A global pandemic caused by the COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, is rapidly spreading across the U.S. It has a fatality rate 2-3% higher than the flu, and in certain populations — like the elderly, immunocompromised, and disabled communities — the risk of contracting the illness and experiencing complications is greater.
NYC first declared a state of emergency in order to prevent the transmission of the virus, and shortly after, Trump made a national declaration. In other parts of the world, like Italy and China, some areas are on complete quarantine. Numerous activities involving mass gatherings have been canceled, closed, or suspended until further notice, including the current NBA season, the music festival Coachella, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Schools across the nation, including K-12 and higher education, have also been closed until further notice.
What Are The Symptoms of Coronavirus?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), symptoms can include:
- respiratory symptoms
- shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
When the case is more severe, coronavirus can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
COVID-19 Recommendations From Austin Women’s Health Center Based on the CDC
Because the virus is thought to spread between person-to-person, the CDC recommends the following:
- Wash your hands often! The CDC suggests washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds — especially if you’ve been in public or have coughed or sneezed. Practicing good hygiene is an effective way to prevent the spread of illness.
- If soap isn’t available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face! Especially your eyes, nose, and mouth (where the transmission can cause infection) with unwashed hands.
- Practice “social distancing”, or keep about six feet of distance between you and another person. This is especially important to prevent transmission to communities more at risk of getting sick.
- Because the transmission of the virus can spread through “respiratory droplets” from a cough or sneeze, it’s especially important to keep your distance from anyone exhibiting these symptoms.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and throw the tissue away, or cough into the inside of your elbow.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you’re sick, or anyone in your household is sick, stay home, unless it’s to get medical care. If you’re seeking healthcare while sick, you should wear a face inside any medical facility you visit in order to prevent the spread of illness to others.
- In order to preserve the availability of face masks, they should only be used by someone who is sick, or by a caregiver who is caring for a sick person that is unable to wear one themselves.
- Clean dirty surfaces, and clean and disinfect surfaces with an EPA disinfectant in your home daily. The CDC says this includes: tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
Because COVID-19 can also transmit between humans and animals, the WHO recommends cooking meat and eggs thoroughly.
Steps We’re Taking At Austin Women’s Health Center
We want you to know that we are going above and beyond to keep our spaces clean and sanitary as we always do. It’s our top priority that our patients and staff stay safe and that our clinic remains open to provide a much needed service. We apologize for any inconvenience that occurs during this time.
- Our staff disinfects our entire office from the doorknobs to the light switches as well as each room in between patients.
- We are temporarily barring family, friends, and children of patients from the lobby to promote social distancing. They are welcome to hang out on our porch, picnic tables, or in their car to provide support.
- We offer hand sanitizer, Kleenex, and Lysol throughout the lobby for our patients to use
- Our goal is to keep our patients and staff healthy so that we can continue to provide services to patients during this time