Nurses play an integral role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 by educating the community. Here is information you can share with your patients and their family members to help them understand how to flatten the curve.
Simple Measures Can Slow the Spread of COVID-19
Get vaccinated if you are medically eligible
Wear a facemask
Maintain a safe physical distance of at least 6 feet when out
Wash your hands
Stay home when you feel unwell
What to do if you have COVID-19 or suspect exposure
COVID-19 is highly contagious and spreads via respiratory droplets expelled from coughs , sneezes or while talking. Droplets from coughs and sneezes can land in the the nose or mouth of those in close contact with someone who is infected. These droplets also land on nearby surfaces spreading COVID-19 to other individuals who touch an infected surface and then touch their face, eyes, nose, or mouth.
If you have a patient with COVID-19 or is suspected of having COVID-19 the CDC provides the following guidance to help prevent COVID-19 from spreading between people in homes and communities.
- STAY HOME except to get medical care. Do not use public transportation , taxis, or ride share services if sick.
- Call first before visiting your health care provider. Notify them of your symptoms and the need for evaluation for COVID-19. Follow the instructions provided by your health care team.
- Whether symptomatic or not, find a testing center in your area for testing. Continue to quarantine until you are confirmed as negative.
- Separate yourself from other people in your home. Isolate yourself to a single room; utilize a separate bathroom
- Wear a facemask. Family members providing care should wear a facemask when in the same room, even family members who are fully vaccinated.
- Use your elbow to cover your coughs and sneezes or cough and sneeze in a tissue and dispose in a lined trash can. Wash your hands with soap and water afterwards.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid sharing household items such as eating utensils, clean sheets with hot water and detergent.
- Surfaces within the home must be disinfected frequently.
- Monitor your symptoms, follow instructions for when to seek emergency medical care if warranted.
- Download and print the full list of CDC guidelines to send home with your patients.
- Once recovered, get vaccinated if medically eligible.
What to do if you are not sick with COVID-19, but need to see your medical provider
- Utilize your clinician’s telemedicine/ telehealth services if available
- Call ahead on the day of your appointment for instructions prior to arrival
- Wear a cloth mask covering the nose and mouth
- Do not touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth
- Practice physical distancing while waiting or standing in common areas
- Bring your own pen to utilize to complete paperwork
- Wash your hands after leaving the office. Use hand sanitizer if there is not access to a sink. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds upon returning home.
Information for the general public
- Get vaccinated. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, find a site here.
- STAY AT HOME if you are unwell or sick.
- If you are unvaccinated, follow recommendations to wear a cloth face mask when in public. This prevents community spread if you are sick without symptoms and protects you from other who may be infected with COVID-19.
- If you are fully vaccinated, updated recommendations on how to safely resume activities can be found here.
- If unvaccinated, continue to practice physical distancing. This is keeping a space of at least 6 feet between you and another individual.
- Prevent infection by not touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Frequently wash your hands. If away from home, use a hand sanitizer. Upon returning home, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap. Always wash your hands before eating and after using the restroom.
- Learn more about vaccination and the answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines at Vaccine Facts 4 Nurses.