Let’s Prevent the Spread of COVID-19.
WEAR. WAIT. WASH. STAY HOME. REPORT SYMPTOMS.
Fueled by cold weather and increased complacency on behalf of the American public, COVID-19 transmission is out of control across the country. The head of Centers for Disease Control recently warned that we are facing a devastating winter likely to be the “most difficult time” in U.S. public health history. The outlook for December, January, and February is grim; building upon a late fall baseline of widespread, rampant transmission, the added impact of winter weather and holiday gatherings is expected to result in staggering case counts and mounting mortality.
But our fate isn’t sealed. We aren’t floundering in the context of an unknown virus as we were in the spring. We know what works to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is incumbent upon us all to recognize our responsibility to protect ourselves, and thus to shield our friends and neighbors. Simple mitigation measures work.
WEAR: Wear a cloth or surgical-style mask that fits snuggly and fully covers your nose and mouth whenever you are around others who do not live within your household. Masks are required in all indoor public spaces on the Deerfield campus and also outdoors if there is a possibility that one may come into contact with others. An abundance of scientific evidence now exists that clearly proves that masks are effective at mitigating COVID-19 transmission.
WAIT: Maintain a distance of 6 feet between yourself and any person who does not share your household. COVID-19 transmits most readily in close proximity.
WASH: Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer frequently.
STAY HOME: As we endure the most dangerous season of this pandemic, conjure the vigilance that you employed when COVID-19 was brand new. Every reasonable and prudent public health expert recommends that adults over the age of 65 stay home, avoiding unnecessary travel and eschewing all but essential contact with others. Furthermore, the CDC has expressly warned all Americans against travel during this holiday season. This pandemic will end. For now, we need to just stay home to the greatest extent possible.
REPORT: Everyone should report all new symptoms or potential exposures to the virus to your healthcare provider. Rapid identification and containment of potential infections is crucial to minimizing the spread of infectious disease.