Coronavirus Infection Control and Recommendations
St. Stephen wants to share the following reminders concerning the Coronavirus. We are taking this situation seriously and have additional cleaning/disinfectants in use throughout the building. We care about your safety. We also choose to live in faith and not fear, so until further notice, all St. Stephen worship services and activities will take place as planned. Much of the information and knowledge about this virus is still uncertain, but we want to remind the congregation that common sense infection control measures are still what is being recommended.
General infection control measures currently suggested are:
Good hand washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol)
Avoid touching face (eyes, nose, mouth) without first washing/sanitizing hands
Avoid contact with people who are sick.
Stay home if you are sick! Especially with a cough, sneeze, fever, body aches and chills (this doesn’t mean you have COVID-19, it means you have something that could make others sick!!)
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue if you have to sneeze or cough and then wash/disinfect your hands
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Additionally, if you or a loved one are in the group of people who are most vulnerable, strongly consider avoiding crowds of any kinds. This population would include older adults, infants, anyone with a known weakened immune system and anyone with a severe underlying chronic medical condition, including (but not exclusively) heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, recent surgery, and current immunosuppressive therapy.
If you are not in this high-risk category, it is still important to attempt to maintain good physical, emotional and mental health which can be difficult during this time of high anxiety. The CDC recommends:
Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19.
Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do some other activities you enjoy to return to your normal life.
Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships. Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.
This is not going to be over anytime soon and we need to take a deeper look at the potential short and long term issues surrounding this public health “crisis”. Just remember that it is so important to remember that people need calm leadership and voices of reason and not ones that add to an already highly anxious environment. We need to use facts and actual recommendations from trusted sources such as the CDC and the local health department.
Please remember, until further notice, all St. Stephen worship services and activities will still be held as planned.
We choose to act in faith not fear.
For more information please look at the following information from the CDC about the Coronavirus Disease 2019.
What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
Can people in the U.S. get COVID-19?
Yes. COVID-19 is spreading from person to person in parts of the United States. Risk of infection with COVID-19 is higher for people who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19, for example healthcare workers, or household members. Other people at higher risk for infection are those who live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Learn more about places with ongoing spread at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html
Have there been cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.?
Yes. The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020. The current count of cases of COVID-19 in the United States is available on CDC's webpage at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of
• shortness of breath
What are severe complications from this virus?
Some patients have pneumonia in both lungs, multi-organ failure and in some cases death.
How can I help protect myself?
People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
What should I do if I recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19?
If you have traveled from an affected area, there may be restrictions on your movements for up to 2 weeks. If you develop symptoms during that period (fever, cough, trouble breathing), seek medical advice. Call the office of your health care provider before you go, and tell them about your travel and your symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness. While sick, avoid contact with people, don’t go out and delay any travel to reduce the possibility of spreading illness to others.
Is there a vaccine?
There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.
Is there a treatment?
There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms.
For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html