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COVID-19 and Infectious Control: About


Wear a mask correctly and consistently for the best protection. Be sure to wash your hands before putting on a mask and do not touch the mask when wearing it. Make sure the mask covers your nose and mouth and fits securely under your chin and against the sides of your face. 

DO choose masks that

  • Have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric

  • Completely cover your nose and mouth

  • Fit snugly against the sides of your face and don't have gaps

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Tips for preventing the spread of COVID-19 through safe cleaning practices

  • Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect.

  • Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use disinfectant.

  • Cleaning with soap and water reduces number of germs, dirt and impurities on the surface. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces.

  • Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.

    • More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be required based on level of use.

    • Surfaces and objects in public places, such as shopping carts and point of sale keypads should be cleaned and disinfected before each use.

  • High touch surfaces include:

    • Tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.

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 If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow the steps below to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community.

For more information visit:

Stay home except to get medical care

  • Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.

  • Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.

  • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.

  • Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

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Help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-29.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • when in public, wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth.

  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

  • Stay home when you are sick except to get medical care.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

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  1. Manage Your Stress

    • Stay informed. Refer to credible sources for updates on the local situation.

    • Stay focused on your personal strengths.

    • Maintain a routine.

    • Make time to relax and rest.

  2. Be Informed and Inform Your Family

    • Become familiar with local medical and mental health resources in your community.

    • Avoid sharing unconfirmed news about the infectious disease to avoid creating unnecessary fear and panic.

    • Give honest age-appropriate information to children and remember to stay calm; children often feel what you feel.

  3. Connect with Your Community online or through the phone

    • Keep contact with family and friends through social messaging or through phone calls

    • Join community and/or faith group online chat groups

    • Accept help from family, friends, co-workers and clergy.

    • Reach out to neighbors and friends with special needs who may need your help.

  4. Reach Out and Help while maintaining necessary social distancing guidelines

    • If you know someone affected by the outbreak, call them to see how they are doing, and remember to keep their confidentiality.

    • Consider an act of kindness for those who have been asked to practice social distancing, such as having a meal delivered

  5. Be Sensitive

    • Avoid blaming anyone or assuming someone has the disease because of the

      way they look or where they or their families come from.

    • An infectious disease is not connected to any racial or ethnic group; speak up

      in kindness when you hear false rumors or negative stereotypes that foster racism and xenophobia.

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Personal protective equipment (PPE) is any type of specialized clothing, barrier product, or breathing device used to protect workers from serious injuries or illnesses while doing their jobs. these include gloves (vinyl, latex or nitrile); gowns; shoe and head covers; masks or respirators (N-95 respirator or higher); and other face and eye protection (goggles or a face shield). As the commonwealth has responded to COVID-19 outbreaks across the state, the volume of PPE requests, the frequency for which those requests have come, and changes in the types of PPE required by different types of individuals has caused the Department of Health (Department) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) to revise the process for PPE requests from medical facilities and first responders. The following is a summary of those revised changes that more accurately reflects our current state in terms of response and PPE.



The following PPE is recommended for healthcare workers and staff in medical facilities:

  • Implement universal masking—everyone who enters the facility, including non-clinical staff members, should

    wear a surgical or isolation mask (not a respirator).
    o Ifpossible,symptomaticpatientsorresidentsshouldbemaskedduringdirectcare.

  • Continue to utilize recommended PPE (N-95 respirator or higher, gown, gloves, and eye protection) for confirmed COVID-19 cases.

  • Implement strategies to optimize the supply of PPE and equipment.
    If a first responder must come in contact with an individual confirmed or suspected of having COVID -19, the minimum PPE recommendations include:

  • A single pair of disposable examination gloves;

  • Disposable isolation gown or single-use/disposable coveralls;

  • Eye protection (e.g., goggles or disposable face shields; and

  • N-95 or higher-level respirator. Facemasks are an acceptable alternative until the supply chain is restored.

