Contributed by Brandi Fitch
At this point in time, everyone in the community should be aware of how they can remain safe and stop the spread of COVID-19. Not everyone is going to agree on certain aspects of COVID tomorrow or the day after, but the fact is that COVID is here today, at this very moment. That can no longer be ignored.
There are more deaths every day and the community is losing loved ones left and right. How do we stop it? Small businesses are closing down every week. How do we stop it? More severe restrictions are being put into place. HOW DO WE STOP IT? It starts with every individual in the community.
COVID is here and we need to fight it TOGETHER. As much as we want the restrictions, masks, and social distancing to go away, COVID could potentially stay in the community for a long time until we come together as ONE. The upcoming holiday season will be very difficult for any individuals who choose to socially distance this year.
With the holidays upon us, it is now more important than ever to stay safe and be proactive with COVID. Making decisions on how to stay safe during the holidays can be stressful for everyone. When making these decisions, remember the following from the CDC:
- Hard choices to be apart this year may mean that you can spend many more years with your loved ones.
- Do what is best for your health and the health of your loved ones. This year spend time with those in your own household.
- Doing what’s best for you includes eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep.
- Make time to take care of your body and stay active to lessen fatigue, anxiety, and sadness.
Remember, when you talk about holiday plans with your family and friends, it is ok if you decide to stay home and remain apart from others. The decisions you make now not only affect you and your loved ones, but the community as a whole. Additional restrictions for Pennsylvania residents and visitors for the holidays can be found here.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has also developed a FREE COVID Alert PA app that can be downloaded to your phone. The app will provide exposure alerts without compromising your privacy or personal information. The more people who download the app, the more successful efforts will be to help stop the virus. Download the app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
You can find more information from the Pennsylvania Department of Health in the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard (updated weekly on Mondays), the Pennsylvania COVID-19 Dashboard (updated daily at noon), and on use of the Pennsylvania Emergency Alert System for COVID-19.
Visit Wellspan.org and Keystonehealth.org for additional information and local COVID-19 resources. You can also find WellSpan Health’s most recent Public Service Announcement with Eugene Curley, M.D., infectious disease specialist, who provides steps you can take to help protect yourself and your loved ones.