COVID-19 How to Protect You and Your Family
More and more frequently we are hearing about schools and colleges closing and moving to online instruction due to COVID-19. Spring Break is approaching for some and has passed for others which makes protecting you and your family even more important as travel to and from Florida has become even more increased than usual.
Although according to the CDC, children do not seem to be at a high risk for contracting COVID-19, if your child is immune compromised due to illness, they indeed are at risk. They can also carry it to individuals who are at risk which include:
- Those with serious medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes
- Older adults such as their grandparents, teachers or parents
Because there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, nor are there any medications such as Tamiflu (for the flu) to lessen the effects, it’s important to keep your family healthy. It’s important to mitigate the spread of the disease by following these healthy habits.
- Stay home or keep your children home if you or they become sick
- When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with a tissue or your elbow
- Keep your children away from other people who are sick
- Stay away from large crowds when possible
- Wash your hands, and often
- If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer that is 60% alcohol based
- Disinfect surface areas of your home often
- Don’t touch your face
- Avoid traveling to highly infected areas
The best way to prevent illness, is to avoid becoming exposed to the virus.
Coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and symptoms appear 2 to 14 days after exposure.
If you or anyone in your family believes he/she may have COVID-19, please call the Manatee Health Line at (941) 242-6649 (8 a.m.-5 p.m., M-F) or the DOH Hotline at (866) 779-6121 (24/7). The Department of Health is asking anyone who believes he/she may have COVID-19 to contact them BEFORE visiting a hospital or a health care provider to:
- determine who truly needs to be tested,
- prevent anyone who may have COVID-19 from walking into hospital and clinic waiting rooms and potentially infecting others and
- meet section 3 of the state declaration of public health emergency.