask to Stop the Spread of COVID-19  at MDLinx September 1, 2020 

Step 2: Physical Distancing

Why practice social distancing (also known as Physical Distancing)? Advice from the CDC

COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay at least 6 feet away from others when possible, even if you—or they—do not have any symptoms. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

If you are sick with COVID-19, have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, it is important to stay home and away from other people until it is safe to be around others.

COVID-19 can live for hours or days on a surface, depending on factors such as sunlight, humidity, and the type of surface. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Social distancing helps limit opportunities to come in contact with contaminated surfaces and infected people outside the home.

Although the risk of severe illness may be different for everyone, anyone can get and spread COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread and protecting themselves, their family, and their community. In addition to practicing everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to this virus and slowing its spread in communities.

Tips for Physical Distancing (Social Distancing) From the CDC

When going out in public, it is important to stay at least 6 feet away from other people and wear a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19. Consider the following tips for practicing social distancing when you decide to go out.

Know Before You Go: Before going out, know and follow the guidance from local public health authorities where you live.

Prepare for Transportation: Consider social distancing options to travel safely when running errands or commuting to and from work, whether walking, bicycling, wheelchair rolling, or using public transit, rideshares, or taxis. When using public transit, try to keep at least 6 feet from other passengers or transit operators – for example, when you are waiting at a bus station or selecting seats on a bus or train. When using rideshares or taxis, avoid pooled rides where multiple passengers are picked up, and sit in the back seat in larger vehicles so you can remain at least 6 feet away from the driver.

Limit Contact When Running Errands: Only visit stores selling household essentials in person when you absolutely need to, and stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not from your household while shopping and in lines. If possible, use drive-thru, curbside pick-up, or delivery services to limit face-to-face contact with others. Maintain physical distance between yourself and delivery service providers during exchanges and wear a mask.

Choose Safe Social Activities: It is possible to stay socially connected with friends and family who don’t live in your home by calling, using video chat, or staying connected through social media. If meeting others in person (e.g., at small outdoor gatherings, yard or driveway gathering with a small group of friends or family members), stay at least 6 feet from others who are not from your household. Follow these steps to stay safe if you will be participating in personal and social activities outside of your home.

Keep Distance at Events and Gatherings: It is safest to avoid crowded places and gatherings where it may be difficult to stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not from your household. If you are in a crowded space, try to keep 6 feet of space between yourself and others at all times, and wear a mask. Masks are especially important in times when physical distancing is difficult. Pay attention to any physical guides, such as tape markings on floors or signs on walls, directing attendees to remain at least 6 feet apart from each other in lines or at other times. Allow other people 6 feet of space when you pass by them in both indoor and outdoor settings.

Stay Distanced While Being Active: Consider going for a walk, bike ride, or wheelchair roll in your neighborhood or in another safe location where you can maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and other pedestrians and cyclists. If you decide to visit a nearby park, trail, or recreational facility, first check for closures or restrictions. If open, consider how many other people might be there and choose a location where it will be possible to keep at least 6 feet of space between yourself and other people who are not from your household.

Guiding Principle for Gatherings or Events from the CDC

A gathering refers to a planned or spontaneous event, indoors or outdoors, with a small number of people participating or a large number of people in attendance such as a community event or gathering, concert, festival, conference, parade, wedding, or sporting event.

The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading.

The higher the level of community transmission in the area that the gathering is being held, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading during a gathering.

The size of an event or gathering should be determined based on state, local, territorial or tribal safety laws and regulations.

The risk of COVID-19 spreading at events and gatherings increases as follows:

Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.

More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear masks, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).

Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local area.

Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.

Step 3: Wash Your Hands

Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Learn when and how you should wash your hands to stay healthy.

