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Simple steps to protect against COVID-19.

Assistant Division Director of Communicable Disease Stephanie Dunkel
by Stephanie Dunkel02/29/2020 7:28 p.m.
Updated: 02/29/2020

Most of the time, you probably don't think much about the work we do. In fact, it's easy for public health to become background noise for long stretches of time.  

novel coronavirus infographic

We're OK with that! It means you're living your life and are not very worried about your health.  

But sometimes, we need you to hear us loud and clear when we ask you to take steps to protect your health.

The increasing risk of COVID-19 is one of those times.  

It’s troubling to hear news of more cases in our state and one death. We are saddened and thinking about all involved. While our community prepares for the possibility of COVID-19 coming here or spreading here, we can all do some things to protect ourselves.  

Panicking and spreading misinformation is not on the list.  

It can seem like what we are asking is almost too easy. But if you and your family do these things, you have a better chance of staying healthy:   

  • Wash your hands! Do so often. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 

  • Avoid touching your face. Especially with unwashed hands. Your eyes, nose, and mouth are open doors for germs. 

  • Avoid people who are sick. Steer clear of illnesses if at all possible.  

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes. Hold a tissue over your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Then throw that tissue away and, again, WASH YOUR HANDS! 

  • Clean things. Disinfect objects and surfaces often.  

  • Stay home if you’re sick. This isn't the time to tough it out and leave your home if you're not feeling well.  

  • Call first. If you or a family member are sick and plan to seek care, call first. Our healthcare partners need to prepare for people who are showing symptoms—or direct you to the appropriate resource. 

  • Stay informed. Follow and share trusted sources of accurate public health information. Our website is a great place to start: www.tpchd.org/coronavirus.  

 While you don't need to panic, you do need to plan. 

We have helpful resources on our website for individuals, schools and businesses. It’s a good time for everyone to consider these things:  

  • Plan ways to care for those who may have health conditions.  

  • Get to know your neighbors. 

  • Be prepared for your child’s school or childcare facility to be temporarily dismissed. 

  • Discuss sick-leave policies and telework options with your employer.  

  • Plan to have extra supplies in case you need to stay home for an extended time.  

 Each person on our staff is dedicated to keeping you healthy. If it were a good idea to take more drastic steps right now, we'd let you know immediately.  

We are here to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. We live that mission when you're not thinking about us, and we're living it now when you are.  

Check tpchd.org/coronavirus for our latest guidance and updates.

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  1. Updated: 03/11/2020

 

We invite your comments but will delete those with profanity, personal attacks, derogatory statements, ads or promotional material. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department does not provide personal medical advice; please contact your health care provider.