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What You Should and Shouldn’t do in Coronavirus Self-Isolation

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Photo: Pexels

by Adam Kamradt Scott for The Conversation

Australians who have tested positive to COVID-19 have been advised to self-isolate at home. The Australian government’s Health Direct website also advises people who have developed a fever or other respiratory symptoms to self-isolate.

You should also self-isolate if you’ve had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, if you’ve returned from any overseas country or you’re waiting for test results. According to Health Direct: “even if you have a negative result, you should complete the whole 14 days of self-isolation.”

Most people who need to self-isolate will probably be advised to do so for 14 days.But it’s not always clear what that means in practice, and how it’s different to social distancing.Here’s what you need to know.

I’ve tested positive for COVID-19, or am awaiting results. Can I take the dog for a walk?

The short answer is no. We want people in this situation – those who have tested positive to COVID-19 or are awaiting test results – to remain in their houses, preferably in the bedroom and avoid interacting beyond those four walls.

You should avoid interacting with delivery people.

Yes, you can go out to the garden, but if you must cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow and wash your hands.

The virus is not airborne – so simply breathing while in the garden is unlikely to, for example, spread it to your neighbour’s garden.

But if people in this category cough and sneeze on their their hand and then touch a door handle or a mug, it could spread the virus to the next person to touch that handle or mug. So you should be washing your hands often, with soap, to reduce the risk of passing it around to other household members.

Wash your hands often, with soap.

People who have tested positive to COVID-19, or are awaiting test results, should not be putting the kids to bed.

They should isolate themselves in a bedroom. If they go into a communal space they should wear face masks, avoid contact with others, and wash hands regularly. They do not need to wear their face masks while they are in their bedroom by themselves – but their partner should sleep in a different room during the quarantine period.

If someone walks into the bedroom by accident or opens the door to deliver a tray of food, they are not at risk of being exposed to the virus. But when taking plates and utensils away, the person who puts it in the dishwasher or washes it up afterwards (either the unwell person or another household member) needs to ensure they immediately wash their hands with soap and water afterwards and clean the surfaces (like the tray) with disinfectant.

You can see more recommendations on the Australian government’s Health Direct website here.

If an infected household member is continuing to move around the house, then cleaning surfaces is important – particularly door handles.

Read more: Coronavirus while pregnant or giving birth: here’s what you need to know


In short, people should avoid contact with any person in their household who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is awaiting test results.

If an infected household member is continuing to move around the house, then cleaning surfaces is important – particularly door handles, mugs, utensils, counters or any area they may touch. In general, people in these households should exercise a higher degree of caution.

If you have got someone in your home that’s infected, the people most vulnerable are the people over 60 with pre-existing medical conditions – so you should avoid contact with people in that category.

What about social distancing for people who haven’t been advised to self-isolate?

I am of the view that those of us who have not been advised to self-isolate should continue to live our lives as normally as possible, for now.

That’s because when wider social distancing measures come into force, then those measures could be in place for an extended period of time.

We are not talking about just two weeks and then everything goes back to normal. It could be six weeks or more where people are discouraged from interacting with others.

We know from past events that an extended period of self-isolation can have unintended mental health effects and other health impacts such as a lack of physical exercise.

So for now, until there’s evidence of widespread community transmission, then its important to maintain normalcy as much as possible while exercising an extra degree of caution around personal hygiene by:

  • washing hands regularly with soap and water
  • practising good cough and sneeze etiquette (by sneezing into the crook of your elbow)
  • avoiding people who are visibly sick.

But if you’re on a bus and you see someone sneeze or cough, please don’t recoil in horror.

Everyone has to make their own determination as to how much risk they are willing to accept. And it is important to stress that the advice is rapidly changing.

If there’s a sharp increase in the number of cases of people with no travel history or contact with people with no travel history who have tested positive, that would suggest the virus may be circulating more broadly in the community.

If we see evidence of such wider community transmission then the advice will likely change. We need to be prepared for that, and listen carefully to what our health authorities have to say about next steps.

In the meantime, it is important for people to remain calm. Through exercising sensible infection control measures, we can all reduce our personal risk of exposure and protect those in our community who are most vulnerable. These are challenging times, but we can, and we will, get through this together.

Adam Kamradt-Scott is an Associate professor at the University of Sydney.

The Conversation publishes knowledge-based journalism that is responsible, ethical and supported by evidence from academics and researchers in order to inform public debate with facts, clarity and insight into society’s biggest problems.

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Health

County Hospitals Receive 300 iPads for Patients to See Family

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LOS ANGELES – 300 iPads have been donated to Los Angeles County hospitals to facilitate patient-family communication during the COVID-19 pandemic. The gift is through a partnership with the Annenberg Foundation, Brilliant Corners, and the Los Angeles County Center for Strategic Partnerships.

“The engagement of loved ones during hospitalization has been shown to improve clinical outcomes,” said DHS Director, Dr. Christina Ghaly. “Clinical staff identified a role for virtual visiting through technology in order to facilitate this family involvement. The generous donations by the Annenberg Foundation and MobileDemand will help support this critical element of our patients’ care.” 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, patient visitation by family and loved ones is limited at facilities in order to prevent exposure and the spread of disease. While there are some exceptions, such as the birth of a child or death of a patient, visitation is not permitted for the vast majority of patients and not allowed at all for COVID-19 patients. 

The donation provides 300 iPads to ensure patients and their families are able to connect, despite restrictions in access to the hospital. A second donation, by MobileDemand, provides rugged, protective healthcare iPad cases to protect against damage and loss. The rugged case also has an adjustable easel attached, providing effortless viewing for patients who are too weak to hold a tablet. Additionally, it frees health care staff from having to hold the device for patients.

