Looking for some helpful Covid-19 resources you can refer to in order to stay safe when working around the coronavirus? Many MERI customers are in the healthcare industry. They know this virus strand is tricky one.
The key to stay on top of this is to review information from trusted sources. What follows are some helpful Covid-19 resources from by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Also included is guidance from the WI Department of Health Services (DHS) as well as helpful information from the Healthcare Waste Institute (HWI).
Covid-19 Can Live Up to 3 Days on Some Surfaces
At a recent HWI presentation, this slide outlined some key Covid-19 facts. Most notable is a new study by the New England Journal of Medicine showing the lifespan of the virus outside of the body. It notes the virus can remain in aerosols for three hours; plastics and stainless steel for 48-72 hours; cardboard for less than 24 hours; and copper for less than 4 hours. No wonder it’s so contagious and so important to wipe everything down with disinfectant.
As a healthcare worker, how can you stay safe? First and foremost, wear protective PPE if you are administering to those who are affected, or for whom you are cleaning up afterward. Most likely, your healthcare facility already has covered how to limit contamination when putting on and taking off PPE. The CDC’s guidelines for how to don and doff PPE can be found here. Also, here are several CDC links to what can be done in a pinch on PPE supplies.
Be Smart and Stay Safe by Continuing to Monitor Your Health
It is also critical to continue to monitor how you feel. If you’re experiencing a high fever, cough or have difficulty breathing, it is time to step back. Continuing to push on may harm others. Call your healthcare hotline and explain your symptoms. Call your supervisor.
Because COVID-19 is highly contagious, if you are sick, you must self-isolate at home. If possible, it also means you may need to separate from others within your home in order to prevent the spread of this disease.
Many questions have come up about the difference between self-isolation and quarantine. Here’s guidance from the State of WI on both and what to do in each case.
Stay Ahead of the Covid-19 Curve
One way you can stay ahead of the curve is to take social distancing seriously. Stay home, if possible. If going out for a walk, maintain a distance of six feet apart.
Another way to stay safe is to listen to the news a couple of times a day for the latest updates. Review helpful state Covid-19 websites, like this from the WI Dept. of Health Services. Also, keep in touch with your facility’s action plans and carry the necessary paperwork at all times if you are in a vital industry. You’ll need this if a lockdown occurs.
Spring cleaning gets a whole new level of importance this year. Get everyone on board at home to pitch in. Here’s a guidance on home disinfection from the CDC.
Finally, remind everyone to wash hands, wash hands, wash hands!