Male doctor holding syringe making covid 19 vaccination injection dose in shoulder of female patient wearing mask. Flu influenza vaccine clinical trials concept, corona virus treatment, close up view.

What to Expect After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise. According to the CDC, as of Jan 11 2021, there are 22,322,956 total cases, with 373,167 deaths

As the vaccines are being distributed across the country, many states have streamlined vaccine rollout plans to administer doses and get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Along with practicing and adhering to the recommended safety guidelines, the vaccine is yest another tool to help prevent the spread of the virus. With any new vaccine comes many questions about how safe it will be and what benefits the vaccine provides.

Now that people are beginning to get vaccinated, many questions about side effects and the number of doses needed have surfaced. The CDC provides helpful information regarding what you can expect after getting the vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

Common side effects:

  1. Pain and swelling on the arm where you got the shot
  2. Fever
  3. Chills
  4. Tiredness
  5. Headache

If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. To reduce pain and discomfort where you got the shot, apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area, and use or exercise your arm.

When to call the doctor

In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:

  1. If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours
  2. If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days

With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need 2 shots for them to work. Unless your Doctor tells you not to, you should get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot. The second shot will provide more protection than just receiving one shot.

It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot.

It’s important for everyone to continue to practice safety and proper hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.​

According John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, it is still possible to contract COVID-19 between doses. This is why it is important to continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands.

They also note; the first dose will not provide complete protection, and it will take about seven days after your second dose before you will achieve a full protective level of immunity that develops in about 95% of vaccine recipients. If you are exposed to SARS-CoV-2 before this time, it is possible that you could develop COVID-19. The side effects of the vaccine typically start within 12 to 24 hours of vaccination. If you experience side effects that last beyond 48 hours, you should contact your doctor or medical provider for advice.

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

 

Coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine vial and injection syringe in scientist hands concept. Research for new novel corona virus immunization drug.

What to Expect at Your COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment

COVID cases continue to surge throughout the US. With the holiday season now behind us, and many people choosing to travel, the numbers are expected to climb even higher.

To stop this pandemic, along with mask wearing, social distancing, and practicing proper hygiene, getting vaccinated is a critical component in the fight to protect your health and prevent you from getting the disease.

Vaccines are a proven, safe method, that works with your body’s natural defenses to prepare it to fight the virus, if you are exposed. Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19. Experts also believe getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get infected. It is important to know the benefits of getting the vaccine, and like other vaccines, taking the COVID vaccines cannot give you the disease itself.

The CDC provides an overview of things to keep in mind while awaiting your vaccine appointment:

  • The Vaccines are Safe

The U.S. vaccine safety system, which includes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures the safety, effectiveness, and availability of vaccine. All the COVID-19 vaccines that are being used have gone through the same safety tests and meet the same standards as any other vaccines produced through the years.

  • There will be different types of COVID-19 vaccines available.

There are now a few vaccine options, depending on where you live could be the basis of which vaccine you get. The vaccines will most likely be given in two separate shots, at least three weeks after the initial shot.

Preparing for Your Vaccine Appointment

Because COVID-19 is a new disease with new vaccines, there are many questions about what happens before, during, and after your appointment to get vaccinated. The following tips from the CDC will help you know what to expect:

  1. Before Getting the Vaccine

Before making an appointment, check to see if you’re eligible to get the vaccine. Many states are following similar vaccination protocols and you may not be eligible for a few more months.

When you do get the vaccine, you must cover your mouth and nose with a mask, be sure not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.  Stay at least 6 feet away from others while inside and waiting in lines.

  1. When You Get Vaccinated

You should receive a vaccination card or printout that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it.

You should receive a paper or electronic version of a fact sheet that tells you more about the specific COVID-19 vaccine you are being offered. Each authorized COVID-19 vaccine has its own fact sheet that contains information to help you understand the risks and benefits of receiving that specific vaccine.

