How to Prevent Community Spread of COVID-19Published: Jun 22, 2020
By Jennifer Crabtree
As the city opens back up, we are continuing to see the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 rise across the state of Florida and the Tampa Bay Area. While Tampa General Hospital has experienced an increase in the number of patients with COVID-19, we are well equipped to handle COVID-19 positive patients and are continuing to take every precaution to keep our team members, physicians, patients, and the community safe during this global pandemic.
Our team is properly trained and has an adequate supply of equipment including Personal Protective Equipment such as N95 masks. Additionally, Tampa General Hospital has 81 negative pressure rooms, over 100 ventilators and is working closely with other Tampa Bay area hospitals to manage resources. Team members are also screened everyday and required to wear masks prior to entering TGH facilities.
While we continue to care for our patients, we encourage all community members to do their part to limit the spread. Here are a few safety measures you should continue practicing in your daily lives to keep you and your loved ones safe.
WEAR A MASK
- Wear a mask while out in the community.
- When you must remove your mask to eat, please make sure you are not eating in tight quarters with groups of people. Social distancing when you are eating and not wearing a mask is vital.
- Keep a six-foot distance between yourself and a person unknown to you.
- Avoid groups of more than ten people.
PRACTICE HAND HYGIENE
While keeping your hands clean is always important, during a pandemic, it is a safety essential.
When you should wash your hands:
- Before touching your eyes, nose or mouth as this is how germs enter the body
- After you have been in a public place and touched surfaces that may have been frequently touched by others
- Before, during and after preparing food
- Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick
- After using the bathroom
- After changing diapers or cleaning a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- After touching an animal or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
When it comes to the correct technique for handwashing, the CDC tells you to:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to 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 and use a paper towel to turn off the faucet, and then throw it away.
If soap and water is not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used to clean hands.