What You Need to Know-Week of July 13th

The most important weekly updates for you to keep your community healthy




In this Update:

1. Essential Worker Safety and Support: How to stay safe while at work

2. COVID-19 and Kids

3. Mask Up and Make a Difference: To Buy or to Make – What you Need to Know




1. Essential Worker Safety and Support: How to stay safe while at work


Essential workers who must return to in-person jobs are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 due to increased contact with others. Scientific studies have shown that a large percentage of COVID-19 cases were likely contracted at work. Therefore, it is important to follow these steps to reduce your risk of COVID-19:

What YOU can do to protect YOURSELF while at work:
BEFORE YOU ARRIVE

✓ STAY HOME IF YOU ARE FEELING ILL

If you are feeling ill at all, or have any COVID-19 symptoms, stay home.
You should also take your temperature daily, before leaving for work to ensure that you do not have a fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It is best to do this when you are relaxed. If you have been exercising or have spent time outdoors in the heat, wait 20 minutes or more before taking your temperature.  
✓ WASH YOUR HANDS
Regularly washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 
✓  LEAVE NON-ESSENTIAL, PERSONAL ITEMS AT HOME
You likely need your wallet, keys, and phone. However, you should avoid bringing any non-essential personal items such as jewelry, bags, tablets, books, etc.
✓ AVOID CARPOOLING WITH MEMBERS OF OTHER HOUSEHOLDS
If possible, use personal transportation (car, biking, walking) so that you may maintain physical distancing from others. If this is not possible, be sure to wear a face covering in any public transportation (bus, city transit, carpooling with others, etc.).
✓ IF YOU WEAR CONTACTS, OPT FOR GLASSES INSTEAD
Wearing contacts may increase your likelihood of touching your eyes, which can spread COVID-19. If possible, wear glasses to work. If you must wear contacts, DO NOT touch your eyes and frequently wash your hands or use a 70% alcohol based hand rub if hand-washing is not possible.
WHILE YOU ARE AT WORK
✓ WASH YOUR HANDS
Regularly washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You should wash your hands after using the restroom, before and after eating, anytime your hands are dirty or soiled, after touching your face, and after contact with any high touch objects or surfaces.
✓  IF POSSIBLE, KEEP HAND SANITIZER WITH YOU
For times when washing your hands may not be possible during the day, if it is possible, have a 70% alcohol based hand sanitizer rub in your work area.
✓ WEAR A CLOTH FACE COVERING
You should always wear a face covering while around others, regardless of whether you are showing symptoms. You can spread SARS-CoV-2 even if you aren’t feeling badly.  For information about what face coverings are most appropriate, visit this link.
✓ MAINTAIN PHYSICAL DISTANCING
Whenever possible, you should remain 6 feet or farther away from others. As this is not always possible at the workplace, be sure to always wear a mask when in contact with others. Also remember to avoid any physical contact with others such as handshakes or hugging.
✓ PUT PERSONAL ITEMS AWAY
Avoid touching your personal items while at work to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 contamination. If you must have contact with these items, be sure to regularly sanitize them.
✓  DO NOT SHARE PERSONAL OR FREQUENTLY USED ITEMS 
Avoid sharing any personal or frequently used items, such as pens and other office supplies.
Avoid contact with frequently touched equipment, such as water fountains, copiers, fax machines, printers while at work UNLESS it has been properly sanitized after each use.
✓  ADVOCATE FOR SAFE WORKING CONDITIONS SUCH AS
More frequent sanitation of high touch surfaces
Face covering requirements for customers and workers
Staff health checks and policies to support workers who are ill to stay home
Leave policies that allow individuals to isolate and quarantine to minimize transmission
Physical spacing controls – one way entrance and exit, distance signage
WHEN RETURNING HOME
✓ WASH YOUR HANDS 
Regularly washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Before returning home, it is suggested to thoroughly wash up to your elbows.
✓ CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES BEFORE OR IMMEDIATELY AFTER COMING HOME
If possible, change your clothing before returning home. You may keep a bag outside your home or in your garage to leave your dirty clothes in after work.
If this is not possible, immediately change clothes after returning home from work.
✓ LEAVE SHOES OUTSIDE 
Leave your shoes outside, as they may have picked up SARS-CoV-2 virus while at work. [Current evidence suggests these types of fomites (objects that can transfer virus) are less likely to lead to infection, but it is a simple measure that may help reduce your risk.]
✓ SANITIZE YOUR PERSONAL OR FREQUENTLY USED ITEMS
Phones, wallets, keys, water bottle and other personal items may be contaminated with SARS-CoV-2. Be sure to clean these items with a sanitizing wipe or 70% alcohol based hand rub.
✓ SANITIZE HIGH TOUCH SURFACES IN THE HOME
You should also take daily precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19, such as sanitizing commonly touched surfaces around the home (doorknobs, light switches, tables, etc.). For information on what precautions to take, visit this link.
If you believe that your employer is not taking necessary precautions to protect you and other employees at your place of work, you can file a complaint through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or you may contact your county’s health department.