All people who get a COVID-19 vaccine should be monitored on-site for any rare severe allergic reactions. ​

  1. After Vaccination

With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need two shots for it to work properly. You may have some mild side-effects, from sore muscles, feeling tired, or mild fever. Don’t panic, these reactions mean the vaccine is working to help teach your body how to fight COVID-19 if you are exposed. For most people, these side effects will last no longer than a day or two. If these persist, then you should seek medical attention.

Keeping Safe

Even after you get your vaccine, you will need to keep wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth, washing your hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from other people you do not live with. This gives you and others the best protection from catching the virus.

Experts are still researching how long the vaccine will provide protection, so it’s important to continue following the guidelines from CDC and your health department. Also, since the vaccination process will be staggered, not everyone will get vaccinated right away, following the standard safety protocols will provide more protection for yourself and others.

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

 

COVID-19 vaccine concept, female doctor holds coronavirus medication in office or laboratory. Bottle with vaccine for corona virus treatment closeup. Clinical trial due to coronavirus pandemic.

When Can I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

The US is seeing its highest death toll, more than 344,000 people have now died of the COVID-19 virus.

With many states reporting their hospitals are being overrun with the virus, some have tightened their reopening plans to help stop the spread.

In Massachusetts, these restrictions include reducing capacity limits to 25% statewide for most industries, and 10 persons for indoor gatherings, 25 persons for outdoor gatherings to both private homes and event venues and public spaces.. Additional safety measures will be applied to restaurant dining as well.

Rhode Island will be hitting pause for three weeks, ending December 20th. The pause is intended to reduce community transmission of COVID-19 by dialing down overall mobility and reducing social gatherings. These reductions are key to stemming Rhode Island’s recent increase in cases and hospitalizations over the winter months.

Even as the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has gained Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval and shipments are being received by hospitals, the virus is still as deadly as ever. While the general population await their time to be able to take the vaccine, the flu season upon us, and with Christmas fast approaching, there is concern among health professionals that people will let down their guard.

Though there is now light at the end of the tunnel, the tunnel is still very long.

COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Plan

Every state will have their own plan for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, it’s most likely that many will follow a similar path for continuity.

For instance, in Massachusetts, according to the Baker-Polito Administration and the Department of Public Health, they have developed a vaccine distribution timeline which provides 3 Phases.

 

Phase 1 timeline is December 2020 – February 2021, and will include:

  1. Clinical and non-clinical health care workers doing direct and COVID-facing care
  2. Long term care facilities, rest homes and assisted living facilities
  3. Police, fire and emergency medical services
  4. Congregate care settings (including corrections and shelters)
  5. Home-based health care workers
  6. Health care workers doing non-COVID-facing care

Phase 2 timeline is February-March 2021, and will include:

  1. Individuals with 2+ co-morbid conditions (high risk for COVID-19 complications)
  2. Early education, K-12, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation, public works and public health workers
  3. Adults 65+
  4. Individuals with one co-morbid condition

Phase 3 timeline starts in April 2021 and is expected to be available to the general public.

CDC Safety Guidelines are Still Important

Though the COVID-19 vaccine is now being distributed and administered, the risk for infection is still high. Now is not the time to stop adhering to safety protocols. These are in place to help keep you and everyone around you safe.

While we wait, be sure to:

  1. Wear a mask
  2. Wash your hands often
  3. Maintain social distance of at least 6 feet
  4. Cover your coughs and sneezes
  5. Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
  6. Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  7. If you feel sick – stay home

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

 

Holiday Banner 2

Staying COVID-19 Safe for the Holidays – What You Need to Know

Christmas is this Friday and New Years Eve the week after. Our staff at United Alliance want to wish everyone a safe and happy, and healthy, holidays!

This year, the Holidays will feel different. The COVID-19 virus is still ravaging the US, according to the CDC, to date there are 17,790,376 cases in the US, with a staggering 316,844 deaths.

