How can we keep ourselves healthy during the pandemic?
Some of the most important things we can do to avoid the spread of COVID-19 are simple and easy. PCC's Medical Providers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the following strategies:
Know how it spreads:
- The virus is spread person-to person, between people who are in close contact (within 6 feet)
- Spread is by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
- The droplets can land in the mouths, noses, or eyes of people who are nearby; or can land on surfaces that are then touched by you – and can be transmitted by your hand to your mouth, nose or eyes
- The virus can be spread by people who are not showing symptoms
- Social distance: stay at home as much as possible; when not possible, stay 6 feet away from others, and wear a cloth mask.
Wash your hands often:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
- If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
- Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth mask when around others:
- You can spread COVID19 even if you do not feel sick.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they go out in public (for example to the grocery store).
- NOTE: Cloth masks should not be place on children under 2, or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, or otherwise unable to remove the mask themselves.
- Do not use facemasks meant for healthcare workers; these are in short supply.
- Continue to keep 6 feet between yourself and others; the cloth masks is not a substitute for social distancing.
Cover coughs and sneezes:
- If you are in a private setting and do not have on a mask, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or use the inside of your elbow).
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer.
Clean and disinfect:
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them – first with detergent or soap and water, then with any household disinfectant.
- Avoid all non-essential travel including plane trips, and especially avoid embarking on cruise ships.
If you are sick with a cough, fever or other symptoms of COVID19: Stay at home.
- Most people with COVID19 have mild illness and can recover at home.
- Do the things you would normally do to recover from a virus: drink plenty of fluids, get extra rest, and avoid cigarettes and other smoke.
- If you live with other people, stay in a room with your door closed; avoid close contact (less than 6 feet) with other people and pets in your home. Use a separate bathroom if possible.
- Do not share dishes, glasses and cups, utensils, towels or bedding with other people in your house. Wash these items thoroughly after using, especially in a dishwasher or washing machine if available.
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your sick room and bathroom. Let someone else clean surfaces in common areas, but not in your bedroom and bathroom.
- If you need to be around other people or animals, wear a cloth mask.
- Call 911 if you are severely ill (having trouble breathing, persistent chest pain, are confused or unable to be aroused, have blue lips or face, or feel like passing out).
- If you need medical advice, your PCC care providers are here for you! Please call us or contact us on the PCC Portal. Don’t walk in to PCC, or to emergency rooms or urgent care centers.
- Our Walk-In Wellness Center is still open, for urgent conditions not related to COVID19. If you have symptoms of COVID19, please call us (even after hours) rather than walking in to the Walk-In Wellness Center.
Additional resources to learn about symptoms of COVID-19:
- Sign up for the City of Chicago’s COVID19 coach app: https://covidcoach.chicago.gov/
- For the CDC's "self-checker" on COVID-19 symptoms: Click here
- For the Human Diagnosis Project's COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool: Click here
- For children/pediatric COVID-19 hotline: call Lurie Hospital COVID-19 Hotline- 312-227-5300 Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, Sat-Sun 9am-1pm