HCW HOSTED started as a Tucson community-based initiative to help assure the well-being of HealthCare Workers (HCWs) throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are a healthcare worker, visit this link to receive support, services, resources, and housing


2. COVID-19 and Kids


People of all ages can develop COVID-19; however, risk increases with age and children over the age of 1 tend to become less sick and are less likely to show symptoms (be asymptomatic) compared to adults.  They are also less likely to have serious illness, demonstrate similar lung lesions as adults or be hospitalized. Approximately 2% of COVID-19 cases reported to the CDC by the end of May were children under age 18 years but they make up 24% of the population. Results from a Swedish study indicate tweens and teens seem more at risk of infection than younger children. They also appear to be less likely to spread the disease. Studies that have traced contacts of children infected with SARS-CoV-2 demonstrate that few contacts became infected. The reason for this is not fully understood by scientists, but it may be that children’s immune systems react differently to the virus. Despite these findings, pediatric COVID-19 cases appear to be at very low but increased risk of developing multisystem inflammatory syndrome as compared to those that are uninfected, which can have serious health complications. Pediatric deaths due to COVID-19 are rare, but do still occur.

Although children overall are less likely to develop severe cases of COVID-19, certain groups of children are still at a heightened risk, including:

  • Children that have underlying health conditions such as genetic, nervous system, or metabolic conditions, congenital heart disease, or if a child is immunocompromised. 
  • Children under the age of 1 (because of their immature immune system and respiratory airways).

Symptoms in children tend to be more mild, or not be present at all. The most common symptoms for children include:

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you believe that your child is experiencing symptoms, contact your pediatrician or health care provider. 

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in Children (MIS-C): MIS-C is rare but has been associated with COVID-19 disease in children. Scientists do not yet know the cause of this syndrome, other than it has been associated with children who have tested positive or who have had contact with positive COVID-19 cases. MIS-C causes inflammation of organs and various parts of the body, such as the heart, eyes, brain, blood vessels, skin, etc. Some studies have found that this syndrome occurs 1-2 weeks after COVID-19 infection.

Symptoms of MIS-C may include:Seek emergency medical care if your child is experiencing the following symptoms:

Fever that lasts 24 hours or longer

Vomiting

Diarrhea

Pain in the stomach / Abdominal pain

Skin rash

Red / bloodshot eyes

Redness or swelling of the lips and tongue

Feeling extremely tired

Redness or swelling of the hands or feet

Neck pain
Inability to wake up or stay awake

Difficulty, or trouble breathing

Constant chest pain or pressure

New confusion

Bluish lips or face

Severe stomach / abdominal  pain

For more information on MIS-C, visit this link

Information from this article was gathered from this source.


