Continuing your day-to-day activities can be daunting with the ongoing news reports about the novel coronavirus causing uneasiness.
Carle works closely with local, state and federal health partners to keep you informed. Teams throughout our nation are taking preventative steps to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) causing worldwide concern. While the virus that causes COVID-19 is not spreading in our communities, several countries around the world are detecting community spread, meaning the virus is circulating among the local community and infecting people who are not sure how or where they were infected.
Still, the immediate health risk remains low for the general public. Easy actions can protect you and your family from illness.
Tips on staying healthy
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid touching their face
- Avoid close contact with people who appear sick
- Stay home if you or a family member is sick
- Clean frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs and handrails
Additional precautions include avoiding or postponing international travel plans. The CDC and the U.S. State Department recommend travelers reconsider cruise ship voyages into or within Asia at this time.
Carle communities are preparing
The goal of the ongoing U.S. public health response is to minimize introductions of this virus, detect new cases quickly, and reduce community spread of this new coronavirus in the US.
“Illinois has already led the charge, becoming the first state to be able to test for the virus that causes COVID-19 at state laboratories. As we move forward, we are working across city, state and federal agencies to identify all available resources and ensure we are using every tool to keep our communities safe,” said Ngozi Ezike, MD, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) director.
Carle has robust plans to keep employees, patients, visitors and the community safe.
“Right now we’re working with supply chain partners to understand usage, what products are available, and when more aggressive measures may need to be taken to ensure our community has access to gloves, masks and other needed protections and supplies,” said Matt Ashmore, director, Supply Chain Services.
At this time, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend the routine use of surgical masks in public.
“Individuals with symptoms such as fever and cough should wear a mask to help reduce the spread of germs to others, but it is important the mask is worn properly and placed over the nose and mouth,” said Robert Healy, Carle’s chief quality officer.
Carle continues to educate all staff and providers on rapidly changing guidance and implementing a range of conservation strategies to keep patients, staff and the community safe.
Additionally, providers are leveraging existing telehealth tools to address patient’s healthcare needs and are reviewing the organization’s pandemic plans.
“While it is unclear how this situation will evolve in the United States, CDC – and Carle – are preparing as if it were the next pandemic, while hoping it is not,” said Anita Guffey, Carle’s Regional Emergency Management Director.
Resources to learn more
For more information about how to prepare for the spread of the virus and steps to take to stay healthy, visit https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/. While these materials reference influenza, the information and actions still apply at home, at school, at work and at a gathering.