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Heritage Family Medicine
4001 Harrison Ave, NW
Olympia, WA 98502

360.704.ADOC (2362)

Top 10 Ways to Protect You & The Public's Health

Top Ten Ways To Protect You and the Public's Health 
 Washington Department of Health Nursing Commission
March 6, 2020

  1. Wash your hands. (You had to know I was going to start there!) Frequently. And don't touch your face. Don't panic if you are struggling to find hand sanitizer in the stores. Soap and water will do. 
  2. Cover your cough. There are actual disgusting studies on this! If you don't cover your cough or sneeze, the droplets can travel up to six feet!
  3. Stay more than 6 feet away from each other. No hugs, no touching. Maybe greet your friends with a peace sign or, logically, with the Live Long and Prosper hand gesture.
  4. Disinfect hard surfaces like tables, doorknobs, phones. Coronaviruses like COVID-19 can live on hard surfaces for hours to days. Disinfect them before you touch them again and have to wash your hands again. Then wash your hands again anyway.
  5. Stay home if you are sick! If you have a fever and cough, stay home until your fever has been gone for 72 hours. Staying home while sick protects our friends and loved ones, some of whom may be at high risk of severe illness.
  6. Sometimes public health may ask you to limit your travel outside your home-maybe because of your specific exposure or illness, or maybe as part of a request to an entire community. Are you prepared to stay home for 14 days? Do you have enough food to last? Books? Board games? List of interesting, yet non-divisive topics to discuss with your spouse our housemates?
  7. Consider rescheduling or canceling large community events. If you are planning on holding a large event that involves people who may be at high risk of severe illness, and it is not an essential part of your business, it is reasonable to consider cancelling or rescheduling this event.
  8. If you do not have symptoms, you can go to work, school, or childcare. Public health has not yet asked any schools or workplaces to close because of COVID-19, although, to protect their people or to clean, some schools and workplaces have made this decision. I never want to stand in the way of a good cleaning!
  9. Follow international travel advice from CDC. At this point, that means delaying your trip to China or Iran (and maybe South Korea and Italy too!).
  10. Practice compassion. Avoid jumping to conclusions about people who may cough or sneeze at work. It is cold and flu season and people have allergies. Don't grill your friends about their health conditions; instead, show them your support by offering them water or a tissue.
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