An update on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Since news of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak became known in January, like other healthcare providers, we began monitoring this situation and educating ourselves about this new virus. To date, there have not been any reported cases in Alabama and our residents are not in immediate danger. However, we feel it is important to share reliable information with our community about this global public health challenge.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it can spread between people who are in close contact (within 6 feet) with a person with the virus and through inhaling respiratory droplets from the coughs and sneezes of an infected person. How easily the virus spreads from person-to-person varies.

Symptoms of the infection include fever, coughing and shortness of breath. At this time, there is no vaccine. In an effort to prevent infection, people may feel the need to purchase medical face masks. According to the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, these masks are ineffective in protecting the general public from COVID-19 infection and often are used incorrectly. Additionally, the increased demand has caused a lack of availability for healthcare providers and people who are in need.

The best way to protect ourselves from infection is the everyday practice of simple hygiene steps. The following actions prevent the spread of germs like respiratory viruses. 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

At this time, we encourage you to be mindful of your general health and that of others. Influenza activity is still high across the nation. If you have not had a flu shot this year, you should make plans to do so with your doctor or local pharmacy.

Protecting our residents

Many of the people we serve have vulnerable health and cannot easily fight off infections. As of March 12, the COVID-19 outbreak has been declared a pandemic. In the interest of our residents’ well-being and safety, Westside Terrace Healthcare will no longer allow visits. We encourage loved ones to communicate with residents via telephone or to keep in touch by sending an e-Card.

As the battle against COVID-19 continues, we ask for your patience as we work to provide a healthy environment for our residents. We will remain vigilant and hold ourselves in readiness for any changes that may impact us. Our thoughts are with the many people who have been sickened by this outbreak and those that care for them.

To learn more about COVID-19, click here.