Updated 3/18/2020 - Printable PDF Version
Q: What steps can I take to stay healthy and safe during this pandemic?
A: Hygiene and health is key. You’ve heard it before, but frequent and thorough hand washing is the top priority. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If soap and water is unavailable, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Don’t forget - Avoid touching your face, especially around your eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.
Q: What about my home and work area?
A: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, objects, and tools using a household cleaning spray or wipe. Avoid sharing items.
Q: How can I protect others?
A: Practice the good hygiene habits above. Also, cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue. Dispose of the tissue immediately and wash your hands. If no tissues are available sneeze or cough into the inside of your elbow.
Q: How else can I help?
A: You can help stop COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
Seek medical advice if you develop symptoms or have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
Q: I may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. What should I do?
A: Call your primary care physician (PCP) to determine next steps. If you do not have a PCP contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH. Also, contact your employer to let them know of your potential exposure. Finally, be prepared to quarantine for at least 5 days, but as many as 14. Again, it is best determined by contacting a health care provider. He or she can give you tips on how to stay safe and protect those around you, as well as what red flags to look for that would indicate you need to see a doctor or nurse in person, or be moved to the hospital. Follow CDC Guidance.
Q: I am feeling sick. What should I do?
A: STAY HOME – except to get medical care! DO NOT GO TO WORK! Avoid contact with others. If you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms, contact a medical professional. Call ahead first; do not simply go to the doctor’s office, urgent care, or hospital. If you have cold or flu like symptoms, you should isolate yourself from others for up to 14 days. Also, contact your employer to let them know of your potential exposure.
Q: What if I get this? How sick am I going to get?
A: For most people, the immediate risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low. Older adults and people of any age with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease, are at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Q: This is really upsetting me. What can I do? Who can I talk this through with?
A: It is perfectly normal to have feelings of anxiety. There is an unusual amount of pressure on all of us. But remember, you are certainly not alone. Talk to a family member, a friend, or a co-worker about what you are feeling and what they are feeling. Be sure to get the phone number of your employee or member assistance program. They have trained professionals that will help you through these difficult times. Tips for Coping with the Coronavirus. If you need help coping, you can also text PA to 741-741.