I am returning to work, how do I protect myself?
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
How do I protect myself while taking public transportation?

According to the CDC, check with local transit authorities for the latest information on changes to services and procedures, especially if you might need additional assistance.

  • Before traveling, pack sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (in case you are unable to wash your hands at your destination).
  • Wear cloth face coverings. Bring your cloth face covering to wear at times when physical distancing is difficult—for example, while riding on a train or bus, waiting at a rest stop, or riding in a car with people outside your household.
  • Avoid touching surfaces & practice hand hygiene.
  • Practice social distancing.
    • Consider skipping a row of seats between yourself and other riders if possible.
    • Enter and exit buses through rear entry doors if possible.
    • Look for social distancing instructions or physical guides offered by transit authorities (for example, floor decals or signs indicating where to stand or sit to remain at least 6 feet apart from others).
What are the symptoms of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19?

Symptoms appear 2-14 days after exposure, and include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.

If you’re showing any of these symptoms, Highmark’s COVID-19 Symptom Checker can help you decide if it’s time to seek medical care and advise you on what your next steps should be.

Listen to Signs & Symptoms, What to Look for, Where to Go on Confronting COVID-19 podcast.

Is COVID-19 a pandemic?

On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) publicly characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic.

Is testing available everywhere? How do I get it?

Contact your doctor, health care provider, or local county health department. They will use CDC guidelines to determine if testing is warranted.

I have small children. Are they more susceptible to contracting?

There is no evidence showing children are more susceptible to contracting COVID-19. The majority of known cases have been in adults.

Do children need to wear face masks?

The CDC recommends that any child over 2 years old should wear a mask in public or within 6 feet of others. Child face mask tips and tricks.

I have children, how do I talk to my child about the coronavirus?

Behavioral health experts share tips on how to talk with your children about Coronavirus, coping strategies and how to ease household anxiety. For additional resources, visit NCTSN.org.

Listen to Communicating with your children on Confronting COVID-19 podcast.

How to protect yourself

Should I wear a mask?

Yes, the CDC recommends wearing a cloth face mask in public settings where other social distancing measures are hard to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and other public areas. We now know from recent studies that many people with Coronavirus can transmit the virus to others even if they don’t have symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting closely —for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not showing symptoms.  In light of this new evidence, CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings.

Do I need to purchase face masks?

No, the CDC’s recommends making face masks from household items. Simple cloth face coverings help slow the spread of the virus, especially in community settings. Surgical masks and N95 respirators are in short supply and should be saved for health care workers or first responders.

How do I make a mask at home?

To learn how to make a mask with household items, visit the CDC guide.

Do I still need to stay 6 feet away when wearing a mask?

Yes, you should still practice social distancing and wash your hands when wearing a face mask. A cloth face mask helps prevent you from spreading the virus, but isn’t designed to protect you from others.

When will a vaccine be available?

Estimates range between 6-18 months. No vaccine is currently available.

What about travel?

I travel frequently for work or personal reasons. How can I protect myself?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Do I need to let my PCP know I’m infected when I am traveling?

The CDC recommends avoiding all non-essential travel. If you have symptoms or think you may have been exposed to someone infected with COVID-19, contact your primary care doctor immediately.

Fraud Alert–criminal scams taking advantage of the Coronavirus pandemic.

It’s disheartening to report that in this crisis criminals have developed scams for fictitious treatments, fake supplies, non-existent charities, invasive apps, and many others. To be safe, be skeptical and be informed. Please read our press release on this dangerous topic at: Coronavirus Fraud.

How we protect our employees

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