By Dr. Michele Dikkers, Physician at Cornerstone Family Practice and GMHC, Chair of Clayton County Board of Health
Coronavirus, Sars-CoV-2 or Covid 19, words, that at Thanksgiving, were unfamiliar and nonexistent. Now, they are part of our daily conversation, seeped deeply into every part of our day.
Now that we recognize the name, now that it is in our state and our county, what can we do about it?
WE NEED TO TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY.
Our best protection is not to get it. This is why we’ve created “well clinics” in Garnavillo and Edgewood. This is why it is so important to avoid contact with people outside your own home. If you must go out, practice social distancing and stay at least 6 feet away from other people.
The best ways to prevent infection and spread of respiratory diseases, like COVID-19, include:
• Staying home if you are sick
• Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
• Covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
• Thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially 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.
• Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
• Disinfecting surfaces and objects using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
• If you begin to experience symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, call your primary care provider before coming in. Symptoms to look for are: chills, fever, cough, runny nose, body aches, chest pain and shortness of breath.
• 2-1-1 is a phone line available across Iowa to assist with general questions on COVID-19.
If you develop trouble breathing, high fevers, chest pain, confusion, lethargy, blue lips or face you should seek immediate medical attention. Call 911 or go to the Emergency Department immediately.
Be well and take care of each other. Follow the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the guidance of the state of Iowa, continue social distancing and stay local. And, please continue to visit our Facebook page and our website for updated information as recommendations change daily.