As communities around the world feel the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we would like to answer some questions about coronavirus and inform you of the steps we are taking at Foothills Orthopedic & Sport Therapy to help protect the health and safety of our patients, guests and employees.
What is Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)?
Coronaviruses are very common and most do not cause serious illness. The common cold is a type of coronavirus. The COVID-19 coronavirus is believed to have jumped from an animal population to people in Wuhan, China. It began to spread from person to person in December 2019 and has since impacted many countries around the globe.
Due to this spread The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a “public health emergency” and as a result has implemented travel restrictions to China and South Korea.
Of the 97,975 cases reported thus far, 54,124 (55.2%) have recovered and 3,355 (3.4%) have resulted in death. Eighty-four percent (84%) of the current known cases are considered mild. The United States has 245 reported cases of COVID-19 with 15 reported deaths.
The CDC and other global public health entities are aggressively implementing measures to slow the spread of the COVIS-10 virus.
How does COVID-19 Spread?
Coronaviruses spread primarily from close person-to-person contact through respiratory droplets such as those produced by coughing or sneezing. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of nearby people or be inhaled into their lungs. Transmission of the disease typically occurs when:
- A person is within 6 feet of an individual with the COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time.
- When an individual has direct contact with infectious secretions (sputum, serum, blood, respiratory droplets) from a person who has COVID-19.
The CDC maintains that the immediate risk of contracting COVID-19 in the United States is low.
There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19 but infectious disease experts are working to develop one with the hope of testing to begin over the next few months.
Typical Symptoms and Presentation of COVID-19
- COVID-19 symptoms range from mild presentations of illness to death. Symptoms include fever, cough, sneezing and shortness of breath.
- Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as little as 2 days or as long as 14 days following exposure.
- Experts are still uncertain if COVID-19 can be transmitted by individuals who are not yet exhibiting symptoms of the illness.
- Most people who have contracted COVID-19 have recovered within two weeks. Those with more severe cases generally recover in three to six weeks.
What are the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick or is known to have COVID-19.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- If you are feeling ill stay home to prevent spreading your illness to others.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a disposable tissue or the inside of your elbow.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (including under the fingernails), especially after using the rest room, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- Regularly use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as your cell phone, keyboard and workstation.
- Avoid travel to high risk areas identified by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) www.cdc.gov/travel
- Follow the CDC’s recommendations for use of a face mask.
- The CDC does not recommend that people 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.
- People who are taking care of a symptomatic individual in close settings should wear a face mask.
What we are doing to minimize the threat of exposure to infectious diseases within our offices.
- Educate our employees and our patients using validated resources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the US Department of Health, on minimizing the transmission of infectious diseases.
- Evaluate our ability to continue to provide services without increasing the risk of exposure to our patients, visitors and staff.
- Intensify our housekeeping & infection control procedures to assure that we have minimized risk of infectious disease transmission.
- Our typical greeting with a handshake will not be extended until the virus is under control, and the official recommendations are updated.
What we need everyone to do to minimize the spread of infectious diseases.
Please let us know:
- If you have traveled to China, South Korea, Iran, Italy or Japan or any other country with high COVID-19 incidents within the past 14 days.
- If you have had any contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, persons under investigation for COVID-19 or anyone with flu-like symptoms (fever, cough and shortness of breath) where there could have been personal contact (within 6 feet) with the individual.
- If you have had any symptoms of illness (fever, cough or shortness of breath) in the past 14 days, we request that you stay home except to seek medical attention for your illness. Please contact your physician for guidance regarding your return to community travel – including returning to physical therapy.
- Please do not bring non-essential guests with you to your therapy appointments.
- Please do not bring children who are not receiving therapy themselves to the office.
- Please apply our hand-sanitizer or wash your hands in our facility prior to completing paperwork, taking a seat in our reception area or starting treatment.
- Please use good cough and sneeze etiquette (cover mouth with a disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing or cover your mouth with your elbow if tissues are not immediately available).
- Please apply our hand-sanitizer or wash your hands in our facility before departing our office.
We will continue to employ procedures to minimize the spread of COVID-19 according to the CDC and other credible authorities and will keep you informed of any changes in protocols.