NECA is participating in the January 2021 Construction Industry Safety Coalition Stand-Down for the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to download the poster.
Now that the holidays are over, the CDC has published guidelines to stay diligent in efforts to prevent future exposures to COVID-19. The recent surge in cases due to family gatherings and crowds celebrating the holidays have kept the pandemic in the forefront of daily activities. Staying vigilant and aware is the best defense against this worldwide pandemic.
Maintaining social distancing and wearing a cloth facial covering that covers the mouth and nose is the first line of defense in the war on COVID-19. Avoiding crowds and indoor areas subject to poor ventilation is also key in protection from becoming exposed to this virus. Now that there is new strain of the Coronavirus that spreads more easily, these precautions take on major significance in preventing the spread and lowering the number of cases that are reported. By following these precautions, reducing the current fatality rates attributed to COVID-19 is achievable.
Universal precautions such as washing hands with soap and water in addition to using hand sanitizers when needed offer protection from not only COVID-19 but from many of the other common viruses such as cold and flu that affect the population. Now more than ever, always cover a cough or sneeze and remember to dispose of spent tissues in a proper trash receptacle. Following any cough or sneeze, immediately wash hands for at least 20 seconds and/or use a 60% alcohol-based sanitizer for disinfection. Visit the CDC for updated cleaning guidelines here.
If an individual shows any signs of sickness, staying home to prevent further transmission of this and other viruses that could affect others is important. Protecting those that have underlying medical conditions where exposures could prove to be fatal takes on a new precedence. Remember to seek immediate medical care if any of the emergency warning signs such as trouble breathing, severe pain or pressure in the chest, confusion or being unable to stay awake during normal day to day activities occur. In addition, if an individual’s face or lips become bluish in color, seek immediate medical care and call 911 to inform emergency medical services of the need for assistance.
Daily and regular cleaning/disinfecting of high touch objects and surfaces can also help to prevent spread of COVID. Phones, computers, switches and doorknobs are objects where viruses may remain present for long periods of time. Using an approved disinfectant will eradicate the virus on the surface and prevent future transmission to others.
Contact Tracing and Vaccines
Another useful tool in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 is utilizing practical contact tracing. By prioritizing recent contacts and locations where a person diagnosed with COVID-19 has been, isolating those individuals that may have been exposed will help to prevent further exposures. The guidelines now look at who a person with COVID-19 has been in contact with during the past 6 days and also if a person has been around someone that has tested positive for Coronavirus with that time frame as well.
With the creation and approval of vaccines to prevent COVID-19 infections, the next important step is to follow medical guidance on inoculations so that the country can begin to put an end to this pandemic. Medical evidence indicates that the approved vaccines can prevent future infection by providing additional immunity to those that may have develop natural immunity as a result of a coronavirus infection.
Based on the current status of the pandemic, the CDC is recommending getting vaccinated to help slow the spread of COVID-19 for self-protection, protection of family members, and co-workers, now and in the future.