What should I do to stay safe from COVID-19?

Want to minimise the risk of contracting Coronavirus (COVID-19)? We've got the tips to help you on your health journey.

Wash your hands frequently

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Why do we do this? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub removes viruses that may be on your hands.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and make you sick.

Cover your mouth when you cough
Make sure you and those around you follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. Why do we do this? Because droplets can spread a virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least one metre distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Should I wear a mask?
Only wear a mask if you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms or are looking after someone who has the virus. Disposable face masks can only be used once. For more information on using a mask correctly, click here.

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as a headache or slightly runny nose, until you recover. Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow medical clinics to operate more efficiently and help protect you and others from the virus.

If you are anxious, take time to be mindful … or exercise!
If what you are hearing on the radio, watching on TV or reading online about Coronavirus is becoming overwhelming, it is important to switch off and take time to regroup. You can do this sitting on your back porch and taking the time to watch the sunset or alternatively you can download a range of mindfulness apps or podcasts on your smartphone. Give yourself the time to unwind and breathe.
If sitting still in the moment is not your thing, exercise is a great way to clear the mind. Go for a walk, bike ride or run and enjoy some fresh air. Research shows that exercise can make you feel happier, more relaxed and help with sleep.

Be aware of what you are putting in your mouth
In times of worry, it can be easy to make unhealthy choices when it comes to meals and drinks, which in some instances can only add to your stress. Ditch the takeaway and alcohol for something your body will thank you for – water, fresh fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and protein. These things increase the immune system and allows your body to flush out any toxins.

Enjoy a good night’s sleep
Did you know there are functions the brain and body need to complete each day that can only be accomplished when we sleep? If we deprive our bodies of between seven to nine hours of continuous sleep a day, we are in danger of sleep deprivation and the ill health that can follow. Those who are well rested are more likely to have stronger immune systems to fight off bacteria and viruses.

Remember, while Coronavirus is serious, it is important to remain calm and take hygienic precautions. Should you require further information about the virus, visit the Department of Health and World Health Organization
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