“This is a wonderful example of how philanthropic organizations, nonprofits, government, and businesses can collaborate and meet an immediate need in our community,” said Wallis Annenberg, Chairman, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. “Being able to offer an opportunity for comfort and connection to those suffering and to alleviate some of the stress from our frontline caregivers is of utmost importance.”

While social distancing has been successful in flattening the curve of the COVID-19 surge in Los Angeles County, it is anticipated that it will continue for several months. With this gift, physicians and nurses will be able to place an iPad in the room of COVID and other critically-ill patients for the duration of the admission and reduce potential exposure and use of personal protective equipment going in and out of the room. Having a stationary iPad helps relieve medical staff who would otherwise have to hold the phone for a patient or search for the person’s personal phone. It also will allow patients who do not have a personal mobile device to communicate and “visit” with their family.

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) is the second largest municipal health system in the nation. Through its integrated system of 26 health centers and four hospitals – LAC+USC Medical Center, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center – and expanded network of community partner clinics, DHS annually provides direct care for 600,000 unique patients, employs over 22,000 staff, and has an annual budget of over $6 billion.

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Processions to Cedars Will Salute Healthcare Workers on National Nurses Day

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is putting a strain on essential workers such as first responders and healthcare workers who are on the frontlines in the effort to care for coronavirus patients so the City of West Hollywood is setting out to recognize them in a special way on May 6.

National Nurses Day is a day of recognition to celebrate and honor the contributions that nurses have made and continue to make in our communities and throughout the nation. National Nurses Day is celebrated annually on May 6, which marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, a week-long celebration to raise awareness of the value of nursing and educate the public on the role nurses play in meeting the healthcare needs of Americans. National Nurses Week concludes on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, or as she was more commonly known, “The Lady of the Lamp” and founder of modern nursing.

The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is coordinating two motorcades to honor healthcare workers on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, which is nationally recognized as National Nurses Day. The processions will begin at 9:45 a.m. and at 7:15 p.m. on Santa Monica Boulevard at La Cienega Boulevard and the motorcades will head west and then travel southbound on N. San Vicente Boulevard passing multiple medical center locations in West Hollywood en route to a destination outside the emergency room entrance of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Gracie Allen Drive. First responders will briefly stop, exit their vehicles and applaud healthcare workers while wearing face coverings and practicing appropriate social distancing.

“Our nurses and healthcare workers are nothing short of heroes,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tempore Lindsey P. Horvath. “The coronavirus pandemic has reminded us just how critical their work is to our everyday health and safety. This National Nurses Day means so much more to all of us — the City of West Hollywood and our LA County Sheriff’s West Hollywood Station and LA County Fire Stations; the City of Beverly Hills and Beverly Hills Police and Fire; the City of Los Angeles and LAPD and LAFD; the California Highway Patrol, and more — and we will honor these heroes in a special way for the care that they provide, which often goes unseen and unrecognized, in carrying us through this crisis.”

“As the worldwide response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, the critical importance of nurses in our society has been brought sharply into focus,” said City of West Hollywood Councilmember John Heilman. “More often than not, when a coronavirus patient ends up in a hospital, it is the nurses at the frontlines who are responsible for their care and treatment, putting themselves at risk in the process. We can’t say ‘thank you’ strongly enough.”

The City of West Hollywood encourages residents and community members to participate during this day of celebration while still adhering to LA County Safer At Home Orders and social distancing requirements. Suggested forms of participation include amplifying posts on social media channels, making yard or window signs and banners, participating in a coordinated daily applause or shout out for nurses and healthcare workers, and donating to organizations that are addressing the emerging needs of nurses and healthcare workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) health pandemic.

According to the American Nursing Association, nursing is the nation’s largest healthcare profession, with more than four million registered nurses in the United States. Registered nurses comprise one of the largest segments of the U.S. workforce and are the primary providers of hospital patient care, delivering most of the nation’s long-term care. In nursing, where workers are on the front lines of patient interactions, women make up more than 85 percent of the workforce. This year, with the onset of coronavirus, nurses have stepped up and shown the incredible impact they have on our healthcare system. It is more important than ever that we recognize National Nurses Day and celebrate the significance of nurses every day.

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Health

Texas & California Wet Markets Show Full Extent of Vile Conditions

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Texas & California Wet Markets Show Full Extent of Vile Conditions

(TMZ) — It’s becoming more clear by the day that wet markets are NOT just a China problem — it’s an American problem too … just take a look at these latest clips from Texas and California.

TMZ has gotten a hold of even more graphic videos of two different live animal shops in TX and CA — where people pick out the animal, have it slaughtered on the spot and then sold to them right then and there — and you see the mixed-in livestock runs the gamut.

There are pigs in pens, goats and sheep hoarded together … and, of course, as we’ve seen in New York and elsewhere — chicken and rabbits cooped up in cages — all in the same area within earshot of each other, and all getting butchered.

Ya got pigs hanging from hooks out in the open, chicken beaks, feathers and guts all over the floor and in an exposed trash can — this while customers (including kids) come in and browse the freezer for whatever cuts of meat they want. It’s downright dirty and gross.

As we’ve been told by the experts, these one-stop-shop slaughterhouses/storefronts can be breeding grounds for disease — including new viruses, like COVID-19, which supposedly got started at a wet market in China.

We already know of lawmakers in Cali and New York working to get these things shut down, but it’s pretty apparent there needs to be federal legislation rolled out to address this. Can’t call the kettle black when we’re swimming in the freakin’ pot.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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