While the coronavirus continues to spread, there has been evidence to suggest that it is doing so at a decreasing rate, thanks to social distancing. But what more can we do? What are some additional ways to keep this rate moving down? What are some additional safety measures we can take at home to keep our loved ones protected?
Check out our coronavirus FAQ as it specifically relates to those living in the Palm Beach County, FL area.
1. What are the COVID-19 measures announced by Florida’s governor?
According to WCTV.TV, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis announced that people traveling to Florida from the New York Tri-State area must self-isolate for a period of three weeks. He has also ordered that Florida residents who have also been to New York within the last three weeks must also isolate for three weeks, in addition to reporting any contacts and anyone with whom they have had contact.
He has also heeded the advice from the Surgeon General that all individuals over the age of 65 are encouraged to avoid crowds and self-isolate for 14 days. This also goes for those with compromised immune systems.
According to Florida Health, he has issued Executive Order 20-52, declaring a State of Emergency for COVID-19. Through this, he is ensuring that state and local governments have both resources and flexibility to prepare and respond.
2. What are the local supports offered for seniors?
While there is currently no mention of free programs offered specifically for seniors during COVID-19, many grocery stores offer “senior hours” in which seniors are allowed a quiet time to shop for food and other items while avoiding bustling crowds. Please visit your local city village website for store hours on specific grocery stores.
The Department of Elder Affairs in Florida is always open for seniors who qualify to receive a number of benefits relating to any of the following:
- Abuse and Neglect
- Caregivers Support & Information
- Disaster Preparedness
- Florida Information
- Finance and Investments
- Health Insurance
- Hospice and End-of-Life Care
- Vacations and Tourism
For more information relating to any of the topics mentioned above, please visit the Florida Department of Elder Affairs website.
3. What are the grocery shops / pharmacies that have special hours for seniors (over 65 years old)?
Grocery stores will vary in store hours designated for seniors, however, almost all large store chains will also allow those with compromised immune systems and special needs to shop. Here is a list of all large grocery store and pharmacy chains and their senior hours, according to Money.com.
- BJ’s Wholesale Club: 8 – 9 AM daily
- Costco: Tuesday – Thursday 8 – 9 AM
- Target: Tuesday – Wednesday first hour of shopping (also reserved for those with underlying health concerns)
- Sam’s Club: Tuesday and Thursday: 7 – 9 AM (also reserved for those with underlying health concerns and disabilities)
- Walmart: Tuesday and Thursday 7 – 9 AM
- Dollar General: first hour stores are open (also reserved for those with underlying health concerns)
- Kroger: Monday – Thursday 7 – 8 AM (please check specific store to confirm hours)
- Publix: Tuesday and Wednesday 7 – 8 AM
- Whole Foods: everyday 8 – 9 AM
- Walgreens: Tuesday 8 – 9 AM
In addition to senior hours, there are many food delivery services available, even free for those who qualify. Paid grocery delivery services include Instacart, Amazon Fresh, and Wal-Mart Postmates.
Free grocery delivery services for low-income senior households include: Meals on Wheels, SNAP, and various Salvation Army locations.
4. How to protect myself if I need to go out?
The CDC recommends “If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people.” If you must go out, there are a number of measures you can take to protect yourself at home, but extra precautions must be taken when going out in public, especially for seniors.
- Know that others can infect you with coronavirus even if they don’t have symptoms. Likewise, you could spread coronavirus to others even if you’re not sick.
- Avoid using a face mask for a healthcare worker.
- Maintain a 6-foot radius between yourself and others at all times. The cloth face mask should not be considered a substitute for social distancing.
- Everyone should always wear a face mask in public, especially when at the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
- Cloth face masks should not be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone with breathing issues or who is unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- When you get back home, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
For more information on protecting yourself and preventing the spread of COVID-19, please visit this CDC article.
5. What You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Your Family
Remember these guidelines!
The most recommended prevention method by the CDC is to use infection precautions. The CDC has put out these recommended steps to basic infection control:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect all “high-touch” objects and surfaces every day (counters, doorknobs, toilets, phones, etc.)
- Eat well, drink lots of water and get rest to strengthen your immune system.
- Have a family emergency preparedness plan that includes care coverage and back up support, if possible.
- Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.
- If you have underlying medical issues that put you in the high-risk category, such as seniors, avoid public gatherings or other places outside the home. Limit your contact with others.
6. What to do / where to go if I have the symptoms?
If you have a fever or cough, it’s possible you may have COVID-19. Those who have mild illnesses should recover at home. But if you think you have been exposed to coronavirus, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider and take the following steps:
- Record your symptoms
- Get medical attention right away if you have an emergency warning sign, such as trouble breathing
The Center for Disease Control recommends the following to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick:
- Except to get medical care, stay at home
- Avoid contact with other people and pets in your home
- Monitor your symptoms
- Call for medical attention if you:
- Have trouble breathing
- Experience pressure or pain
- Experience confusion
- Have bluish face or lips
Please consult your medical provider for all other symptoms that are concerning or severe as this is not an all-inclusive list.
Safe & Reliable Home Care Services
Our staff and caregivers are dedicated to maintaining your health and safety at home. If there is something with which we can help or provide an answer to any of your questions, such as those relating to your home care service in Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Boynton Beach and surrounding areas, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (561) 781-5885.
We are here for you and wish you the best health and safety until we get through this!