The new respiratory virus called COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) is making headlines for causing an outbreak of respiratory illness throughout the world. While this can increase stress and anxiety, the risk of getting and developing a seriously health problem from COVID-19 is currently low.
We understand the need for everyone to stay prepared and informed, we outline a plan to answer questions and to support our communities in this uncertain situation. We will continue to provide updates on physical and mental health tips in the COVID-19 outbreak, which will be posted on our site and on social media.
How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
The best way to protect yourself from contracting COVID-19 is by using the same daily habits that help prevent the spread of many viruses, including the common cold and the flu. Where possible, maintain your daily routine and normal activities: eating healthy meals, getting enough sleep and doing things that you enjoy.
Consider creating a daily routine that prioritise your wellbeing and positive mental health. Activities, like taking a walk, meditating or exercising, can help you to relax and will have a positive impact on your thoughts and feelings. The Mental Health Foundation, for example, recommends that you see it as an opportunity that might have benefits like finally catching up on sleep.
To help prevent the spread of disease always:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. Wash with soap and warm water for more the 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizers.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you’re sick (and keep sick children home from school).
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands, and not touch things.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
What do I do if I am sick?
- If you are sick stay home
You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation,ride-sharing, or taxis.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
- Wash your hands often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Perform routine environmental cleaning
Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
- If you are sick stay home
What do I do if I’m sick and think I’ve been exposed to COVID-19?
It’s important to remember if you haven’t traveled to an infected region as defined by the CDC or been in close contact with someone known to have the virus, your risk of contracting COVID-2019 is very low. However, specialists recommends that if you’ve traveled to China within the last 14 days or were in close contact with someone confirmed to have the infection and begin to feel sick with fever, cough, or shortness of breath, seek medical care. Before you go to the doctor, call ahead and let them know about your travel and symptoms to limit potential exposure to others and avoid spreading the virus.
Good mental health and positive wellbeing can help you better cope with the COVID-19 threat and the uncertainty it’s creating.
Try and focus on things that are positive in your life. Specialists are recommending to find opportunities to amplify the voices, positive stories and positive images of local people who have experienced the novel coronavirus and have recovered or who have supported a loved one through recovery and are willing to share their experience.