How Germs Spread

Washing hands can keep you healthy and prevent the spread of rinfections from one person to the next. Germs can spread from other people or surfaces when you:

  • Touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Prepare or eat food and drinks with unwashed hands
  • Touch a contaminated surface or objects
  • Blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects

Key Times to Wash Hands

You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you should also clean hands:

  • After you have been in a public place and touched an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts, or electronic cashier registers/screens, etc.
  • Before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth because that’s how germs enter our bodies.
For more information on Handwashing go to the CDC Website at:

Step 4: Testing

Why Testing Matters

Please read the blog post below from the National Institutes of Health leadership, including NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D., about the importance of COVID-19 testing.

Every single person can help our country control the COVID-19 pandemic by reducing their own chance of getting infected by SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes coronavirus disease, or COVID-19), and preventing the spread of COVID-19 to coworkers, friends, and loved ones.

Widespread testing is one of the most effective strategies to help prevent the spread of infection and get our country safely back to work and school.
Testing saves lives
A positive test early in the course of the illness enables individuals to isolate themselves — reducing the chances that they will infect others and allowing them to seek treatment earlier, likely reducing disease severity and the risk of long-term disability, or death. Others with whom the infected individual has recently been in contact should also get tested. A negative test result doesn’t necessarily mean the individual doesn’t have COVID-19; they could become infectious later. Therefore, even if the individuals tests negative, they should still protect themself and others by physically distancing, wearing a face mask, and frequently washing their hands.

Testing of people who are not showing symptoms but have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 is also important. Nearly half of all infections are transmitted by people who are not showing symptoms. Identifying people who are asymptomatic (not showing any symptoms) and presymptomatic (not yet showing symptoms) will play a major role in stopping the pandemic.

Testing can be easy and quick
Quick test results allow an individual with COVID-19 to not only get treated faster, but also take steps to minimize the spread of the virus. Early in the pandemic, there was limited capacity and supplies for testing, which resulted in delays. However, lab equipment has since improved, capacity and supply have expanded, and results are now being returned, on average, within three to four days. In fact, point-of-care tests will be available that provide a result in less than 15 minutes!

Testing matters more in the communities affected the most
Communities of color are disproportionately burdened by the COVID-19 pandemic Some individuals in these communities are essential workers, who cannot work from home, increasing their risk of being exposed to the virus. In addition, multi-generational living situations or multi-family housing arrangements can allow the virus to spread more quickly if one household member gets infected. Comorbid conditions that worsen the health risks of COVID-19, such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes, are also more common in minority communities because of long-standing societal and environmental factors and impediments to health care access.

Unfortunately, there still is a lot of confusion about where to get a test and who should get tested. Read more about testing and how every single person can help our country control the COVID-19 pandemic. at: Why COVID-19 testing is the Key to getting back to Normal at National Institute of Aging (NIA) September 4, 2020.

Step 5 Contract Tracing

What is Contact Tracing?
Contact tracing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), involves reaching out to close contadcts, defined as individuals who were within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes, starting from 2 days before illness onset (or,for asymptomatic patieints,  2 days before positive speciment collection) until the patient is isolated. It works best when testing is widely available and test results are quickly in hand, especially for diseases such as COVID-19, in which many of those who are infected are asymptomatic.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) suggests that lessons they have learned from survey research be used such as providing people with advance notice they might be contacted legitimizes the communications they subsequently recieve. In the context of COVID-19 testing, sending a rapid series of notifications as soon as individuals are tested could prepare them to receive communications from their local health departments and assure them that those communications are legitimate.

Precautions Not Needed

Precaustions not needed to prevent Coronavius Infection

The following six precautions are not needed to prevent Coronaviruus infection according to an article in MDLinx September 9, 2020.

The following is the information contained in that article:

The best ways to reduce your risk of getting COVID-19 are by now well known: wear masks, maintain social distance, and avoid crowded areas – especially those indoors.

But as public health experts have learned more about how the coronavirus spreads, it's become clear that some precautions probably aren't worth your time.

Letting letters and packages sit for days before opening them, for example, is most likely overkill, according to Rachel Graham, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina.

"I've never bothered about quarantining mail," she told Business Insider.

