Here at Everest, it is imperative to be up to date on what is happening in the world regarding healthcare. Like many other companies, we have been closely watching the spread of COVID-19 or more commonly known as, coronavirus. Thus far we have nearly 800 confirmed cases in all of Canada which is approximately 0.00213% of our total population. While this is a small percentage, it is important that we follow the correct health procedures in order to stay safe and prevent the spread of infection.

Why the elderly need to take extra precautions?

So far, those who are 65 and over, have compromised immune systems and have underlying medical conditions are the main groups at risk of having severe outcomes from COVID-19. This can be anything from diabetes and high blood pressure to heart disease or cancer. The elderly with underlying health conditions have the greatest risk. The weaker your immune system is the more susceptible you are to this virus. As you age your immune system tends to weaken, which explains why experts have considered the elderly to be at high risk. Although there are many people who have their conditions under control with the help of home health care, we should all keep informed and take extreme precaution.

What Everest Employees, clients and their families can do to help prevent the contraction and spread of COVID-19?

Everest employees provide their services within the home and we ensure that our staff is following all health and safety precautions, especially during a time like this. It is vital that we put the health of our staff and clients above all. As of today, there are no treatments for COVID-19, but there are actions we can all take to prevent the spread of the virus.

  1. washing your hands thoroughly: Washing your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. Try singing happy birthday twice and that will ensure you have washed them properly. If you are unable to wash your hands use an alcohol-based sanitizer. Read more on how to wash your hands properly to prevent infection.

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  2. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing: When coughing and sneezing, ensure to cover your mouth and or nose with your arm and not the palm of your hand. If you have used a tissue throw it away and try to wash your hands as soon as possible.

  3. Do not touch your face with unclean hands: The virus is able to survive on surfaces for more than 48 hours. We come in contact with many high touch surfaces like electronics, door handles, television remotes, and toilets. The opportunity to wash your hands right away is not always available, so keeping your hands away from your face prevents the spread of any infection.
  4. Maintain Social Distancing: Social distancing is the best practice to slow the spread of the virus. Keep a distance of at least 3 feet between you and someone who is coughing and or sneezing. COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that is airborne. This means that when others cough or sneeze they can release liquid droplets from their mouth or nose that others can inhale.It is necessary to also avoid large group gatherings, and crowded places like restaurants, shopping malls, concerts, festivals, etc. Also avoiding common greetings (handshakes and hugs) and coming in contact with those in poor health or experiencing flu-like symptoms.Keep in mind there is a difference between social distancing, self-isolation, and self-monitoring. Read more on these three preventative actions.
  5. Wearing masks and other protective equipment: Wearing masks is only necessary if you have been infected with COVID-19 or are experiencing flu-like symptoms. However, when working as a health care professional wearing a mask or even gloves can be helpful when dealing with patients and or clients. This keeps our staff safe and the clients safe. Masks are only effective when used in combination with thorough hand cleaning. Avoid touching the front of the mask and remove it from behind. As soon as your mask gets damp remove it. Watch for more on the correct way to wear and dispose of masks.
  6. Keep informed about the virus: Know the facts from the myths. Being informed on the status of the virus from trusted and reputable sources helps one’s well-being and personal assurance of safety measures they must take. It is easy to get caught up in fake news being spread online. This can lead to worrying, and take a toll on our mental health. So, try taking a look at the positive stats, like from those who have recovered from the virus, and steps the government and health professionals are taking to combat this outbreak.

    While the percentage of confirmed cases is low in Canada this will change. It is crucial to maintain actions of prevention and stay informed on the facts about COVID-19. Read more on this at the Government of Canada website and World Health Organization.