Coronavirus across the United States is getting worse. Here’s a refresher on how you can be safe

And with winter coming, health experts say it only gets worse as more people gather indoors to avoid cold weather.

How else can you protect yourself and those you love? Here’s an update on the basics.

Use a mask properly

It’s simple, but wearing a mask properly is one of the most important ways you can protect yourself and those around you, say health experts.
One recently report of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington found that if 95% of Americans wore masks, nearly 70,000 lives would be saved.
Updated CDC guidance recognizes that coronavirus can spread through the air

N95 masks provide the best protection, but they are in short supply and the CDC is asking people not to go out and buy them because they are urgently needed by healthcare professionals.

Washable, breathable clothing masks will do the job, but they must have at least two coats – three is better – and you can add a filter for more protection.

Masks should cover both your nose and mouth and should fit snugly without holes.

Goggles or face shields not necessarily recommended for eye protection if you are not a healthcare professional or are in high-risk situations, health experts have said.
Not sure how to choose a mask? Check these out guidelines.

Wash hands

Wash your hands often is still one of the most basic and simple things you can do.

Work a good foam and scrub your hands, fingers and under your nails for at least 20 seconds. Use clean, running water for thorough rinsing, then scrub them dry.

Washing for at least 20 seconds has been shown to remove more microbes than washing for shorter periods. Singing “Happy Birthday” twice during washing can act as a “timer”.

Frequent hand washing will too protect you from all sorts of harmful bacteria and viruses except the new coronavirus, including flu and colds.

use hand sanitizer

It’s not as good as washing your hands with good old soap, though hand disinfection can be used when it is not an option.

It is important that both your hands are completely covered, also between the fingers and under the nails. Rub your hands until dry. Use it generously if your hands are greasy or really dirty, as disinfectant may not be as effective in that case, according to the CDC.

Unlike in the beginning of the pandemic, hand cleaning is relatively easy to find in stores do not try to make your own. Health experts say it is important that you get the right concentration of alcohol to deactivate the virus.
Check this out list of more than 100 dangerous hand cleaners to avoid. Some contain methanol, which can be deadly. Others do not have enough alcohol.

Reduce your risk

People stand in freshly painted circles, six feet apart, as they wait in a two-hour line on March 23, 2020 in Denver, Colorado.

The best thing you can do is stay home, if possible, and reduce your risk by cutting back on errands and trips to the store.

Here's everything you need to know about social distance
Of course, not everyone has the luxury of doing so. But social distance – keep 6 feet between you and others outside your household – and wearing a mask is critical.

The safest place outside your home is outdoors. But even there, keep a safe distance from people you do not live with.

You can also reduce the risk by having food taken out instead of eating in restaurants and, if possible, avoiding public transport.

Going to bars and nightclubs is considered one of the most risky things you can do.

be prepared

With coronavirus infections soaring around the country, the coming winter will only make things worse as people spend more time indoors together.

And there is always the possibility that you will have to quarantine if you come in contact with someone who has the virus.

Reduce your exposure and be prepared to stay home stocking up.

Public health officials advise having two weeks of food on hand. Having the stock in stock also reduces your trips to the grocery store.

Make sure you have enough cleaning and disinfection supplies and that your medicine cabinet is stocked with cough drops and syrup for cough symptoms, decongestants for congestion, acetaminophen and ibuprofen for pain and fever and antidiarrheal. Keep adhesive bandages in stock for wounds.

If you are taking prescription medication, make sure you have enough available.

Check for symptoms and get tested

A member of the Wisconsin National Guard helps test residents for Covid-19 at a drive-up test center in Miller Park on November 17, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Fever, cough and shortness of breath are among the most common symptoms of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

But there is also diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, loss of smell and taste, body aches, mental confusion and even delirium.

Do you have a runny or stuffy nose? Unless you have a fever, it is probably just allergies, as it is caused by leaf mold at this time of year.

If you have been exposed to coronavirus, symptoms are likely to show up within a week, health experts say. That is, if you have to have them at all – which some people do not have. Any or all of the symptoms may occur between two to 14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you suspect you have been infected, go to a test center near you. Contact your local or the state health department to find out where to get a test.

Unless you have severe symptoms, avoid emergency rooms that have been exceeded in many places. Call your doctor and follow her or his instructions.

Severe symptoms include difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to stay awake or awake, and bluish face or lips, According to the CDC.

In that case, call 911 or call the emergency room near you, advises the CDC.

Avoid stress over disinfecting packages

When the virus first began to spread in the United States, we were told to disinfect our groceries and pickup packages after bringing them home. We now know that it is not necessary – even the US Food and Drug Administration has said that there is no real risk to get the virus from these packages.

The same goes for washing fruits and vegetables, according to the FDA. Just rinse them in plain water.

We now know that the most important way in which the virus is transmitted is through the air in respiratory droplets or aerosols from an infected person. However, it is still important to disinfect surfaces and wash your hands after being outside or touching objects outside your home.

CNN’s Maggie Fox, Holly Yan, Sandee LaMotte, AJ Willingham, Kristen Rogers, Scottie Andrew and Alicia Lee contributed to this report.


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