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Tips To Safely Navigate The New Normal

Protect Yourself From COVID-19

Mercer County’s 22nd positive case, a male age 30-39, is a close contact of case 21. According to the Mercer County Health Department, he is recovering at home. Image: Mercer County Health Department.

Robert Moore

Herald Staff

So far, 21 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the Mercer County Health Department. The latest patient is a female aged 30-39 with symptoms who is recovering at home.

On Tuesday, June 16, Gov. Andy Beshear announced 203 new COVID-19 cases, raising the state’s total to 12,829. In addition, seven people have died, raising the state’s total to 512. At least3,431 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

Globally, over 8.2 million people have been infected, resulting in 443,548 deaths. According to, 4.2 million people have recovered.

Across the nation, there are currently over 2.1 million cases—14,141 new cases on Tuesday at press time—resulting in 118.789 deaths, with 506 new deaths. So far, 892,093 Americans have recovered.

While much of the nation continues to reopen, 20 states are experiencing spikes in the number of infections and hospitalizations, with hospitals in Texas and Arizona warning about shortages in the number of ICU beds for COVID-19 patients.

Kentucky is one of the few states that met federal requirements for reopening. While state officials insist the disease has plateaued in Kentucky, they are warning the public to treat COVID-19 seriously.

“There is no vaccine, there is no cure, there is no specific treatment for the coronavirus,” said Dr. Steven Stack, the public health commissioner, at Monday’s briefing.

Stack and other state officials ask the public to wear masks and follow social distancing protocols.

“It takes a lot of discipline,” Stack said.

Here is a guide to protecting yourself from the pandemic, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Know how it spreads

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to it. The coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks or sings. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Wash Your Hands

Image: Voice Of America, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Wash your hand like a Texan votes: early and often. The CDC recommends everyone wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, especially being in public, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-percent alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

To stay safe, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid Close Contact

There has never been a better time to be stand-offish. Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain six feet between the person who is sick and other household members.

  • Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.
  • Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
  • Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Wear A Mask

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. If you’re infected, you could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.

Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.

The CDC asks members of the general public to not wear facemasks meant for healthcare workers, such as N95 respirators.

Even when you’re masked up, continue to keep about six feet between yourself and others.

And remember: a cloth face cover is no substitute for social distancing.

Cover Up

If you are around others and do not have mask handy, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.

Throw used tissues in the trash.

Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds o hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-percent alcohol.

Clean And Disinfect

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.

Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.

Monitor Your Health

Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.

This is especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of six feet.

Take your temperature if symptoms develop.

Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.

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