In the spirit of Christmas, there is renewed hope. There are now two vaccines being distributed and administer to people, and the COVID virus may soon be over.

This is great news. However, now is not the time to stop practicing the safety protocols we’ve all learned to live with.

With Christmas and New Year’s now upon us, the CDC, and many state governments, are asking people to restrict travel plans and family gatherings, in an effort to keep people safe until the vaccine is available for all.

If you do plan to travel and either attend or host a holiday event with family and friends, the CDC provides steps you can take to ensure a safe and healthy time.

 Holiday Travel – Question to Ask to Help Keep Safe

(Image source CDC website)

If you are considering traveling for the winter holidays, here are some important questions to ask yourself and your loved ones beforehand. These questions can help you decide what is best for you and your family.

  1. Are you, someone in your household, or someone you will be visiting at increased risk for getting very sick from COVID-19?
  2. Are cases high or increasing in your community or at your destination?
  3. Are hospitals overwhelmed with patients who have COVID-19?
  4. Does your home or destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers?
  5. During the 14 days before your travel, have you or those you are visiting had close contact with people they don’t live with?
  6. Do your plans include traveling by bus, train, or airplane, which might make staying 6 feet apart difficult?
  7. Are you traveling with people who don’t live with you?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you should consider making other plans, such as hosting a virtual gathering or delaying your travel.

How to Make Winter Holiday Celebrations Safer

Whether you plan to attend a holiday gathering or hosting a party in your home, here are some steps to consider in your planning:

Attending a Gathering

(Image source CDC website)

If you plan on attending a holiday gathering with people who don’t live with you, here are some steps to take:

  1. Wear a mask
  2. Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, utensils, and condiment packets.
  3. Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you
  4. Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces
  5. Avoid shouting or singing.
  6. Wash your hands often
  7. Get a flu shot as soon as possible
  8. Stay home if you are sick or have been near someone who thinks they may have or have been exposed to COVID-19.

Hosting a Winter Holiday Celebration

(Image source CDC website)

If you choose to have guests at your home, make sure that everyone follows the steps to make holiday celebrations safer. Other ways you can make your celebration safer include:

  1. Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.
  2. Limit the number of guests.
  3. Have a small, outdoor celebration with family and friends who live in your community, weather-permitting.
  4. Have extra unused masks available for your guests and encourage everyone to wear them inside and outside.
  5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
  6. If celebrating indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible. You can use a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out of the window. This will pull fresh air in through the other open windows.
  7. Have a separate space for guests to wash their hands or provide hand sanitizer.
  8. Keep background music volume low so guests don’t need to shout.
  9. Cancel your gathering if you or someone who lives with you is sick or has been near someone who thinks they have or has COVID-19.
  10. It’s okay if you decide to postpone or cancel your gathering.

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

Hartford, Connecticut, USA downtown city skyline.

New Local Office in Hartford CT

United Alliance Services, Inc. and OccuMed Announce Expansion into Tri-State Area with a New Local Office

CANTON, MA – United Alliance Services, Inc. and OccuMed, recognized leaders in occupational safety and health consulting and training, are excited to announce the opening of their new office and training location in Hartford, Connecticut.

United Alliance Services is a full-service provider of occupational health and safety consulting and training for the healthcare industry, general industry, construction industry, and maritime industry. OccuMed, a division of United Alliance Services, assists clients with growing health and safety regulatory requirements.

Private companies, public agencies, colleges, and universities in the Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania area are increasingly using United Alliance and OccuMed to provide workplace safety and health solutions as well as COVID-19 testing services. Located right off Interstate 84 in Hartford; the new office is convenient and accessible for customers in Connecticut and surrounding states.

Nicole Walsh, Regional Director of the Tri-State area, is a board-certified Construction Health and Safety Technician and Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist with a strong background in planning, implementing and coordinating programs to reduce and eliminate injuries, illnesses and financial losses. Nicole also served as a Combat medic in the US Army and became a Healthcare Specialist instructor for the Army Reserves.

