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Manage COVID-19 Exposure, Risk With Three Healthy Habits

The COVID-19 pandemic has many of us feeling out of control and overwhelmed. Daily news coverage details what to do and what not to do to avoid contracting or spreading the virus, frequently with conflicting advice.

Safety and infection prevention are Tanner’s priorities each day and with every patient, staff member and visitor.

Since there is no vaccine or proven treatment for COVID-19, avoiding exposure to the disease is critical.

Tanner infection specialists, who work across the system — five hospitals, almost 40 physician practice locations and more than 3,500 team members — recommend three healthy habits that everyone can practice to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water

  • Social distance by avoiding large groups, crowds and people you don’t live with by maintaining a distance of at least six feet

  • Wear a facial mask when you leave your home, especially in situations where social distancing is not possible

Wash Your Hands

Think of all the things you touch in a day — your cell phone, door knobs, car keys, money, etc. Each is a source of potential illness-causing germs. And, if these are shared surfaces, the risk increases exponentially.

Washing your hands is the number one thing you can do to protect yourself and others from infections. Washing with soap and water is best and for at least 20 seconds – equal to singing the Happy Birthday song twice. Make sure you wash the tops of your hands as well as your palms and get in between those fingers.

If soap and water are not available, hand sanitizers are a good option. Choose formulas that are at least 60% alcohol and rub your hands together until they are dry.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a video demonstrating effective hand washing. View the CDC video now. >

Social Distancing

Keeping your distance is an effective habit to avoid COVID-19, which is spread primarily through respiratory particles that are carried by coughs, sneezes and even normal conversation. Experts agree that the majority of these particles are spread within six feet, but there is emerging evidence that they may also be spread even further under certain circumstances, depending on air flow and other factors.

Infected individuals without symptoms are still capable of spreading — also known as shedding — the virus.

There have also been a number of reports of disease transmission among people gathering in large groups for religious services, parties, funerals and other gatherings.

Avoiding large groups of people, which could include carriers who could unknowingly transmit the virus, is an important prevention measure to protect yourself and others.

Face Masks

Face masks are recommended for everyone when leaving your home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. When you wear a face mask, you provide an extra layer of protection for those around you from the virus.

Tanner requires face masks for patients, staff members and visitors within all of its hospitals, clinics and other facilities. If you do not have a mask, Tanner will provide one for you to wear during your visit.

A wide range of face masks — both cloth and paper — is available online or you can make your own, with or without a sewing machine. The CDC offers instructions for a mask that does not require sewing. Watch the video now. >

To learn more about how Tanner is keeping you safe, please visit: https://www.tanner.org/patients-and-visitors/patient-services/infection-prevention-faq.





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