From face masks to pets, the CDC has recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide guidance for COVID-19 to healthcare workers, first responders and healthcare systems, but they also have information they are giving to you.

For starters, to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, it’s helpful to know how it is spread.

The CDC says the virus spreads very easily from person to person, but could possibly spread other ways too. However, these are not thought to be the main way COVID-19 spreads.

  • From touching surfaces or objects. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
  • From animals to people. At this time, the risk of COVID-19 spreading from animals to people is considered to be low.
  • From people to animals. It appears that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals in some situations.

If you do have an animal…

Because of the limited information, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.

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According to the CDC, you should treat pets as you would other human family members. Do not let pets interact with people or animals outside the household. If a person inside the household becomes sick, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.

  • Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
  • Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people and animals.
  • Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.

And practice good pet hygiene

Cloth face coverings/masks

CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth when out in the community. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms.

These face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing.

The CDC’s webpage states, “Wearing cloth face coverings is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19. CDC still recommends that you stay at least 6 feet away from other people (social distancing), frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions. A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but it may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others.”

Face masks shouldn’t be used by any child younger than 2 years old or anyone who has trouble breathing. The CDC aslso says surgical masks and N95 respirators shouldn’t be used for the general public because they are in short supply and should be reserved for healthcare workers.

What about gloves?

For the general public, the CDC recommends wearing gloves when you are cleaning or caring for someone who is sick.

Can I travel?

You should stay home as much as possible and practice social distancing, the CDC states. Traveling to visit friends and family increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Someone could have COVID-19 without any symptoms. Getting infected may be especially dangerous if you or your loved ones are at higher risk for severe complications from COVID-19. People with compromised immune systems need to take even more precaution.

Even going camping during this pandemic poses a risk because of community spread. You could come in close contact with others who may have the virus unknowingly and they could be sharing the same public facilities at campsites.

It’s recommended you postpone any nonessential international travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC says some health care systems are overwhelmed and there may be limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas. Many countries have travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines.

So what are the symptoms?

In the story below, Dr. Wendell Hoffman outlines the symptoms of COVID-19:

Feeling fine?

If you are feeling well enough to venture out, be sure to practice social distancing. According to health officials, social distancing is the best way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

There are three main rules to social distancing, which we’ve outlined in the story below:

For any other questions and additional resources, go to our coronavirus page.


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