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COVID- 2019 - Prevention Tips You Can Implement

March 3, 2020

  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus and to follow strict handwashing and other hygiene protocols.
  • Designate your practice/workplace as a temporary NO HANDSHAKE ZONE. Ask colleagues and clients to refrain from shaking hands (fist bumps or forearm bumps are good substitutes).
  • Practice good hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom; before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; and between client/patient visits.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
  • Place hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and tissues in all exam rooms, meeting rooms, restrooms, break rooms, and other common areas.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth, then throw the tissue into the trash can.
  • COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of influenza (e.g., fever, cough, and shortness of breath), and the current outbreak is occurring during a time of year when respiratory illnesses from influenza and other viruses, including other coronaviruses that cause the common cold, are highly prevalent. To prevent influenza and possible unnecessary evaluation for COVID-19, all persons more than 6 months old should receive an annual influenza vaccine. Vaccines are still available and effective in helping to prevent influenza.
  • Voluntary home isolation: If you are ill with symptoms of respiratory disease, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills or fatigue, stay at home. It is recommended that you remain at home until at least 24 hours after you are free of fever (100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • Take steps to prevent the spread of disease among veterinary personnel and to/from clients by following guidelines and procedures laid out in the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians' Compendium of Veterinary Standard Precautions for Zoonotic Disease Prevention in Veterinary Personnel. While the primary focus of this resource is controlling the spread of pathogens between animals and veterinary personnel, many of its principles apply to infection control in general and following it is simply good practice.