Towards the end of 2019, a new coronavirus (COVID-19) was identified as the cause of an outbreak of pneumonia originating in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined coronaviruses as a large family of viruses responsible for an assortment of illness, ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (SARS).
The situation with COVID-19 has now evolved into a worldwide pandemic, leading the public at the mercy of rapidly changing and sometimes confusing information, in addition to the genuine health concern we all face. As preventative and proactive healthcare professionals at Preventous, we want to share some information with our patients and members of our Calgary community seeking reliable knowledge and safety protocols to protect themselves from the Coronavirus outbreak.
What to do if you think you’ve been infected (Calgary)
What we are doing at Preventous to keep our patients and staff healthy:
The foundation of our business is a genuine and unwavering commitment to our patients’ safety before all else. As such, we have put in place special COVID-19 protocols that seek to ensure safety and uphold the highest standards of care for our medical and cosmetic patients.
For this. reason, the following measures are currently being taken at all our Preventous Collaborative Health and Cosmetic Medicine locations:
- All patients calling for appointments are to be questioned regarding criteria for possible COVID-19 infection. Those who meet criteria will be directed appropriately. As of today, they are to self-isolate, call 811 or visit the Alberta Health self assessment and follow directions.
- Any patient who arrives at Preventous and unexpectedly appears to have symptoms suggestive of URTI/COVID-19, will have a mask applied and will be immediately placed in a room.
- We are ensuring to limit the exposure of our staff and patients to non essential visitors.
- We have further enhanced our cleaning protocols for Preventous.
- Our staff are committed to optimal preventive health strategies at work, as well as during their personal hours.
Truths about COVID-19: what we know
- There is no current vaccine or medication for COVID-19
- COVID-19 is highly contagious and mostly spread through contact (between people who are in close contact with one another and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes — possibly inhaled by people who are nearby)
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus
- The vast majority of infected people experience mild symptoms that don’t degenerate into life-threatening conditions.
- Canadian cases have been reported and confirmed.
- Cases in Calgary, AB have been reported and confirmed. As of today, most cases seems to have connections to travel.
- Older people and people with chronic diseases are at higher risk
Protect yourself and others: what you can do to reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19
Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Rethink your travel plans
- Avoid travelling unless strictly necessary. This is especially true if you are planning on visiting countries where significant outbreaks are occurring.
Stay home if you’re sick
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a face mask if you are sick
- If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
- If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect well and daily
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus), should self-isolate. Contact their primary care provider, call 811, or visit the Alberta Health self assessment.
If you are a Preventous medical or cosmetic patient, we are happy to provide you with additional information, answer questions and triage you over the phone at 403.229.0129.
Health is more than the lack of illness
Not being ill does not equate to being and feeling healthy; as preventative healthcare professionals we know that proactively seeking physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing is what makes us and our patients truly healthy. The current global pandemic has resulted in feelings of uncertainty, anxiousness and stress for many of us. While this emotional state is very common during challenging times, it’s important that we do our best to take care of our Mental Health.
The World Health Organization published a very helpful guide on why and how we need to protect and nurture our mental health during this difficult time
Some key highlights include:
- Minimize watching, reading or listening to news that causes you to feel anxious or distressed; seek information only from trusted sources.
- Protect yourself and be supportive to others. Assisting others in their time of need can benefit the person receiving support as well as the helper.
- Find opportunities to amplify positive and hopeful stories and positive images.
- Acknowledge the role of caretakers and healthcare workers who support the public and keep your loved ones safe.
- Help children find positive ways to express feelings such as fear and sadness. During times of stress and crisis, it is common for children to seek more attachment and be more demanding on parents.
- Maintain familiar routines in daily life as much as possible, or create new routines, especially if children must stay at home.
- Stay connected and maintain your social networks.
- Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in healthy activities that you enjoy and find relaxing.
Your Preventous Collaborative Health team is here to help you and your family. It is our job and our pleasure to be on your side and assist you in any way we can – please do not hesitate to contact us directly.