“Workplace safety and health is at the forefront for companies that prioritize well-being for their employees, customers, vendors, and community stakeholders” said Rich Sarnie COO of United Alliance Services, “I’m very excited about expanding our geographic reach and providing a convenient location for our customers in the tri state area.”

Healthcare cure concept with a hand in blue medical gloves holding Coronavirus, Covid 19 virus, vaccine vial

Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, and the news of promising vaccines being reviewed for approval, many people are wondering when these new vaccines will be available.

The Wall Street Journal reported that on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, the U.K. became the first Western country to start inoculating its population with a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech SE. The UK and the US approve vaccines in different ways. The UK relies on data provided by the drug maker, while the US relies on the Federal Drug Administration to review raw data before deeming it safe.

The FDA is planning to review the vaccine on December 10th and hopefully approve it soon after.

With any new vaccine, comes many new questions and concerns. Is it safe? Who will get it first? Will there be enough for everyone? I feel fine, do I need to take it?

The 3 Main Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

Based on what the CDC knows, here is a summary of the 3 main benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccination:

  1. COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19
    All the COVID-19 vaccines are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19. Like the flu vaccine, the goal of the COVID-19 vaccine is to help people keep from getting seriously ill if they contract the virus. Also, getting vaccinated may help to protect people around you, and help contribute to stopping or controlling the virus spreading.
  2. COVID-19 vaccination will be a safer way to help build protection
    For some people, the virus can have serious, life-threatening complications. The concern is that there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, and if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you, who may have underlying health issues that could make them a higher risk of complications.Herd immunity has been suggested as a way for people to have their body create a response to the virus naturally. According to the World Health Organization, herd immunity is a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached. This would remove the need for all people to become vaccinated. The main concern with herd immunity is the potential of more lives being lost while a population tries to reach the needed immunity level for it to be safe for all.
  3. COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic
    Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines

The COVID-10 pandemic has caused many concerns regarding our health and wellbeing. As vaccines are being developed and under review for widespread use, there are also concerns with how the vaccine will affect us physically.

According to the CDC, here are some facts to consider and to help dispel the concern about getting vaccinated.

 

  • FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19
    None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19.
  • FACT: COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests

Vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.

  • FACT: People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated

Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before.

  • FACT: Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19
    COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
  • FACT: Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA

mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and can most easily be described as instructions for how to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA).

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

vial, covid-19, coronavirus vaccine ampoule, bottle for injection with syringe

COVID Vaccine – 8 Things to Know about Vaccine Planning

With Thanksgiving now over and Christmas fast approaching, many health officials are sounding the alarm. In Rhode Island, officials prepared to use field hospitals after telling residents their systems were already at capacity.

Many people traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday, hospitals, already reporting high numbers of cases, are expecting to see a continued surge in COVID-19 cases. As of December 2, 2020, the United States has confirmed more than 13.6 million cases since the pandemic began, with over 270,000 recorded deaths.

With this surge, many states are considering or have implemented new restrictions and have issued updated stay-at-home advisories.

While the next few months will be difficult for many, there is hope and light at the end of this tunnel.

Many pharmaceutical companies have released positive results for a COVID vaccine, and some are now in the hands of the FDA awaiting approval for public use. The federal government, through Operation Warp Speed, has been working with these companies to make vaccines available, quickly, and safely.

COVID-19 Vaccines – What you need to know

Since the vaccines have been developed and almost ready for distribution and use, many people fear the vaccine was rushed and may not be safe. The CDC recently released information to keep people informed about the vaccine, and the planning protocols.

With the possibility of one or more COVID-19 vaccines becoming available before the end of the year, here are 8 things you need to know about where those plans currently stand.

