Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Holidays during the COVID-19 pandemic

Photo by By monkeybusinessimages,
courtesy iStockphoto
The holiday season is almost here! For many of us, this is our favorite time of year. We look forward to Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s! But with COVID-19, this year’s holiday season is going to look different. By following these practices, you can have a safe and happy holiday.

Celebrating virtually or just with members of your own household is always the lowest risk activity. Hosting in-person activities will have different levels of risk. The safest option is to celebrate with the people you live with and hold virtual celebrations with others.  

If you choose to host or go to an in-person event, consider these factors that increase the risk of spreading COVID-19

1. Community levels of COVID-19: Check the number of COVID-19 cases and community spread in both the event location and in the places where people are traveling from. If any of those has a rise in COVID-19 cases, consider switching to a virtual version.

2. Community guidance: Follow the guidelines set by your city or state.

3. Location: Indoor, in-person events have more risk than outdoor events. If you must be indoors, open windows or doors to let lots of air through.

4. Time: The longer the event is, the more time people have to spread the virus. Keep in-person gatherings short to lower your risk.

5. The number of people: The CDC does not have a limit or recommended number of people you should have in one place together. Their experts suggest that the size of a holiday event should be decided by how well you can limit contact, risk of spread and by any state, local, territorial or tribal health and safety laws.

6. Behaviors of attendees: If anyone in the group has not been practicing physical distancing, hand washing, mask wearing and other important steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, they put everyone at risk. This is true before and during your event.

If you are hosting family or friends from out of state, plan ahead and clearly communicate your COVID-19 guidelines before they arrive

  • Let your guests know that if COVID-19 rates are on the rise in their communities, they should stay home and celebrate virtually instead.
  • You can ask that people travelling get a COVID-19 test before and quarantine between their test and travel to limit their exposure. 
  • Make sure to have an open conversation with everyone involved about the risks and preventative measures so you can set rules for everyone to follow.

If you or someone you live with has been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19, do not host or participate in any in-person celebrations! If you or someone you live with is at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, avoid in-person events with people outside your home and other large groups. Check the CDC website for more detailed information and guidelines.

Your virtual gathering can still be a celebration! Make it fun and get creative. Get dressed up in the holiday spirit, play games and cook festive food. You can still do Secret Santa over Zoom by planning ahead and mailing or dropping off gifts!

As COVID-19 cases are on the rise again daily, do your part and wear a mask, wash your hands and keep your physical distance of 6 feet! 



Thursday, October 22, 2020

Get Ready is at the Annual Meeting!


We are only two days away from this year’s APHA Annual Meeting & Expo! The APHA 2020 Annual Meeting & Expo will occur virtually on Oct. 24-28. And Get Ready will be there!

Although this year will be different, APHA has created an incredible virtual experience for you through all of the virtual booths, scientific sessions, poster sessions, networking and engagement opportunities and so much more. The best part about this year being virtual is that you get 24/7 online access to sessions and events, all from the comfort of your home! Also, content will be available to view on demand until August 2021, so you don’t have to worry about missing anything. It’s not too late to register

Come check us out at the Get Ready Booth where you can:

  • View our fun welcome video to learn more about Get Ready and what we do!
  • Find links to downloadable fact sheets and infographics about preparing for different disasters
  • Schedule a one-on-one appointment with one of our experts to get your questions answered about Get Ready and emergency preparedness! 

This year has just shown how important it is to be prepared for emergencies. We’re all still fighting through the global COVID-19 pandemic. We must continue to wear our masks, wash our hands and keep physical distance to stay safe. Recent wildfires and hurricanes have caused devastation in communities throughout the U.S. Being prepared is the best way for you and your family to stay safe and healthy during these disasters!

We hope to see you during APHA’s Annual Meeting! Let us know how you’re getting ready by tagging @GetReady on Twitter and using the hashtag #APHA2020! 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Celebrate Get Ready Day!


It’s time to celebrate Get Ready Day! Is your family prepared for emergencies that might come your way? This is the perfect time to make a plan and take simple steps that can help keep you healthy and safe in the face of disasters.

APHA’s Get Ready Day is held annually on the third Tuesday in September, National Preparedness Month. This year we’re celebrating Get Ready Day on Sept. 15! 

Natural disasters are already getting more severe — and climate change is only expected to make things worse. And systemic racism means the effects of both COVID-19 and climate events have disproportionately affected communities of color. Yet surveys show many Americans are underprepared and don’t have an emergency plan. 

