Letter: COVID-19 local spread and suggestions
As a former health educator, I would like to address the extent of any COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) spread in Routt County and offer suggestions on minimizing its spread.
Since many people show no symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough, fever and difficulty breathing in severe cases) of COVID-19 infection, and since there is no widespread testing for COVID-19 in Routt County, there is no way to know the extent of any local spread.
So, what does this mean? It means you should assume that the people you interact with may be infected with COVID-19. It means that you should keep a safe distance of at least 6 feet when interacting with other people and avoid crowds, or small groups, as much as possible.
You should also wear surgical gloves when out in public places like the grocery store (be sure to dispose of the gloves after use). Wash fruits and vegetables with soap and water or surfactant (fruit and vegetable wash.) This includes nonedible skins found on bananas, avocados and other produce.
Sanitize commonly touched areas in the home, such as countertops and toilet seat covers. Remember, it is believed the COVID-19 virus may last up to seven days on surfaces.
To employers, require that employees stay home if they have symptoms of the novel coronavirus. This is especially true for businesses or agencies that deal directly with the public such as grocery stores or Routt County offices.
I recently heard two people coughing in a public place. These people should be home and not out in a public place.
Noted pathologist Dr. James Robb offers the following suggestions for fighting the spread of COVID-19. These suggestions have been paraphrased:
• No handshakes. Use fist or elbow bumps.
• Use your knuckle for light switches and use a paper towel or disposable glove for the gasoline dispenser.
• Open doors with a closed fist or hip.
• Use disinfectant wipes on handle and child seat of grocery carts.
• Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol hand sanitizer.
• Keep a sanitizer at home and in your car.
• Cough or sneeze into a disposal tissue and discard. As a last resort, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
The coronavirus is transmitted in large droplets and falls on surfaces during coughing or sneezing (if someone coughs or sneezes in your face, COVID-19 may also be transmitted.
According to Dr. Robb, zinc lozenges are an effective way of blocking the spread of COVID-19 virus in the body.
Finally, if you are a senior citizen or have a serious illness such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes or lung disease, be careful because COVID-19 can be lethal.
Stay calm and stay centered.
Dr. Loren Wood
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