We all have the responsibility to protect ourselves, our families, friends, and community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided tips on how to protect yourself and your family. You can also:
- Practice physical distancing (for example, avoiding crowded gatherings and staying at least six feet from others).
- Wear a snugly-fitting cloth mask in public. Consider wearing a disposable surgical style mask under cloth masks for extra protection.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow.
- Stay home if you’re sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
For a complete listing of symptoms, click here.
What is physical distancing?
Physical distancing means staying home as much as possible, staying at least 6 feet away from other people while in public, and avoiding gatherings with many people present. Everyone should wash their hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. These are the best ways to protect yourself and our communities from the spread of COVID-19. Brief close contact (being within 6 feet for a short time) is less likely to spread the virus.
Additionally, residents can prepare for a possible illness or quarantine by:
- Periodically checking regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply at home.
- Having nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
- Getting copies and maintaining electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference.
- Talking with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.
- Individuals with signs of illness are asked to stay at home and not attend public gatherings. South Carolinians are encouraged to monitor for symptoms, practice physical distancing, avoid touching frequently touched items (such as doorknobs and handrails), and regularly wash their hands, especially after being in a public place.
- Individuals looking for COVID-19 test results should call the health care provider or facility that collected their test sample.
- Anyone with concerns about their health should reach out to their healthcare provider. For information about the nationwide response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.gov.
- Watch for symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell. If you have any symptoms, contact your health care provider or use one of the telehealth resources in SC. People with signs of illness must stay at home and avoid public gatherings.
- Those who are charged with caring for a family member, friend, or neighbor who is at greater risk for becoming ill are asked to follow information provided by CDC and DHEC to safely provide this care at home.
- There is widespread, ongoing transmission of novel coronavirus worldwide. Staying home is the best way to keep yourself and others safe. If you do choose to travel, consider CDC’s recommendations to reduce risk
- If you have traveled internationally or domestically in the past 14 days, you may have been exposed to the virus without knowing it and be contagious, even if you have no symptoms.
- If you are traveling, consider getting tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip. Also consider getting tested with a viral test 3-5 days after your trip and reduce non-essential activities for full 7 days after travel and avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not. If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 10 days after travel.
- Continue to wear a face mask, stay physically distant from others not part of your household, avoid crowds, and wash your hands frequently
- Self-monitor and get tested if you have symptoms. Isolate until you have test results. If negative and symptoms persist, consider getting a repeat test
Please refer to CDC’s COVID-19 Travel page for a list of countries and additional travel-related information.