Confusing times call for a revisit to CDC guidelines
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Yesterday, the Supreme Court overturned Gov. Tony Ever's Stay-At-Home order that required Wisconsinites to hunker down until May 26. While the state scrambles to redefine the rules, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) holds strong on its suggested guidelines.
First, the CDC says we must understand how COVID-19 spreads. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, but the best way to prevent illness is to, obviously, avoid being exposed to this virus.
The virus is most likely spread from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
So what should you do to prevent the spread, according to the CDC, and support the local economy at the same time?
- Wash your hands often for at east 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. To buy from a local business, try Don's Diner, Brady Street General Store (formerly Famous Smoke Shop) or Three Lion's Pub, all of which have temporarily morphed into outlets selling essential items.
- Stay home as much as possible and avoid close contact with others.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members as well as with anyone outside your home. Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.
- Do not gather in groups. This means limiting contact with others outside your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces, staying away from crowded places and avoiding mass gatherings.
- Wear a mask. The CDC recommends everyone, "Cover their mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when around others. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities." However, cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing. To buy a mask from a local maker, go here. Or to make your own mask, click here.
- Cover coughs and sneezes. If you refuse or are unable to wear a mask, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or sanitize your hands.
- Clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces daily, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. To buy cleaning products locally try Don's Diner, Brady Street General Store (formerly Famous Smoke Shop) or Three Lion's Pub.
For more information from the CDC, go here. Be smart and stay safe, Milwaukee!
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