The information below is directly from the CDC website:

  1. The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is a top priority.
    The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how federal partners are working together to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
  2. Many vaccines are being developed and tested, but some might be ready before others.
    CDC is working with partners at all levels, including healthcare associations, on flexible COVID-19 vaccination programs that can accommodate different vaccines and scenarios. CDC has been in contact with your state public health department to help with your state’s planning. State, tribal, local, and territorial health departments are critical to making sure vaccines are available to communities.
  3. At least at first, COVID-19 vaccines might be used under an Emergency Use Authorization.
    Learn more about Emergency Use Authorization and watch a video on what an EUA is.
  4. There may be a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of 2020, but supply will continually increase in the weeks and months that follow.
    The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available. The plan is to have several thousand vaccination providers available, including doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers.
  5. If there is limited supply, some groups may be recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine first.

Experts are working on how to distribute these limited vaccines in a fair, ethical, and transparent way.

  1. At first, COVID-19 vaccines may not be recommended for children.

In early clinical trials for various COVID-19 vaccines, only non-pregnant adults participated. However, clinical trials continue to expand those recruited to participate. The groups recommended to receive the vaccines could change in the future.

  1. Cost will not be an obstacle to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccine providers will be able to charge administration fees for giving or administering the shot to someone.

  1. COVID-19 vaccine planning is being updated as new information becomes available.

CDC will continue to update this website as plans develop.

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

A happy family have a thanksgiving dinner and sends a video greeting to their parents by internet.

Thanksgiving and COVID-19: What you need to know

Thanksgiving is almost here!

For many, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friend and share a hearty meal. It’s also a time to give thanks for all the good in your life, and to remember those who provided joy. Traditional Thanksgiving gatherings are usually large and long events. Many people come from different parts of the country, and the world, to spend the day, or a few days, together.

This year, with COVID cases on the rise, Thanksgiving will undoubtedly look, and feel, different.

Many states and health organizations are concerned with the sharp uptick in recent COVID positive cases and hospitalization, and due to these concerns, have imposed restrictions on travel and gatherings. In fact, many are recommending people not travel this year and are asking people to limit in-person events to help reduce the risk of exposure and the spread of the virus.

Of course, people are free to make their own decision about their Thanksgiving plans. However, until there is vaccine and until it is widely available, adhering to state and CDC guidelines can help everyone in the fight to eliminate this virus.

Thanksgiving and COVID-19 – Tips to Stay Safe

With that in mind, here are some tips to follow to help reduce your risk getting and spreading the virus:

  • Check your community – Family and friends should consider the number of COVID-19 cases in their community and in the community where they plan to celebrate when deciding whether to host or attend a gathering. Areas with high or increasing numbers should be avoided.
  • Travel plans – Many states are recommending that people do not travel for the holiday. However, if you are planning to travel, or have guest traveling to you, keep in mind that airports, bus stations, train stations, public transport, gas stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces. Some states have imposed restrictions and quarantine requirements for those visiting from out-of-state, so be sure to check the guidelines before making travel plans.
  • Location of the gathering – Indoor gatherings are considered a higher risk of virus spread than outdoor gatherings. If you plan to hold Thanksgiving in your home, be sure to:
    • limit the number of guests (some states have added new restrictions, the CDC recommends keeping the guest list to 6),
    • open windows for ventilation,
    • consider using disposable utensils,
    • designate one person as the meal server to avoid any potential cross-contamination,
    • wear masks
    • maintain social distance
    • practice proper hygiene and hand washing
  • Duration of the gathering – Though traditional Thanksgiving gatherings tend to be day-long events with family and friends, this year is different. Many health officials, including the CDC are asking people to limit to length of gatherings. The longer the event lasts, the higher the risk. So, if possible, limit your event as much as possible.

Keep in mind, being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more greatly increases the risk of becoming sick and requires a 14-day quarantine. Also, since many people may be asymptomatic, it becomes very difficult to know who has or will become infected.

