The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) illness was first identified in Asia and has spread to countries around the world, including the United States. Along with the spread of this illness, there has been a spread of fear and misinformation. However, we urge you not to panic. You can keep yourself and your family safe and healthy by taking precautions, staying diligent, and following safe hygiene practices.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a coronavirus? Coronaviruses belong to a family of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses. These illnesses range from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Virtually everyone will get a coronavirus infection during their lifetime.
What makes COVID-19 different? COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus. This means that COVID-19 is a new virus that has not been seen in people before. Because it is a novel virus, no one has immunity from the virus and there are no vaccines or medications to treat it at this time.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19? The symptoms can be mild to severe and include:
- Fever (over 100.4°)
- Dry Cough
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion/runny nose
- Body aches and pains
Symptoms appear within 2-14 days after exposure. Most people recover without special treatment. However, others can get seriously ill and develop complications such as pneumonia. Current estimates are that about 1 in every 5 people who catch the virus need hospital care. People who are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill are those over age 70, have a long-term medical condition, pregnant, or have a weakened immune system.
How does COVID-19 spread? The virus is spread person-to-person by those who are in close contact with each other. When a person with the virus coughs or sneezes small droplets are spread. These droplets land on surfaces around other people or can be inhaled by other people. This is why it is so important to stay away from people who are sick and to practice “social distancing.”
What is social distancing? Social distancing is maintaining a distance of 6 feet from other people and avoiding large gatherings. This reduces your chance of contact with those people who are carrying the virus.
What can you do to protect yourself and your family? There are many simple and effective precautions you can take to stay healthy. These precautions include:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- When you wash your hands make sure to lather your entire hands including the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Wash your hands when you get home or into work, before during and after preparing food, before eating, after touching garbage, before and after caring for someone who is sick, when treating a cut or wound, after touching a public surface, after using the bathroom.
- If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze and then immediately dispose of the tissue and wash your hands.
- Avoid touching public surfaces such as door handles, ATM machines, credit card machines, hand railings, elevator buttons, or gas pumps. Use a tissue or paper towel to cover such surfaces before you touch them.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as counters, doorknobs, light switches, cell phones, keyboards, tables, and bathroom fixtures.
- Don’t share personal household items such as drinking glasses, utensils, or dishes. After using these items wash them thoroughly or put them in the dishwasher.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Avoid public transportation if possible.
- Avoid large gatherings.
What should you do if you suspect you have COVID-19?
If you have life-threatening symptoms such as difficulty breathing or chest pains call 911 immediately and tell them you think you have COVID-19.
If you have flu-like symptoms seek medical advice. Before seeking care call your doctor, urgent care, or emergency room and tell them about your symptoms and any recent travel. This way your healthcare provider is prepared before you arrive and can keep other people in the office or waiting room from being exposed to the virus.
How we are handling the situation:
We are open and will be helping clients as usual. Our office hours will stay the same and we will be available by phone 24/7.
For everyone’s health we will be conducting more video chat meetings and phone conferences but if you want to come in the office to speak with staff or an attorney we are always available. We will also be sending documents that can be digitally signed to eliminate the need to have to travel to the office.
Finally, we are abiding by all recommendation of the CDC and the State of Florida for the health and safety of our clients and staff. We urge you to follow all CDC recommendations and you can find them at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html along with the Florida Department of Health https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/.