Why is it my responsibility to follow these protective measures?
By taking protective measures, you’re doing your part to confront this pandemic and minimize community spread of COVID-19.
Some individuals in our community are more vulnerable to COVID-19, and we need to do our part to keep them safe and stop the spread.
Can I go out to reopened businesses?
As some Wisconsin and Milwaukee County businesses like restaurants and hair salons start to reopen, it is still our shared responsibility to act safely. When you go out to businesses, make sure to continue following public health guidelines like maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet between you and others and wearing a mask. Businesses should also follow safe business practices and sanitary measures to keep our community safe during this time.
Many businesses and restaurants still offer curbside pickup, carryout and delivery.
What is physical distancing?
Physical distancing means you should maintain 6 feet between yourself and other people when not within your immediate household. Other tips to stay safe include washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer when necessary; covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands); regularly clean high-touch surfaces; not shake hands; and following all other public health recommendations issued by DHS and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Is physical distancing the same as social distancing?
Almost. While it is critical to keep a safe physical distance (6 feet) from others who are not within your immediate household, it is important that our community remains socially connected to one another. Social connection is critical to maintain cultural norms and mental health. Find creative ways to connect—pick up the phone, write a letter, or stay in touch with friends and family virtually.
Why should I wear a mask in public?
The CDC recommends people wear a cloth face covering or mask that covers their nose and mouth in a public or community setting. Wearing a mask, combined with other protective measures, may help reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 from the wearer to others.
Should my child wear a mask in public?
The CDC recommends everyone 2 years and older wear a mask or cloth face covering that covers their nose and mouth when they are out in the community. Cloth face coverings should NOT be put on babies or children younger than 2 because of the danger of suffocation.
What is a high-touch surface?
High-touch surfaces are objects frequently touched by multiple people such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. As a protective measure, you can practice routine cleaning to maintain a healthy environment. The CDC notes that high-touch surfaces should be cleaned with soap and water or another detergent daily.
What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?
Cleaning removes dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces. Cleaning alone does not kill germs, but it reduces the number of germs on a surface. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces. You can practice routine cleaning using soap and water in your home to maintain a healthy environment.
I want to go out and be safe. What can I do?
Engage in outdoor activities (walk, run, bike, hike, etc.) as long as you comply with the social distancing requirements.
Support local restaurants and order carryout or delivery.
Explore new podcasts, follow your favorite writers and musicians on social media, or take virtual tours of museums and other landmarks.
Make time to connect with friends and family. A quick call to a loved one provides a welcome connection. Take advantage of free technology resources like Zoom or Skype to set up a webchat or conference call.
Workout virtually with friends via a video conference or practice meditation, yoga or tai chi.
What does self-quarantine mean?
The CDC is asking individuals who were potentially exposed to COVID-19 to self-quarantine or isolate themselves for 14 days minimize exposure to others and reduce the virus from spreading. This means:
- Stay away from other people in your home as much as possible, staying in a separate room and using a separate bathroom if available.
- Limit contact with your pets, as there is a small chance humans can pass the disease to dogs or other pets.
- Avoid having visitors unless the person needs to be in your place of residence.
- Wear a mask if you must be around other people.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough/sneeze; immediately throw tissues in garbage; wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if that's not available, clean with hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol (here's how to make your own hand sanitizer).
- Avoid sharing household items, including drinking cups, eating utensils, towels or even bedding. Wash these items thoroughly after using.
- Clean high-touch surfaces daily using a household cleaner or wipe. These include: "counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables.
- Clean any surfaces that may be contaminated with blood, stool or any bodily fluids.
- Monitoring your symptoms. If they worsen, call your health care provider.
What is Coronavirus or COVID-19?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
When should I get tested?
If you develop symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell, or if you have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider. If you do not have a healthcare provider, call 2-1-1 for information on the closest testing site.
Older patients and individuals who have severe underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their symptoms are mild.
If you have severe symptoms, such as persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face, contact your healthcare provider or emergency room and seek care immediately.
Where can I get tested?
Milwaukee’s Community Health Centers have increased testing capacity and now offer COVID-19 diagnostic testing and care for their patients as well as community members who have symptoms. Individuals enrolled at a health center as well as people without a regular doctor who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should call their nearest Community Health Center or 2-1-1 to determine if there is a need for a diagnostic testing appointment.
Health Center Contact Information