HOW BIG IS MY RISK?
According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York City continues to experience growing community transmission of COVID-19. The following common steps as recommended by the CDC should be taken to avoid the spread:
- Practice social distancing (at least 6 feet apart).
- Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth when out in public especially when you cannot practice social distancing.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you’re sick and encourage family to do the same.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash and immediately wash your hands. No tissue? Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay away from large gatherings, especially indoor gatherings.
WHAT SYMPTOMS AM I LIKELY TO HAVE?
Symptoms vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. Symptoms may include fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell or change in taste and smell, muscle aches, chills, sore throat, runny nose, diarrhea, headache or chest pain.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I JUST HAVE A COLD OR THE FLU?
According to the CDC, the flu can have very similar symptoms as the common cold but often with more acute onset, muscle aches, headache and fever with chills, sweats and often a general feeling of being run down and tired.Symptoms of the common cold usually include runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat and cough. The symptoms are typically mild with minimal to no fever.
COVID-19 symptoms may range from mild to severe, and include fever and cough and possibly shortness of breath. If your symptoms are mild, with only low-grade fever, and accompanied by runny nose and/or nasal congestion, you most likely do not have COVID-19, but you can always check with your healthcare provider.
SHOULD I BE WEARING A MASK AND GLOVES?
You should wear a cloth face covering/mask when you can not keep social distancing guidelines of at least 6 feet apart. The best solutions remain
- Frequently disinfecting high touch surfaces (doorknobs, etc.)
- Social distancing (at least 6 feet)
- Stay away from sick individuals
- Stay away from large gatherings, particularly inside activities.
For the general public, CDC recommends wearing gloves when you are cleaning or caring for someone who is sick.
In most other situations, like running errands, wearing gloves is not necessary. Instead, practice every-day preventative actions like keeping social distance (at least 6 feet) from others, washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and wearing a cloth face covering when you have to go out in public.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MY CHILD FROM COVID-19?
You can encourage your child to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by teaching them to do the same things everyone should do to stay healthy.
- Clean hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid people who are sick (coughing and sneezing)
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks)
- Launder items including washable plush toys as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF “HIGH RISK”?
According to the CDC, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19. Based upon available information to date, those most at risk include
- People 60 years and older
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- People of any age with the following underlying medical conditions, particularly those that are not well controlled
- Chronic lung disease or asthma
- Congestive heart failure or coronary artery disease
- Neurologic conditions that weaken ability to cough
- Weakened immune system
- Chemotherapy or radiation for cancer (currently or in recent past)
- Sickle cell anemia
- Chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Lack of spleen or a spleen that doesn’t function correctly
- Extreme obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 40)
- People who are pregnant
- People who smoke or vape
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM AT HIGHER RISK?
If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should; take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others; when you go out in public, wear a cloth mask and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet, keep away from others who are sick; limit close contact and wash your hands often; avoid crowds, cruise travel, and non-essential travel. If there is an outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible. Watch for symptoms and emergency signs. If you get sick, stay home and call your doctor.
IS THERE A VACCINE FOR COVID-19 OR A SPECIFIC TREATMENT?
Yes! There are now Covid-19 vaccines that have been granted Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA. The Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center currently offers the Pfizer vaccine every Saturday and Sunday at its two Rockaway sites: 6200 Beach Channel Drive, Arverne, and 1288 Central Avenue, Far Rockaway. The Pfizer vaccine is available to all New York residents 12 years of age and older.
Saturdays and Sundays are currently dedicated to giving vaccinations. You can make an appointment to receive the vaccine by going to https://vax4nyc.nyc.gov or by calling 877-Vax-4NYC.
Treatment for mild illness involves supportive care for pain, fever, cough. Good hydration, exercise and rest is also recommended.
CAN COVID-19 BE SPREAD THROUGH FOOD?
Currently, as per the CDC, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. When ordering from a restaurant, it is recommended that you pay over the phone and have the food delivered and left outside your door.
ADDABBO TELEHEALTH VIDEO VISITS AND TELEPHONIC CONSULTATIONS
STAY SAFE AND CONNECT WITH YOUR PROVIDER FROM THE COMFORT AND SAFETY OF YOUR OWN HOME
We are utilizing our TeleHealth Video Visits and Telephonic Consultations whenever possible to make sure that you and your family continue to have that all-important communication with your provider from your phone or your home.
This is how it works:
- Call to request a Telehealth visit the same way you would call to make an appointment with your provider by calling 718-945-7150 for non-urgent matters, follow up visits, medication refills or sick visits.
- Our representative will give you an appointment for a Telehealth visit and will also make sure your contact and insurance information is up-to-date and correct to avoid any confusion or delay on the day of your appointment.
- For your convenience, you will receive several reminder calls or text messages prior to your appointment. On the day and shortly before your scheduled Telehealth appointment, your provider’s staff will contact you to confirm and then conduct a telephonic or televideo visit.
- Your visit can be done via telephone or via videoconference if you have a computer, tablet or smartphone at home (our staff will assist you with setup).
- During your telehealth visit, your provider can electronically prescribe new medications and refills, if needed, with the option of having them delivered directly to your home.
KEEP DOING YOUR PART!