With the rise in concern and spread of the coronavirus, we at Helping Hands Health Services wanted to share essential information in keeping our staff, clients, and client’s families as safe as possible during this outbreak. In an effort to maintain the health and safety of the building, office hours for clients/visitors will be by appointment only Monday-Friday 9am-3pm.
Below is essential information to follow:
COVID-19 is a disease caused by a respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. COVID-19 is a new virus that hasn’t caused illness in humans before. Worldwide, COVID-19 has resulted in thousands of infections, causing illness and in some cases death. Cases have spread to countries throughout the world, with more cases reported daily.
COVID-19 is thought to be able to spread like the cold or flu through:
- coughing and sneezing, which creates respiratory droplets
- close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- touching an object or surface with the virus on it
Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- shortness of breath
- in more severe cases, pneumonia (infection in the lungs)
The vast majority of people recover from this infection. Most people will have mild or moderate symptoms. Older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions have a greater risk for more serious illness.
Prevention in the office, at your client’s home and in your own home
There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. Many experts are at work developing one. As with any new vaccine, it must be tested to make certain it is safe and effective. It may take over a year for a COVID-19 vaccine to become available.
You can take everyday preventive steps that are always recommended to slow the spread of respiratory illnesses like colds and flu:
- wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
- keep an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol in reach if soap and water are not available
- cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, your sleeve or your elbow (not your hands)
- avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects (such as door knobs, light switches, remotes, and fridge & microwave doors) and surfaces using standard cleaning practices
- avoid close contact with people who are sick
- if you are sick, stay home, except when seeking medical care
Those at Higher Risk of Becoming Seriously Ill from COVID-19: Older Adults and Individuals with Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Older adults (age 60+) and those with pre-existing medical conditions have a greater risk for serious illness, and in some cases death, if they become infected with COVID-19. Examples of pre-existing medical conditions include: cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other conditions that impact the immune system’s ability to fight germs.
Currently, the people who are at increased risk for contracting COVID-19 are people who:
- recently traveled to geographic areas of concern
- have close, personal contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19
- care for people with COVID-19
If you are an older adult or you have one and more chronic health conditions, you can take action to reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19:
- take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others
- when you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol content
- avoid crowds as much as possible
You can prepare in the following ways:
- Have an adequate supply of non-prescriptive drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines
- Check your regular prescription drugs to make sure you have an adequate supply; refill your prescriptions if needed
- Have a thermometer, tissues and hand sanitizer in case you become ill and must stay at home to recover
- Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick and what will be needed to care for them at home
- Have a two-week supply of water and food at home
Please keep yourselves as safe as possible from accidental contamination by washing your hands and sanitizing surfaces frequently.