The province of B.C. has seen a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases over the past several weeks.
With the increase, COVID-19 prevention will be top of mind for kids and parents as students head back to school.
Dr. Carol Fenton, a medical health officer with the Interior Health Region, outlined five important measures for not just students but also for everyone to follow to limit the chance of an outbreak and cases in the Cariboo region.
“Stay home when you are sick, and this applies to everyone. If you have any symptoms that are compatible with COVID-19, you should stay home and call 811 or a local testing centre and make an appointment for a swab, if you are eligible.”
Fenton continued that hand hygiene is very important.
“Soap and water is the best, washing for 20 seconds. Twenty seconds is the duration of the most chorus for population songs. Pick your favourite song and sing it while you are washing your hands, and make sure you get the front of your hands, the back of your hands, and in between your fingers, your palms, and underneath your fingernails, because those are the spots that everyone forgets.”
With the virus being spread by large respiratory droplets containing the that adhere to mucous membranes of a person’s eyes, nose or mouth, or by touching a surface or an object contaminated with the virus and then proceeding to touch one’s eyes, nose and mouth, Fenton said that making sure you aren’t spreading the virus through cough and sneeze is vital.
“The conventional wisdom used to be that you should cough into your hand. We don’t want you to do that anymore. We want you to cough into your shoulder, or cough into your elbow.”
She said that though it has been apart of the guidelines from day one, physical distancing and minimizing social contact will still very important.
“If you go to the grocery store, if you go to the mall, if you go to a restaurant, you need to really make sure that you are keeping your distance from people who are outside your small social bubble to really minimize that contact, so we don’t introduce any COVID-19 into the school setting.”
“The last one is cleaning and disinfection,” Fenton continued. “There is a list of Health Canada approved cleaning and disinfection products and procedures. The schools all have plans on how to implement that in place and have frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces.”