COVID-19 Best Practices

From Our Health Ministry, Dr. Danielle Gilliam 

The most important principle is that all members feel safe. It’s important that every member makes decisions based on individual situations and comfort levels. The information below is based upon the most recent available data as of March 18, 2020.

Practice Good Hygiene:
We can all do our part in maintaining a healthy community and practicing good hygiene is key to protecting yourself and others against infection:
  • Wash your hands frequently – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states to wet, apply soap, scrub for at least 20 seconds, rinse and dry.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Get a flu shot, there’s still time.
  • Stay at home when you are sick – it allows for a quicker recovery while not infecting others. Telehealth may be an option.
  • Social distancing is recommended for all ages to slow the spread of the virus, protect the health care system, and help protect vulnerable older adults. Social distancing is defined by the CDC as being at least six feet from other individuals.
  • Older adults should maintain adequate supplies of nonperishable foods and at least a 30 days supply of necessary medications, take precautions to keep space between themselves and others, stay away from those who are sick, avoid crowds as much as possible, avoid cruse travel and nonessential air travel and stay home as much as possible to further reduce the risk of being exposed.

Globally:
  • Approximately 170,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been reported, including an estimated 7,000 deaths in approximately 150 countries
  • On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic
  • Based on data from China, older adults, particularly those with serious underlying health conditions, are at higher risk for severe COVID-19-associated illness and death than are younger persons
  • Majority of reported COVID-19 cases in China were mild (81%), approximately 80% of deaths occurred among adults age 60 years or older
  • Only 1 death occurred in a person aged 19 years or younger

United States:
  • As of March 16, 2020, a total of 4,226 COVID-19 cases in the US had been reported to CDC, with multiple cases reported among older adults living in long-term care facilities
  • Overall, 31% of cases, 45% of hospitalizations, 53% of ICU admissions, and 80% of deaths associated with COVID-19 were among adults aged 65 years and older with the highest percentage of sever outcomes among persons aged 85 years and older
  • Reports in the US have been increasing to 500 or more cases per day beginning March 14
  • Only 5% of cases occurred in persons aged 0-19 years
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