“This unprecedented time is not easy,” said Benton County Public Health Director Katie Cox “We want everyone to know that the actions they are taking – staying away from groups of people and keeping a 6-foot distance from other individuals – are important and make a difference.” These actions, known as social distancing, help stop the spread of COVID-19.
While physical health is a primary focus now, mental health should also be a priority. “Spending most of your time at home means more television and social media, and that often means an overload of information about COVID-19. People may feel lonely and anxious. This is normal, but there are steps we can take to help these non-physical results of COVID-19,” said Cox.
- Use the phone, computer or other devices to connect electronically with friends and family.
- Take time to unplug. It’s important to stay informed, but you can do that by checking in with trusted sources a few times a day.
- Eat healthy meals and find ways to be active. Be sure to eat regular, healthy meals and make time to move.
- Find ways to support others.
- If you need to talk to someone, visit YourLifeIowa.org, where you can online chat. You can also text YourLifeIowa 24/7 at 855-895-8398 or call 855-581-8111. All services are confidential and free.
Benton County Public Health thanks all the local businesses, schools, essential service workers, health care providers, coalitions, churches and individuals for doing their part during this COVID-19 pandemic.
As a reminder, all residents should:
- Stay home when even mildly ill (the kind of illness that normally wouldn’t prevent you from your everyday activities)
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow/upper arm.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever (100.4 or greater) and shortness of breath. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should call your health care provider before going into the office. The provider may have special instructions for you and will determine if you should be tested.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the IDPH webpage at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus and follow the department on Facebook at @IowaDepartmentOfPublicHealth and on Twitter at @IAPublicHealth.
For more information on Virginia Gay Hospital’s response to COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 Need to Know web page.
Katie Cox BSN, RN
Director of Home Health/Public Health