3. Mask Up and Make a Difference: To Buy or to Make – What you Need to Know


We’ve noticed lots of people are diligently wearing face masks and cloth face covering around Arizona now and expecting others to wear them, too. You are making a difference! Whether you already have a few trusty face coverings and are making spares for others, or you need some for yourself because your area now requires them, we have information to help you make the best choices while shopping and crafting.

Considerations for all face coverings: 
1. Face coverings should have a minimum of three layers
2. The face coverings should be safe to wash and dry repeatedly at high temperatures
3. They should be comfortable to wear for as long as you need to wear them 
4. They should fit well and not have large gaps around the edges or move too much when you’re speaking
5. They should not require you to touch your face regularly to adjust them
6. You should be able to breathe comfortably through the face covering
7. Check if you are allergic or sensitive to any of the materials
8. You should have several face coverings so that they can be washed and dried each time you wear them
9. For more information and guidance from the WHO, please review their interim guidance and refer to pages 8-11 for information on non-medical masks.
Purchasing a Cloth Face CoveringMaking Your Own Cloth Face Covering
Style & Fit
Check that it has at least 3 layers 

Check if it has adjustable straps/ties or elastic so that it can be fit to your face

Check that it is available in your size

Consider the materials: it should be comfortable, and not made of stretch fabric (except for the ties/ear loops)

Different styles, colors, fabrics and designs are available, so it’s an opportunity to express yourself and find the right one for your needs

Avoid masks with valves, because valves allow your unfiltered breath out, making the mask less effective at protecting others

Purchase & Delivery
Check if it is returnable if it doesn’t fit well  

Consider affordability: paying more doesn’t necessarily make them more effective 

Consider long-term costs: many disposable masks or a couple reusable masks?

Check the delivery timeline to make sure that you won’t be waiting for several weeks to receive it

Care
Consider whether it is machine-washable or will need to be hand-washed and bleached 

Consider whether disposable masks will be more convenient for your lifestyle

Remember: Medical-grade masks should not be purchased, as these should be reserved for healthcare workers, medical first responders, etc.

Sewing and no-sew templates are available from the CDC

Consider the supplies you will need and whether these are available and affordable

Construction tips: 

Shape: Duckbill or pleated shapes tend to fit well 

Material: Minimum 3-layer design: 

Inner layer: absorbent material like tightly-woven 100% cotton (you shouldn’t be able to see through it if you hold it up to light)

Outer later: waterproof material like polyester blend

Middle layer: polypropylene non-woven fabric (such as Oly-Fun or SpunBond), or if that isn’t available use an extra layer of cotton; or leave a pocket for a piece of vacuum bag or even 4 layers of facial tissue

Avoid using stretch fabric for any layers 

Ties: Fabric and elastic both work well
Ties can be made of elastic, any fabric with a slight stretch to it, or even ribbon

Strips of t-shirt, tights, or leggings also work well

Toggle cord locks or sliders can be used on both elastic and fabric for quick and easy adjustment

Other: Pipe cleaners, twist ties, or other flexible metal objects can be added to the nose area of the mask to help with fit
Elastic vs Fabric Ties – Things to Consider!
Elastic bandsFabric ties
Elastic may break down after repeated washing in hot water

You or others may be sensitive to it because latex is a common component in elastic

Easy and quick to put on/take off
Can be used behind the ear or around the head

Elastic may be difficult to find/source currently due to high demand

Can be made of any fabric or material

Durable, even after multiple washings

May be more challenging to put on with tying a knot behind your head

May be more comfortable for over longer periods

Can be made more user-friendly by making them into a drawstring with a toggle cord lock

Easier to adjust fit to different size heads




The next update will cover how to stay safe while heading back to school. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to COVID-19 in Arizona, please complete next week’s AZCOVIDTXT survey that you will receive via text in about a week.

View Updates from Past Weeks:
Update from week of July 6th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of June 29th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of June 22nd (English | Spanish)
Update from week of June 15th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of June 8th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of June 1st (English | Spanish)
Update from week of May 25th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of May 17th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of May 11th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of May 4th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of April 27th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of April 20th (English | Spanish)

 


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