Updated daily. Last update: March 15, 2020.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus spread mainly from person-to-person. There is currently no vaccine for the disease. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
The virus can be spread (1) between people within 6 feet, (2) through coughing and sneezing, and (3) the virus can linger in the air for up to 3 hours and remain alive on surfaces for up to 3 days (it remains alive longer on smoother surfaces like glass and plastic and in cooler temperatures outside sunlight) – it can be transmitted by touching these surfaces and then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
Rescue.co recommends the following preventative measures based on current international guidelines.
- Clean your hands often: Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, the length of happy birthday song twice. Click here for the WHO recommended method for correct handwashing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid close contact. We recommend avoiding large gatherings and close contact with other people. This might involve:
- Reducing your daily movement to a limited set of locations.
- Using private transportation
- Cancelling holiday and travel plans
- Eating in to avoid restaurants and public areas
It has been asked if members should wear face-masks at this time. Face masks may provide some limited level of protection, particularly if worn by those already infected to prevent spreading the virus through coughing, spitting, or sneezing. However, masks should not be viewed as a replacement to the above recommendations, and with the exception of certain varieties of professional-grade masks, have not shown to be effective in preventing new infections. Click here for the WHO recommendations on mask-wearing.
You should pay particular attention to this guidance if you are at higher risk of health implications. Click here for CDC guidance on at-risk groups.
Tips for protecting others
While coronavirus may not affect everybody the same way, it can have severe implications for the elderly and immunocompromised. It is therefore extremely important to follow these simple guidelines to prevent (and slow) the spread of the virus.
It is important to note the COVID-19 has a long incubation period (average 11.5 days to develop symptoms) and that the disease is infectious during this period. Therefore even if you are not feeling ill it is important that you deploy these methods.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Click here for guidelines on how to properly cover a sneeze or cough.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. Click here for CDC guidance on how to disinfect your home.