Get Ready Day, held the third Tuesday in September, encourages health workers, organizations, community groups and students to join APHA in raising awareness about the importance of getting prepared. The day is also a chance to start emergency preparedness conversations in your own household.

There are many ways to get involved with Get Ready Day:

  • Create an emergency preparedness plan at home for yourself and your family. Make it a fun family activity! 
  • Put together an emergency stockpile with plenty of supplies to prepare for COVID-19 and other natural disasters. 
  • Make a plan to get this year’s flu shot! CDC’s Vaccine Finder shows you where you can get your shot in your neighborhood. 
  • Spread awareness about Get Ready Day and promote preparedness by posting Get Ready tools  and shareables to your social media accounts using the #GetReadyDay hashtag. You can also share what you’re doing to stay safe and get prepared at home. 

 Let us know what you’re doing to stay safe and get prepared at home!


Thursday, August 13, 2020

Staying safe as stores reopen

 APHA intern Sakshi Handa is a student of public health, and like many people in the U.S., she also works a retail job. After closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the store where she works reopened recently. Sakshi shared the experience of heading back to work here.

As stores start to open and we start to adjust to our new normal, I want to share my new before and after work routine. As a public health college intern and retail employee I know how important it is to keep me my family, my coworkers and customers safe during these unprecedented times. Here are the things I am doing before, during and after work to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 


Before work:

1. Every day before going to work, the first thing I do is take CDC’s self-health assessment for COVID-19. I check to see if I have any symptoms such as a fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat. If I answer yes to any of those symptoms or have had recent contact with a COVID-19 positive person I know to call out of work. If I am feeling healthy, can answer no to all of the items on the CDC checklist and have had no contact with a COVID-positive person then I know I am good to go into work. 

2. I drive to work. As soon as I get there, I put my mask on according to CDC guidelines

During work:

1. Prior to starting my shift, the manager on duty completes the same CDC health assessment for every single employee. If anyone is experiencing any symptoms or has had contact with a positive COVID-19 patient they are asked to go home.

2. Throughout my shift, I am required to wear gloves and keep my mask on at all times.

3. I sanitize my gloves with alcohol-based sanitizer before helping each new next customer. 

4. I change my gloves to a new pair every few hours and always wash my hands before I put on a new pair.  

5. Throughout my entire shift at the register I am required to give the counter space and the card machines a full wipe down every hour using EPA-approved cleaning supplies

6. When I am done working, I remove my gloves and wash my hands with soap and water. I count to 20 seconds silently while I do.

After work:

1. As soon as I leave work, the first thing I do is remove my mask making sure to handle only the ear loops or ties  and use hand sanitizer that I keep in my car.

2. When I get home, I wash my hands

3. Before spending time with anyone in my family I put my work clothes in the laundry and take a shower. 

4. After I shower and change into clean clothes, I wipe down my phone with disinfectant wipes. 

When I first got called back to work I was a little scared, but the store, my managers and all my coworkers are following every CDC guideline to keep the store clean and only letting in a few customers at a time. It also made me feel safe that all customers are also wearing masks and some of them even have gloves on too. Everyone is doing their part to keep themselves and those around them safe and stop the spread of the coronavirus! 


Friday, August 07, 2020

Get Ready unveils summer infographics

Living in a pandemic involves a lot of unknowns. Though there are constant updates coming out, all of that information can be overwhelming. This summer, Get Ready has released new infographics to help you navigate this information and stay prepared. These infographics are all available on @GetReady on Twitter.

In the graphic called “Physical Distancing,” there are tips on how to protect each other from infection. One of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus is through limiting the interactions we have with those outside our household. The easiest way to do that is to stay home. This limits the spread of the virus by those who may not know they have it.

When you do need to go out and interact with others in public, make sure to wear a mask! They help reduce the spread of the virus. Our “Masks: The basics” graphic makes it easy to understand.
 
The “Summer heat and COVID-19” graphic covers two health threats at once.  It shows how to prepare for the summer heat while staying safe from infection. For more information on preparing for the summer, refer to our heatwave fact sheet.

On social media, we’ve launched the #Mask4Who campaign. Take a picture in your mask and tell us who you wear it for! Our quick guide reminds you the right way to wear one.

All of the Get Ready infographics are easy to download and share. You can add your own logo to the bottom and post in your school, work, apartment building or doctor’s office. They’re an easy way to let people know how to stay safe! For more general information on the coronavirus pandemic, view our fact sheet