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COVID-19 prevention

What is social distancing and why does it matter for COVID-19?

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Therefore, the purpose of social distancing is to reduce the speed and extent of how the virus spreads in a certain area.

The CDC defines social distancing as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.”

Find more information on COVID-19 and social distancing from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Learn more on how COVID-19 spreads from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Why must I self isolate or self quarantine?

Self-isolation or self-quarantine generally means that people who are believed to have been infected, or exposed to the virus, separate themselves, usually by staying at home and avoiding contact with others.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Therefore, the purpose of self-isolation or self-quarantine is to reduce the speed and extent of how the virus spreads in a certain area.

The CDC defines isolation as “the separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent spread of the communicable disease. Isolation for public health purposes may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state, or local public health order.”

The CDC defines quarantine as “the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic, from others who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease.”

If someone needs medical attention and is infected, they will need to be treated in an isolated setting within a hospital.

Find more information on isolation and quarantine at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Why the recommendation to wash your hands and avoid touching your face?

Washing hands and avoiding touching your face can help prevent the risk of infection from germs such as COVID-19.

These recommendations were made to help people reduce risk of getting a COVID-19 infection and to help reduce transmission between people.

It is believed that the virus is spread from one person to another through close contact with a person who is infected. It is also possible to become infected by touching a surface that has the virus on it and then touching the mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.

You can find more information on how COVID-19 spreads at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.

How can I keep my hands clean?

The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

What else can I do to keep my pets and myself healthy?

It is best to practice healthy habits around your pets to avoid spreading germs of any kind. Wash your hands after all pet related activities. Good pet hygiene is also important. For questions about your pet’s health or if your pet gets sick after contact with a person with COVID-19, call your veterinarian (animal doctor). Do not take your pet to the veterinary clinic yourself. Some veterinarians may offer telemedicine consultations or other plans for seeing and treating sick pets. 

How can we get people to understand the importance of social distancing?

There are reports of younger people celebrating spring break in tightly clustered groups. Some have even made comments about not caring if they catch Covid-19. But some of these same people have taken back what they’ve said when made aware of the gravity of catching the disease and how it can hurt the ones they love, or even themselves. Young people are getting very sick and dying from Covid-19, especially healthcare professionals working on the front lines.

The same attitude of not caring about social distancing has been reported in older people as well.

People of all age groups need to have continued education on what this virus can do to them and the people they love. All age groups should be made aware of the crisis with hard data and first-hand reports of human suffering. They need to not be shielded from reality, and must be told that they can either be part of the solution otherwise they will add to the problem.

COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. Because COVID-19 is different, it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are working to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. The process of research and development can take some time. When a vaccine is developed, it also needs to be tested to make sure it’s safe and effective.

How can I make a mask at home?

What does "shelter in place" mean?

Shelter in place means to stay at home. Exceptions to go out may include tasks that are essential to the health and safety of your family and pets.

If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or other serious health problems such as kidney disease, you should not go out except for essential medical appointments and treatments such as dialysis.

Additionally, non-essential businesses are closed such as dine-in restaurants, bars and nightclubs, entertainment venues, fitness centers, hair salons, public events, and convention centers. The purpose is to avoid large groups of people from gathering to prevent spread of COVID-19.

Businesses that may be open include stores that sell groceries, take-out and delivery restaurants, gas stations, pharmacies, laundromats, banks, and government offices and services. Check on local information for shelter in place rules in your area.

What does "lock-down" mean?

In the context of COVID-19, “lock-down” and “shelter in place” (see above) are being used interchangeably. Check on local information for lock-down rules in your area.

When should I leave my home?

The best practice is to stay at home except for essential medical appointments and treatments, such as dialysis. You may also have to leave your home for other health-related issues. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider immediately. If you have a medical emergency call 911.

In some areas, supermarkets are offering special shopping hours for senior citizens to shop without additional crowds in the store. This may be a good option for older adults if grocery delivery is not available. Check on local information about when to leave your home.

Should I use public transportation?

Public transportation such as buses, subways, and trains will increase your chances of close contact with more people which may increase your exposure to COVID-19. In some areas, public transportation is reserved for essential workers. You may choose to use a taxi or ride share service to limit your exposure to large numbers of people.

How can I protect myself if I have to use a taxi or ride share?

You can protect yourself in a taxi or ride share by wiping down the seat, seat belt and anything else you may touch in the vehicle with a disinfectant wipe. Don’t shake hands with anyone in the vehicle and don’t touch your face. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after paying for the ride.

Learn more about how to protect yourself from COVID-19 on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

How can I help prevent my loved one from getting COVID-19?

Older people and those with underlying medical conditions, such as chronic kidney failure or people have had a kidney transplant and take immunosuppressive drugs, are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing serious complications.

What is a generic drug?

Generic drugs are basically copies of brand-name drugs that have similar active ingredients. The FDA defines a generic drug as “a medication created to be the same as an existing approved brand-name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, and performance characteristics.”

You should contact your healthcare team before switching to generics, or making any other changes to your medications. 

You can visit the FDA’s website on generic drugs for more information: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/questions-answers/generic-drugs-questions-answers

Can people on anti-rejection medicines switch from brand to generic?

You should contact your transplant team first before making any changes to generics.  Switching to generic medicines has been done safely with transplant patients, if the team is aware of the change and the drug levels stay consistent.1 They will probably have you do more frequent blood tests to make sure that your levels of the medicines are stable.

Generally, studies on certain anti-rejection medicines (immunosuppresants), such as tacrolimus, have shown that patients can be converted from brand to generic safely and feasibly. However, in addition to drug concentrations, plasma creatinine levels may also be monitored.2,3

If you have any questions about your anti-rejection medicines, coverage, copays, and brand-vs-generic options, contact your transplant team and work with them to preserve your health and your transplanted organ.1 You should also talk to your pharmacy to make sure that they can consistently give you the same version of the medicine every month.

1. Tushla L, Medication Matters. https://www.kidney.org/transplantation/transaction/TC/summer10/TCsummer1...

2. González F, López R, Arriagada E, Carrasco R, Gallardo N, Lorca E. Switching Stable Kidney Transplant Recipients to a Generic Tacrolimus Is Feasible and Safe, but It Must Be Monitored. J Transplant. 2017;2017:5646858.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5299171/

3. Rosenborg S, Nordström A, Almquist T, Wennberg L, Bárány P. Systematic conversion to generic tacrolimus in stable kidney transplant recipients. Clin Kidney J. 2014;7: 151-

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