    Individuals who do not work in a healthcare setting or are not a first responder should continue to wear homemade masks when they leave the home; however, homemade masks are not considered PPE (e.g. “My mask protects you; your mask protects me.”). It is important that our healthcare professionals and first responders have the necessary equipmenttoremainsafe,soonlyusePPEasrecommended. Moreinformationisavailableonuniversalmaskingonthe Department’s website.


    The Department has determined that hospitals will no longer receive PPE directly from the commonwealth. Hospitals should act upon their established mutual aid agreement. If a hospital is unable to obtain PPE within the voluntary mutual aid agreement, the commonwealth will consider transferring PPE from one facility with excess supplies of PPE to another based on the Governor’s Order.

    At this time, the Department has chosen to prioritize congregate care settings with an identified and investigated need. Facilities that fall into this category include but are not limited to nursing homes, personal care homes, state centers, assisted living residences, residential drug treatment facilities, and group homes that service those with disabilities. Additionally, other state agencies like the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), Department of Corrections (DOC), and Department of Human Services (DHS) for state hospitals are included in prioritization.

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What Are the Symptoms?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.
These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Diarrhea

  • Chills

  • Repeated shaking with chills

  • Muscle pain

  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • New loss of taste or smell

Symptom Checker

Use the CDC online toolOpens In A New Window to help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care.

I Have Symptoms. Now What?

    • If they're mild: Stay home, rest, and drink fluids. Take acetaminophen to bring down your fever. If you feel worse, call your health care provider. 

    • If they're severe: For severe symptoms (including a fever above 100°), call your health care provider. If you don't have a health care provider, call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.

    • If it's an emergency: Call 911. 


For patients: Your health care provider will determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. Stay home and call your health care provider for advice if you are feeling sick.

For providers: For testing through the Department of Heath, consultation is required. Call us at 1-877-PA-HEALTH and advise the patient to stay home. 

Testing through a commercial laboratory does not require consultation. 

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  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. 

  • Proper hand hygiene is an important infection control measure. keep in mind where you can access and use facilities with soap and water during your shift. wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. 

  • Key times to clean hands include:

    • Before, during and after preparing food​

    • Before eating food

    • After using the toilet 

    • After blowing your nose, couching, or sneezing​​

  • Additional times to clean hands on the job include:

    • Before and after works shifts ​

    • Before and after work breaks 

    • Before and after making a delivery 

    • After putting on, touching, or removing cloth face coverings

    • After touching frequently touched surfaces such as doorbells or door handles 

    • Before wearing and after removing cold-weather gloves

    • Before and after pumping gas 

  • Carry tissues in your vehicle and use them when you cough, sneeze or touch your face. Throw used tissues in the trash.

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COVID-19: Respirator Use

OSHA released a new video and poster (available in Englishand Spanish) with step-by-step instructions on how to properly wear and remove a respirator.

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Staying Committed to containing COVID-19

We are one of the only three states in the country that has flattened our curve while reopening our economy.

We have a lot to celebrate as our counties continue to move from the Yellow Phase to the Green Phase in our reopening plan, our collective efforts to contain COVID-19 is paying off, but our work is far from over.

When we move to the green phase, remember that it isn't a return to how things were before. we must stay alert to keep the virus from re surging.

Under every phase, we must:

  • Wear masks in public

  • Keep our physical distance of six feet or more

  • Wash our hands frequently for at least 20 seconds

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces often

Masks Are Mandatory​

 ​Wearing a mask is an important part of keeping COVID-19 from spreading.

Everyone must wear a mask. That  includes workers and customers. Remember, my mask protects you and your mask protects me.

No mask, no shirt, no shoes, no service. 

Have good mask hygiene. Don't touch the front of your mask. Make sure it covers both your nose and mouth. Don't lift it up when talking to someone. Remember, the virus travels in the droplets we breath out when talking or laughing, not just when we cough or sneeze. If wearing a fabric mask, make sure you wash it and let it fully dry between uses.

Together, we are tougher than COVID-19 

These measures are in place to keep us on the right track. When so many other states are seeing the virus regain a foothold in their communities, we all need to do our part to make sure we don't experience the same here.

Thank you for your continued efforts to keep our families, communities, and each other safe.

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