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Department of Health’s guidelines on Covid-19 safety

The West Coast District has over the past few weeks seen an increase in Covid-19 cases, even though there are early signs that the province has entered the second wave’s peak.

A Western Cape Department of Health statement says the West Coast is one of the rural areas where the surge in cases started at a later stage than many other parts of the province.

The department’s monitoring team reports that despite clear guidance from health-care workers some people who should be in isolation have been seen shopping and moving around in the community. Being in isolation is an important barrier in protecting others from Covid-19. It also gives one the chance to rest and recover.

The department therefore wishes to share the following information with the public on the correct manner in which to quarantine/isolate:. If you have Covid-19 symptoms, tested positive for Covid-19 or are awaiting your test results, you should separate yourself from others for 10 days. You can end your time of separation sooner if you receive negative test results. If you were close to someone who had Covid-19 without wearing a mask and for more than 15 minutes you must also separate yourself from others for 10 days.

During your time of quarantine/isolation, you should:. Stay in a room on your own. If this is not possible, do not share a bed with someone. . Use your own towel and make sure others don’t use it. Disinfect the surfaces/objects you touched after using the bathroom. Make a mixture of water and bleach (JIK) to use for disinfection.. Only you should use the plate, fork, knife, cup, and so on that you are using. . Ask the person who is caring for you to wash your clothes in warm water to disinfect them. The person caring for you should always wear a mask.. Stay in your room as far as possible and avoid others in your home who are more vulnerable to get very sick if they get Covid-19 (older people and people with chronic conditions). . Neither you nor others in your home should receive visitors. Everyone in your household must remain home. Ask friends and family to run errands like buying food and medicine. . Get as much rest as possible. Keep taking your chronic medication and drink lots of water so that you stay hydrated. If you have a fever, cool yourself by using a damp cloth. You can also use paracetamol such as Panado as prescribed.. If concerned that you cannot safely separate yourself from others ask your health-care worker about the quarantine/isolation facilities in your area. There is no charge for staying at the facilities offered by Western Cape Government Health for quarantine/isolation.. If you have trouble breathing, have chest pain or if you feel confused or struggle to wake up, you must get help urgently. Call the ambulance (10177) or call the Covid-19 hotline at 080 928 4102.

Staying safe

The Western Cape Department of Health calls on members of the community to renew their commitment to their own health and the safety of others:. Limit your exposure to other people. Avoid crowds, crowded indoor spaces and close contact settings.. Keep your air space safe by always remaining 1,5 m from other people.. If you attend a funeral or memorial service avoid hugging and kissing. Although we want to comfort one another the risk for getting Covid-19 remains. . Think of your community and your colleagues. If you have a fever, cough, cannot smell or taste as usual or you experience diarrhoea, you could have Covid-19 and should stay home. Call your health-care worker or the toll free hotline (080 928 4102) for advice.

The department plans to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine in a phased approach:

1. To health-care workers in the public and private sector.

2. Essential workers, those in communal settings such as old age homes, those over 60 years old, and those over 18 who has comorbidities.

3. The general population, which includes everyone older than 18 years. As the vaccine has not been tested for safety in pregnant women and children it will not be administered to these groups.

To manage the process a vaccination register (similar to a voters’ role during elections) is being created. If you give consent to receive the vaccine you a specific date and time will be indicated. An appointment for the second dose of the vaccine will also be made.

Vaccines are a powerful weapon against Covid-19, but there are more tools available to us. We must continue to wear masks, keep a safe distance from others and wash hands regularly.

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