COVID-19 UPDATE, Message from Jeff Lee, MD of Zion HealthShare

As the country and indeed the world begins to open up and we find ourselves out in public, there are several things to keep in mind to help continue to slow the spread of this virus.  Please know that experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as others throughout the world continue to investigate how this new coronavirus works and how to combat it. Here’s some of what we know today:

How it is spread

  • Air – COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, spread mainly from person to person, transmitted from the respiratory tract in tiny droplets produced when we speak, cough, or sneeze.  These droplets can be inhaled and/or land in the mouth, nose, or eyes of a person close by, mainly within 6 feet.  Studies have shown that if a person is more than 6 feet away from an infected individual the chance of transmission this way is extremely low. 
  • Touch – COVID-19 may survive on surfaces for hours or days, depending on the nature of the surface.  For example, there are indications that it does not last as long on fabrics as it does on metal surfaces. It is not known how long it survives on skin or hair.
Jeff Lee, MD, Zion HealthShare Board of Directors

How it is not spread

  • Consumables – There is no evidence it is spread through food, produce, or water.

What we can do to slow the spread

  • Frequent hand washing – at least 20 seconds with soap and water after being in a public place or after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.  If soap and water is not available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
  • Always cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.  Some available disinfectants have updated labels listing human coronavirus as a target.  If not, you can search a product for its effectiveness here.
  • Wear a cloth face cover in public over your nose AND mouth – a person may be infected with COVID-19 and not have any symptoms.  The mask is meant to provide some protection to other people in case you are infected.  Since masks for healthcare workers are in such short supply, do not use them for yourself.  A cloth facemask is not meant to substitute for social distancing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick – maintain at least a 6-foot distance.

As always, use common sense in the care of yourself and others.  Together, we will make it through and be stronger than ever!

Jeff Lee, MD, Zion HealthShare Board of Directors

See also Zion HealthShare Financial Commentary Regarding COVID-19, Zion HealthShare COVID-19 Relief