As the COVID pandemic progresses worldwide, with many countries seeing an exponential resurgence, governments around the world are changing their public health strategies. Prevention, testing, and treatment guidelines are in constant flux, with agencies struggling to adapt to the peaks and dips in the spread of the virus. New data from studies, better understanding of preventive measures that work, and clinical practices are shaping the guidance being provided.
The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is no different. It has been laying down several testing and monitoring guidelines, to ensure that citizens take all the necessary precautions in order not to get infected by the coronavirus.
WHY THE FREQUENT CHANGE IN RECOMMENDATIONS?
With the first wave of COVID, experts had begun debating the ways in which the virus spreads and what are some of the methods to best halt or limit progression. In some places, widespread fear of contaminated surfaces led to most businesses such as grocery stores to bleach and disinfect their service areas and groceries. The CDC soon concluded that person-to-person transmission was a much more pressing threat for community spread compared to infection via surface contamination, though it cannot be dismissed completely. The agency now has focused its guidance on avoiding the larger droplets expelled by sneezes and coughs, which are thought to be mostly limited to a six-foot radius. Wearing of masks is quickly becoming a norm and in many places, a mandate, including business establishments.
Along with new recommendations, the CDC has also recently reversed its prior testing guidelines made in August to now recommend that anyone, regardless of symptoms, who has been in close contact with an infected person be tested for COVID. The coronavirus task force, with instructions from The White House had directed the CDC to change those guidelines in August, stating that asymptomatic people did not need to be tested.
With new COVID information and clinical data becoming available, the CDC has had to keep revising the previously stated recommendations, keeping in mind the safety of citizens. Prioritizing citizens’ health and wellbeing is one of the main concerns of the CDC. Since the pandemic began, with ongoing research a lot of new information has brought about numerous new findings, which is why CDC too has had to adapt and revise guidelines multiple times. With a novel virus that adapts to its environments, thus keeping scientists on their toes, standard operating procedures and guidelines will no doubt change regularly to reflect new findings.
Despite all the changing recommendations and numerous revised guidelines, CDC continues to recommend that all people, whether they have been infected by the COVID virus or not, should take steps to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19. And so in view of containing the spread of the virus, CDC has laid down several guidelines as well as preventive measures which citizens are required to follow strictly.
PREVENTIVE MEASURES LAID DOWN BY THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION INCLUDE:
- Washing of hands regularly with soap and water, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or cooking food. NOTE:If soap and water are not readily available, use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is necessary.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
- In the presence of a crowd or at the office, practice social distancing by putting 6 feet between yourself and others.
- Above all, wear masks at all times.
Especially at a time like this, it is imperative that as concerned citizens, we should be highly cautious of our surroundings and people we come in contact with. Buckhead Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, wants you to be informed and to stay safe. In the event that you feel you may have contracted COVID-19, or are feeling unwell give us a call to set up an appointment to get tested.
Having limited information about the virus as well as reinfections that can be caused by the COVID virus, it is highly recommended to follow the safety measures laid down by the CDC and to work along with the agency, as they actively learn and provide us with all the necessary information to stay safe.