COVID-19: How do I best protect myself, my family, and my community

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COVID-19: How do I best protect myself, my family, and my community

November 24, 2020


Written by: Laura R


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What is COVID-19?

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness caused by a virus that can spread from person to person.
  • The virus that causes COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has spread throughout the world.
  • COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild (or no symptoms) to severe illness.

How is COVID-19 Spread?

  • Through respiratory droplets when a person coughs or sneezes
  • By touch if a person has used their hands to cover their mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Do I have COVID-19?

Signs and Symptoms to look out for.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue

Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include:

  • Loss of taste or smell,
  • Nasal congestion,
  • Conjunctivitis (also known as red eyes)
  • Sore throat,
  • Headache,
  • Muscle or joint pain,
  • Different types of skin rash,
  • Nausea or vomiting,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Chills or dizziness.

Symptoms of severe COVID‐19 disease include:

  • Shortness of breath,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Confusion,
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest,
  • High temperature (above 38 °C).

Other less common symptoms are:

  • Irritability,
  • Confusion,
  • Reduced consciousness (sometimes associated with seizures),
  • Anxiety,
  • Depression,
  • Sleep disorders,
  • More severe and rare neurological complications such as strokes, brain inflammation, delirium and nerve damage.

Are you feeling unwell?

Go to BCCDC to complete a self assessment tool

I’m sick, what do I do?

  • Stay home for 14 days
  • Call your healthcare provider or 8-1-1
  • Stay calm
  • Avoid having visitors
  • Get tested at your local testing center
  • Remain isolated from others

How you can reduce the spread

  • Scrub up on hand hygiene: Wet your hands, scrub everywhere (under those fingernails too) with soap for at least 20 seconds, then rinse and dry well with a clean towel.
  • Clean and Disinfect: See the CDC for helpful house cleansing tips.
  • Practice social isolation and physical distancing: help reduce the spread by limiting close contact with others, whether you are sick or not, keeping a distance of 2 meters (6 feet) from one another is recommended. Be aware that some people may have the virus and not feel or show any symptoms which highlights the importance of following this measure.
  • Wear a mask: Purchase a mask and wear it when near others. Ensure to cover both your mouth and your nose for full effectiveness.
  • Be clear about your boundaries: Communicate honestly with your family members and friends (especially around the holidays) on your comfort level and don’t be shy about socially isolating. Chances are they’ll appreciate you taking steps to make sure everyone is staying safe!

Implement steps to prevent illness:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Handwashing
  • Respiratory etiquette
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces daily

Create a household plan of action

Develop a household plan of action in case of illness in the household or disruption of daily activities due to COVID-19 in the community.

  • Consider a 2-week supply of prescription and over the counter medications, food and other essentials. Know how to get food delivered if possible.
  • Don’t oversupply: Be mindful of everyone else too. <3
  • Establish ways to communicate with others.
  • Establish plans to telework, what to do about childcare needs, how to adapt to cancellation of events.
  • Find creative ways to spend time at home!
  • Purchase fitness equipment online, and get your sweat on in your home!