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Dice form the expression "stay home, stay safe".

On March 11, 2020, the coronavirus was declared a global pandemic. This news alerted governments and health systems to prepare for the spread of COVID-19. The term pandemic also triggered panic for many individuals. Panic further led to feelings of helplessness, frustration and anxiety as a result of being unprepared.

Like governments and health systems, individuals and families should develop a household plan of action for COVID-19.

Seek Reliable Information

Use information from reliable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Public Health. Watch local and national news channels for timely information about the disease.

Prepare All Household Members

Make sure that all household members know how to protect themselves and others inside or outside the house. Practice these preventive actions with family members.

  • Use proper handwashing practices.
  • Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid individuals who are sick.
  • Clean and sanitize surfaces in the home.
  • Avoid hugs or handshakes.
  • Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

Explain to family members the importance of immediately informing others when feeling ill or feverish. Teach them what to do and what not to do when someone in the family falls ill with COVID-19.

Create a Resource List

Together with family members, identify a list of local organizations and agencies that can assist you and your family if or when a need arises. Include contact information for counseling, mental and physical health services, and resources for food and financial support. Include the following information:

  • Name of the organization with a brief description of services.
  • Physical location and website address for each organization.
  • Contact person and phone number for each organization.

 This information is separate from an emergency contact list.

 Create an Emergency Contact List

Create an up-to-date list of emergency contacts for family, friends, neighbors and religious leaders. Be sure to also include schools, employers, health care providers and the county department of public health.

Print the list and put it in an easy-to-access location where family and friends will know where to find it. You may also want to enter the emergency contacts in your cell phone along with other contact numbers.

Create a Care Plan for Household Members with COVID-19

Create a list of preventive steps to take while caring for a sick family or household member with COVID-19. Make sure that all family members read and understand these measures. Separate a sick person by moving him or her to a separate bedroom. If possible, discourage sharing a bathroom with the sick person.

If you are the only person in the household and you are only mildly ill, stay at home and avoid public contact. Wear a mask if you must leave for medical care. Limit the number of people entering a sickroom to only one. Be sure everyone knows and follows the plan.

As with any action plan, the household action plan for COVID-19 is to help families through the pandemic at home and in the community. Your household action plan is for all household members, so share it.

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