As Pennsylvania continues to combat COVID-19 and we enter cold and flu season, the most important step in preventing sickness is following healthy habits. These best practices limit the spread of germs for yourself and others.
The COVID Alert PA app notifies you if you have had a potential exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The app works by using anonymous Bluetooth technology that identifies other devices with the app in your proximity. When an app user who was near you reports they have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, you may receive an alert, depending on the date, how long you were exposed and how close you were to the other person. It does not track your location or store your personal information.
The app also includes an interactive COVID-19 symptom checker, updates on the latest public health data about COVID-19 in PA and advice for what to do if you have a potential exposure to COVID-19.
Learn more and download now. The more Pennsylvanians that download the app, the more successful we will be in stopping the spread of the virus.
In Pennsylvania, masks must be worn whenever anyone leaves home. Masks are mandatory in all public spaces. Members of the public should wear homemade cloth or fabric masks and save surgical masks and N95 respirators for health care workers and first responders.
Remember this saying: “My mask protects you, your mask protects me.”
It’s important to keep a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household. To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least 6 feet from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Washing your hands is one of the most important steps you can take in staying healthy. When you wash, make sure you:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
Avoid Touching Your Face
Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, or school — especially when someone is ill.
Make sure your child’s school, child care program, or college routinely cleans frequently touched objects and surfaces, and that they have a good supply of tissues, soap, paper towels, alcohol-based hand rubs, and disposable wipes on-site.
At work, routinely clean frequently touched objects and surfaces including doorknobs, keyboards, and phones to help remove germs. Learn more about effective steps for cleaning from the CDC.
Stay Home When Sick
Stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others. It’s a good idea to build an at-home kit so you have all the items you need (food, medication, etc.) to stay inside and focus on feeling better.
Practice the healthy habits above and also do your best to get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.