Not Done Yet: How to Stay Safe While COVID-19 Peaks


We’re reaching the peak of COVID-19 cases in Arizona, and it’s more important than ever to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

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We may be reaching the projected peak of this current COVID-19 pandemic, but there’s still work to be done – and it’s not time to return back to normal yet.

In fact, it’s more important than ever to continue practicing social distancing and staying home as much as possible. Even when officials announce re-opening businesses and people begin returning back to work, it will hopefully be a slow and controlled process – and it can only happen successfully if we continue to social distance as long as possible.

What is a “peak”?

For several weeks, researchers have been projecting Arizona’s peak to occur sometime within the fourth or fifth week of April.

When we hit our peak, we will see the highest numbers of COVID-19 patients in our hospitals, and expect to have a limited number of open beds to accommodate patients. After that, we expect the number of new and active cases to begin slowly declining – but it won’t happen overnight.

At this time, the biggest way Arizona residents can support health care workers across the Valley is by staying inside, staying safe and continuing to practice social distancing. Additionally, with the new recommendations set forth by the CDC, you should consider wearing a mask when out in public.

Keep up the good work

When the stay at home order and social distancing began a few weeks ago, we were all forced to get used to a “new normal” together. It has been a very difficult adjustment, but many of us are getting used to this routine – like it or not.

Now more than ever, it’s time for all of us to commit to fully social distancing as much as we possibly can. As a reminder, here are the top social distancing do’s and don’ts:

Do:

  • Stay home as much as possible, unless you are required to go into work or are an essential employee
  • Keep at least 6 feet away from people who aren’t in your immediate household
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently for at least 20 seconds – especially after coughing or touching frequently-touched surfaces
  • Wear a face mask any time you leave the house – if you don’t have a mask, you can use any kind of cloth covering, such as a scarf or bandana, instead. Make sure you’re covering your mouth and nose.
  • Try to limit contact with people outside of your immediate family/household members/roommates
  • Try to limit the amount of trips you to take to stores throughout the week – if possible, see if your local grocery stores or retail stores offer delivery services in your area
  • Clean/sanitize your room, kitchen and car more frequently than usual
  • Stay physically active, drink plenty of water, take vitamins and eat nutritious meals, and step outside as much as possible

Don’t:

  • Gather in groups of more than 10 people (this includes close friends and family members)
  • Host parties or small gatherings – even if it’s less than 10 people, and you know them very well, you should be limiting your exposure to people who aren’t in your household
  • Forget to wash your hands anytime you come back inside the house
  • Cough or sneeze without covering your mouth with your elbow and washing your hands immediately afterwards
  • Believe everything you see on social media! People on the internet are spreading a lot of rumors and scary stories that aren’t all true – make sure you’re getting your facts from reliable sources like the CDC
  • Spend too much time reading the news every day – it’s good to stay informed, but too much news can create fear, anxiety and sadness

What is the “new normal”?

As we’ve adjusted to this new lifestyle, more opportunities have arisen to develop community coping mechanisms, support structures and helpful programs that will help all our communities stay healthier and stronger in the long-term. Health care offices across the state, including our team at Valleywise Health, have begun offering new telehealth options for patients to get the care and advice they need from the safety of their own home.

As more and more people continue working from home and figuring out ways to care for themselves and their families while we overcome this pandemic, we can all rest assured that there is hope, and that effective social distancing will only help us fight this more quickly.

You can schedule a virtual appointment with any of our Valleywise Health doctors across the Valley. Call 1-888-VLLYWSE or visit ValleywiseHealth.org to learn more.

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
  3. https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-health/2020/04/14/coronavirus-arizona-update-april-14-cases-exceed-3-800-131-known-deaths/2986504001/
  4. https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/08/health/us-coronavirus-wednesday/index.html

About the Author

Dr. Michael White, MD - Chief Medical Officer

Michael White, MD, joined Valleywise Health as Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer (EVP, CMO) in August 2019. In his role, Dr. White works to advance the Mission, Vision and Values of Valleywise Health to improve clinical outcomes, enhance patient experience, and grow key programs. He also serves as a liaison with our partners at District Medical Group and the Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance.

Read more posts by Dr. Michael White, MD  Browse all topics

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