Here are six coronavirus precautions you may not need to bother with, according to Graham and other experts.

1. You don't need to wear gloves to the store

The coronavirus doesn't spread easily via contaminated surfaces, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, though a person can get infected if they touch a surface or object that has viral particles on it then touch their mouth, nose, or eyes.Wearing gloves – disposable or otherwise – may seem like an easy way to keep your hands free of potential contamination at the grocery store. But CDC guidelines don't recommend gloves for running errands. "I don't wear gloves in the store, but I wash my hands before I go and when I come back," Paul Volberding, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, told The Washington Postin July. Some experts are even concerned that glove wearing may give people a false sense of security when shopping. "People think of gloves as magic bullets, and they are not. They are another source of contamination," Ravina Kullar, an epidemiologist with the Infectious Diseases Society of America,told New York Magazinelast month.She added that with gloves, you "may potentially be prone to touch your face more often."

2. Don't worry about disinfecting food packages – frozen or otherwise

In August, Chinese officials found traces of coronavirus on frozen food packages.But those findings are probably not cause for concern, according to Michael Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organisation's Health Emergencies Program. "People should not fear food, or food packaging or processing, and the delivery of food," Ryan said in a press briefing last month.Caitlin Howell, a chemical and biomedical engineer at the University of Maine, said it's unlikely the virus would survive on frozen foods."It is possible, but the virus is not very stable outside the human body," she previously told Business Insider, adding, "freezing or refrigerating the virus can help to extend the period of time that it stays infectious, which is why we think that outbreaks at meatpacking plants were occurring so frequently, but transmission via surfaces still appears to be rare – even when those surfaces are frozen or refrigerated." Elizabeth Connick, an immunolobiologist at the University of Arizona, told The Post that she doesn't disinfect and wash food packages, frozen or otherwise."I did that for about a week, then decided there would be more cases if the virus was transmitted that way. I don't think there is a lot of virus hanging around on those packages," Connick said.

3. Quarantining library books for three days is plenty

The lifespan of the virus on objects depends on the type of materialone study found that it took three hours for the virus to leave tissue and printing paper. Given that, Graham said, libraries shouldn't worry much about quarantining books before returning them to circulation.

Research conducted in June showed that viral particles disappeared off common library materials after three days.Scientists tested the virus' lifespan on the covers of hardcover and trade paper books, as well as paper pages inside a closed book, protective mylar book-cover jackets, and plastic DVD cases.The results showed that after one day, the virus was gone from the book covers and DVDs. After three days, it was undetectable on the paper inside a book and the mylar book jackets."So anything more than [three days] is airing a little too far on the side of cautious," Graham said.

4. No need to quarantine your mail at all

It would be "astounding" if a single letter had enough viral particles on it to make you sick, Graham said. That's why quarantining the contents of your mailbox most likely isn't necessary.

Plus, letters often bake in mailboxes during the heat of summer, which would probably dry out any lingering virus and render it uninfectious, Graham added.

5. Cleaners and repair people can come to your home

Since the start of the pandemic, people have avoided bringing guests inside their homes. But most experts say it's alright to allow cleaners and repair people inside occasionally.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Post that a cleaner comes to his house once every two weeks: "She wears a mask and gloves at all times while in the house," he said. Connick and Fauci also said they have had hair dressers over to their homes for a quick trim.

6. It's alright to swim in a pool

Pools do not tend to become COVID-19 hotspots because the coronavirus doesn't spread through water – especially not in chlorinated pools, where the chemical "should inactivate the virus in the water," the CDC says. "In general, respiratory pathogens don't survive in the water," Joseph Eisenberg, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, previously told Business Insider. Plus, because the coronavirus a respiratory virus, catching it usually involves inhaling it, not swallowing it, Eisenberg added. So swimming is relatively safe. But William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, suggests avoiding locker rooms. "Wear a mask when changing; get in, get out," he told Business Insider, adding, "you want to avoid prolonged, close contact with people indoors."