Limiting exposure to others can slow the spread of coronavirus
The coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak that originated in China was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Despite this, many don’t understand the call to cancel large events and limit exposure to others.
But there is a reason: Ensuring people who are sick will continue to have access to the care they need.
Drew A. Harris, DPM, MPH, assistant professor at the Thomas Jefferson University Jefferson College of Population Health, explains it well in his “flattening the curve” graphic (see image).
“While we know we can’t stop the spread of coronavirus completely, we want to slow it down,” said Joshua T. Honaker, M.D., MBA, chief medical administrative officer, Norton Medical Group. “If everyone gets sick all at once and needs health care, it would quickly overwhelm providers. If you look at the rapid rises of COVID-19 cases in Italy over the past few weeks, you’ll see what happens if the spread is not controlled.”
In China, though, officials put cities on lockdown, and it lowered the number of people getting sick at one time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes that people are most contagious once they have started showing symptoms.It may also be possible to transmit COVID-19 before you get sick, but that does not seem to be the main way it is spread. After you have been exposed to COVID-19, it can take anywhere from two to 14 days for symptoms to appear.
“This means that the precautions being suggested, including staying away from large crowds, are very important,” Dr. Honaker said. “It’s even more important to stay home if you’re starting to feel ill. It’s also very important to wash your hands properly, sneeze or cough into a tissue and go to the doctor only if necessary.”
Learn the symptoms and other facts about coronavirus/COVID-19.
At Norton Healthcare, we are committed to protecting our patients, staff and community. We understand the concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. In an effort to limit the spread of the virus, we are postponing all classes and events in March. Refer to our online class calendar for updates on rescheduled events. We also are posting ongoing updates about the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 on our website. We encourage everyone to protect yourselves and your loved ones by practicing good hand hygiene and referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for additional guidelines.