Tips for protecting Arizona families from coronavirus

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Right now, all families need to be diligent about washing hands, disinfecting surfaces and practicing social distancing to help combat coronavirus. iStock photo.

With the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Arizona growing, Gov. Doug Ducey signed an emergency health declaration, Arizona schools are closed through March 27, and concerns worldwide continue.

Considered a pandemic by the World Health Organization, coronavirus has halted all major sporting events and canceled nearly every large gathering/performance through the end of the month. Several local companies are letting employees to work from home, and many retail businesses have temporarily shut down to encourage social distancing that can slow the spread.

All families must be diligent about washing hands and disinfecting surfaces, staying away from work and school when sick and practicing social distancing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending these guidelines for preventing the spread of coronavirus — symptoms for which are a fever, cough and shortness of breath:

  • 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 percent 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.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Do not cough or sneeze into your hands. 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 and wash hands thoroughly or use hand sanitizer immediately afterward
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If you are sick, wear a face mask when you are around other people (for example, sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a face mask, do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes. People who are caring for you should wear face masks.

RELATED: Links to local resources and breaking news about the coronavirus in Arizona.