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Staying vigilant against COVID-19

  • Category: COVID-19
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Staying vigilant against COVID-19

Since the beginning of our response to COVID-19, our motto at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System has been “prepare, don’t panic.” That guidance has served us well and we will continue to rely upon that approach now and into the future. However, it has become clear that the entire community also must stay vigilant with basic safety measures to prevent the additional spread of COVID-19.

Back in April when we were still just beginning to understand the basics of COVID-19, I called it a mean, sneaky and nasty virus. All of those terms have proven to be accurate. As you’ve seen in the news for the past few weeks, we should probably now add “persistent” to that description. COVID-19 is spreading and the numbers we’ve seen are concerning.

As California and other states throughout the country have re-opened more sectors of their economies, cases of COVID-19 have been on a concerning upward trajectory. In all, 26 states can now be classified as “hotspots” for the virus. A report released yesterday from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides some useful information on the trends we’ve been seeing. As the article points out, it’s very serious:

“Looking at the period from June 10 to June 24, 26 states can be classified as coronavirus hotspots based on their increased cases and test positivity rates from 6/10 to 6/24. These hotspot states are primarily in the South and West, and most were not hit hard in the earliest days of the U.S. outbreak. These 26 states account for 62.9% of the U.S. population.”

As you can see in that graphic above, this now affects more than half the country. Although some of the increase in overall positive cases is due to the expansion of testing availability, positivity rates and hospitalizations have also increased. Those are more worrying indicators and must be taken seriously.

So what can we do about it? For the most part, it comes down to following three simple steps:

  1. Wear your mask when in public or around people outside of your household.
  2. Wash your hands.
  3. Maintain social distancing from others – even when outside.

Here is a video from the CDC on how to properly wash your hands.

Please make sure you help share this message with your friends and family members. One reason we believe that COVID-19 is proving to be so persistent is that people are not taking those three basic steps seriously enough. We can’t afford to do that. Nobody wants to see another lockdown, let alone an increase in serious cases or deaths.

Be vigilant. Be smart. Be safe. And be well.

Pete