COVID-19 Need to KnowMarch 12, 2020
As of today, Florida is in a declared Statewide Public Health Emergency.
Catholic Health Services is closely monitoring the developing virus situation nationwide and taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents, patients and staff.
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, never before seen by humans, and was identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. As of today, the virus has been detected in over 70 locations worldwide, including the United States.
How COVID-19 Spreads
The virus spreads mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or be inhaled into the lungs.
It is 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 possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- Shortness of breath
Call your doctor if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19 – China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan, and Washington State.
Prevention and Treatment
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent the illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus:
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
- The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings at home or in a health care facility.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
What to Do if You are Sick
Call ahead to a healthcare professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with an ongoing spread. Tell your healthcare professional about your recent travel or contact. Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.