2022 has started with a new COVID surge – Omicron! As you’ve likely heard, this new variant is highly contagious, so we’re asking everyone to be extra cautious. There are some easy steps you can take to reduce your risk…
Help prevent the spread of Omicron
- Wear a mask. In many places, masks are no longer mandatory, but this is still the simplest way to protect yourself and others – regardless if you are vaccinated or not. The CDC continues to recommend wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission, regardless of vaccination status.
- Maintain physical distance. Not necessarily what you want to hear, but by continuing to practice social distancing can help keep you safe. That means if you’re eating out, replace your mask immediately after eating or drinking.
- Get the vaccine and booster. If you have not already, please consider receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and booster. Find a COVID-19 Community Vaccine Location near you.
- Work Remotely or Use Zoom. If you finally made it back to the office, you might want to restage your home office. If possible, ask your employer if you can work from home and try to conduct any meetings virtually.
- Continue hand hygiene. Not the only solution, but proper use of hand sanitizer and handwashing helps keep germs at bay.
Have COVID Symptoms…
First and foremost, DO NOT visit an emergency room to simply obtain a test if you have mild or no symptoms. Emergency rooms are for the seriously ill or people needing immediate medical attention. You SHOULD go to the emergency room if you have warning signs such as trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion or inability to wake or stay awake.
- If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home. You can find testing sites at ldh.la.gov/covidtesting or you can call 211 to find a site near you.
- Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home for at least 5 days, except to get medical care. If you are fever free and you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving, you may leave home after 5 days, but you must wear a well-fitting mask when around others for an additional 5 days.
- Stay in touch with your doctor. Older patients and individuals who have underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their physician early in the course of even mild illness.
Exposed to someone with COVID-19…
You got the call…someone you spent time with now has COVID. Great, but what does that mean for you? In a nutshell, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) recommends that if you’ve been vaccinated or boosted within the last 6 months, you do not need to stay home, but you should:
- Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
- Test on day 5, if possible. If you test positive, see above instructions.
Thank you for helping to keep each other safe.