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Stay strong; stay safe

As we enter the 11th week of the Coronavirus Pandemic, we are still faced with an abundance of change. Change in the way the virus is presenting itself, adding GI symptoms to the long list of Respiratory symptoms we had already been seeing. Change in the socialization of our businesses and other community functions. And certainly, change in the number of cases documented in our state and our community. The number of cases has grown from 6421 cases to over 15,000 documented cases in just 4 short weeks. Here in Pike County, a similar story can be shared with 62 cases reported then and now 145 in the same 4-week period. News reports are now stating that Alabama is one of 18 states that is currently experiencing a RISE in the number of cases -vs- the other remaining states who are seeing a steady state of cases or a decline in the number being seen. In fact, many experts are now suggesting that there may well be a “second peak” similar to the one we experienced in mid-April.   

As the Governor’s amended “Safer at Home” order was issued last week, we must continue to be very cognizant of our surroundings, maintaining safe, social distancing and always be diligent in our hand hygiene.  Below is a short list of basic tips to help keep us all safe at home, at our jobs and in our community.

There are several things we can do to protect ourselves and our families from COVID-19 while we’re at home. To make sure your living spaces are both disinfected and as safe from outside germs as you can make them, follow these tips and recommendations.

·     Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects (such as tables, countertops, light switches, faucets, doorknobs and refrigerator handles) with household cleaners that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions. 

·     Avoid sharing drinks, food and silverware.

·     Clean your cell phone with a lint-free cloth dampened with a disinfectant recommended for your phone.

·     Regularly disinfect shared home electronics, such as computer keyboards and mice, landline phones and remote controls.

·     Clean your bathrooms, paying close attention to all surfaces (toilet, shower and sink).

·     If you share a bathroom with others, clean and disinfect it after each use by an ill person.

·     Keep toothbrushes separate from each other and store at least 3 to 6 feet from the toilet. Close toilet lids before flushing to minimize the spread of germs.

·     Regularly wash hand towels and don’t share them with an ill person.

Rick Smith is CEO of Troy Regional Medical Center.