COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. And some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of the illness it causes. For now, we know that the virus can spread:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious, like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, which means it goes from person-to-person without stopping. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. Information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic suggests that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious.
It may also be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about how this virus spreads.
Outbreaks of the coronavirus at American businesses and nursing homes across the nation have spurred urgent cries for precautionary measures. The CDC recommends that visitors and employees who have symptoms such as cough, fever, or shortness of breath should be separated from other employees or not be allowed to enter. To find out if their employees and visitors have these symptoms, many organizations currently screen people coming into their business through paper tracking. This paper tracking system is inefficient and may not help prevent further infections.
DrOwl will now be providing a groundbreaking solution to this problem, with a platform that electronically screens and tracks everyone who enters businesses, facilities, and nursing homes, creating an electronic tracking of all employees and visitor activity in real-time. This free screening and monitoring tool allow businesses to screen their employees, vendors, and (if they so choose) their customers, in order to keep their workforces and facilities as safe as possible during this difficult period. Although nothing is foolproof, good methods of screening can help keep everyone stay safe and may reduce a business’s potential liability from any exposure or outbreak at their facility.
“DrOwl created this screening tool with the intent of helping organizations screen people coming into their facilities to potentially save lives”, said Arvind Raichur, CEO, and Co-Founder of DrOwl. “We understand the severity of COVID-19 and wanted to do our part in helping provide resources to help our community and those around the nation during this trying time. The electronic screening tool in DrOwl can play a critical role in helping give businesses the ability to screen people who may have COVID-19 so that they will not infect more people.”
To help keep from catching COVID-19 everyone should 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. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 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 the virus. Do not gather in groups. Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to 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. Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.
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 6 feet. Take your temperature if symptoms develop but don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen. Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.