More Community Guidance Needed ASAP

State Department’s of Public Health are providing increasing guidance regarding prevention of transmission of COVID-19.  Governor’s have declared State of Emergencies.  The CDC also offers guidance on prevention and what to do for those who are at particularly high risk of complications from the virus.

These efforts are all falling short of what matters most – our neighborhoods.  As children take a several week hiatus from school, the conversations that are taking place our homes is “what should we do with my kids.”  Parents are asking questions like “should we quarantine?” “can my child play with her friends in the neighborhood?” “what about taking my child to the supermarket just to get out of the house for a few minutes?”

Addressing These Questions

In order to thwart the spread of the virus, we not only need to close schools and prevent large gatherings.  We also need to monitor ourselves and one another for illness every day.  Vigilance across our neighborhoods is the really the key to preventing widespread community transmission.  This should include the following:

  • Everyone should take their temperature twice at day, morning and night.  Parents should be sure to take the temperature of each of their children as well.
  • People should also monitor for chills, cough, soar throat, and shortness of breath.
  • If any develops these symptoms, that is when someone should transition from social distancing to quarantine, and they should contact their local COVID-19 call center.

If we expect community transmission to really be abated, we need to be sure that for the millions of people that are no longer in school or work, we identify symptoms early and avoid exposing those people to others in our community.  Understanding social distancing, the role of quarantine, and what we are looking for that makes the different will make a dramatic impact.  Not going to school may help slow spread, but widespread community transmission will likely develop rapidly if we do not couple vigilance with avoidance of large gatherings and staying home from school.