- To learn the facts about COVID-19 and help stop the spread of misinformation, visit the CDC’s website: Share the Facts, Stop Fear.
- For up-to-date information, visit the CDC’s summary and health updates.
- For local information, visit Iowa Department of Public Health resource page or COVID-19 in Iowa page.
COVID-19 Resources and Our Response
The coronavirus can be spread directly between humans. There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19 and preventing exposure is the best way to avoid illness. We encourage you to take precautions to prevent exposure similar to those you would take to prevent influenza (flu), which remains widespread at this time.
Follow these steps to protect yourself and others:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others, as well as by health care workers who are taking care of someone with COVID-19.
- Clean your home/area with disinfectant regularly.
- Avoid shaking hands.
As a health care organization, we are continuing to work hard to ensure the safety of our community, including our patients and staff. The symptoms of COVID-19 take days to appear. This means that someone can be carrying the virus even though they do not have any symptoms. Due to this, it is very important to adhere to the recommendations of health experts, including the CDC. Social distancing during the COVID-19 public health emergency needs to be respected. This means:
- Do not have play dates or people over your house. Doing so creates new links and possibilities for the type of transmission that school/work/public event closures are trying to prevent.
- Do not share food or drinks.
- Stay home as much as possible to reduce your risk of being exposed and prevent spread.
- To the extent possible, avoid touching high-contact surfaces in public places — elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after touching surfaces in public places.
- Carry hand sanitizer with you and use it regularly.
- Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
- Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently-touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones).
We understand that following these rules will not be easy and will be uncomfortable. Adhering to these rules now can dramatically reduce the number of people infected with COVID-19. Here are some things you can do by yourself and with your immediate family members:
- Take a walk, run, hike, or ride a bike. Our community has a bounty of outdoor trails and natural areas. Now is a great time to rediscover them.
- Discover a new hobby, such as knitting, cooking, baking, playing board games, photography, music, art, etc.
- Read a new book or revisit an old favorite.
- Do yoga or meditate; there are many good videos and resources online.
- Take an online class.
- Call your friends, family, and loved ones!
Here are some tips for managing the mental health component of social distancing: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html.