  • Number of people at the gathering – Gatherings with more people pose more risk than gatherings with fewer people. It is recommended to only hold Thanksgiving with people in your household to reduce the chances of getting or spreading the virus. If you do have family members and friends attend from outside your household, be sure to consider the ability of attendees to maintain social distance (6 feet (2 arm lengths apart), make sure everyone wear masks, wash hands regularly, and follow health and safety laws, rules, and regulations.

 Who should not attend in-person holiday gatherings?

If your family member or guests or even yourself, have recently tested positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting testing results or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, then that person should not attend Thanksgiving in-person.  The risk of exposing other people, especially those with increased risk of serious illness and compromised immune systems, needs to be considered as these people are at a higher risk.

Individuals who are not consistently adhering to CDC and state safety recommendations and other prevention behaviors pose more risk than those who consistently practicing these safety measures. If you know people who are attending Thanksgiving in-person who fall into this category, you may want to reconsider either attending the event or inviting them to your event.

We’re Here to Help

Protecting yourself and others by following the CDC’s recommended safety protocols can help reduce the risk of contracting the virus or spreading it to others.

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

 

Virus Covid 19 crisis Staff check fever by digital thermometer visitor before entering the work for scan and protect from Coronavirus or COVID-19, Engineer and factory concept at container yard

Rise in Coronavirus Cases Results in New Restrictions

Early results of an effective COVID-19 vaccine have the world buzzing. The thoughts of eventually returning to a normal life may be closer than we think. Though the vaccine has some hurdles to still meet, including production, distribution, storage, and administering the vaccine, hopes are high.

However, many feel the vaccine may not be widely available well into 2021. And the major concern now is the staggering increase in new cases across the country.

According to the New York Times database, as of November 10th, more than 10,260,600 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 239,500 have died.

With the Fall and flu season beginning and businesses and schools re-opening,  COVID-19 cases are sure to continue to rise at an alarming rate.

New COVID Cases, New Restrictions

Locally, in Massachusetts, there are currently 23,702 active COVID-19 cases, and the 7-day average positivity rata at 2.67%. Rhode Island is also seeing and increase and have reported 38,798 cases to date.

Due to the rapid increase of cases, many states, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island have added new restrictions and issued updated stay-at-home advisories that have gone into effect.

MA recently ordered a revised stay-at-home advisory, effective between the hours of 10pm and 5am. The new stay-at-home-advisory includes the following:

  • Only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking emergency medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up take-out food, or receiving deliveries. If you do leave home, practice social distancing by staying 6 feet away from others and wearing a face covering.
  • No in-home gatherings with anybody outside of your household. Indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25 people.
  • Wearing face coverings
  • Early closure of businesses.
  • Practice proper hygiene and surface cleaning.
  • Use remote modes of communication instead of visiting friends or family.

Businesses were also included in this new advisory and includes closing at 9:30pm. This includes restaurants, liquor stores, gyms, and movie theaters

In Rhode Island, the restrictions are similar. Businesses can remain open until 10:00pm weekdays, 10:30pm weekends.

Staying Safe – Steps You Can Take

Now, more than ever, it’s important to remember the recommended CDC steps to take to help stay safe and stop the spread of this virus:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Practice social distancing
  • Wear a mask
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces

Taking these steps is critical to preventing the spread of the virus, protecting the lives of you and your loved ones, and preserving our acute care hospital and other health care systems’ capacity.

We’re Here to Help

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

Take The COVID-19 Test Pledge

Take the COVID-19 Testing Pledge

As the country experiences an unprecedented increase in COVID-19 related cases, it’s critical that we remain vigilant in our efforts to help stop the spread.

While the CDC’s recommended steps to stay safe; social distancing, mask wearing, proper hygiene, hand washing, and avoiding large gatherings, are important, another key step to take is getting tested.

While earlier this year tests were hard to come by, many states have expanded access to testing, and Boston is one of them. In fact, Boston has begun a new awareness campaign to let residents know and to encourage all residents to get tested and has launched “Get The Test Boston,” a pledge designed to encourage residents to get a COVID-19 test.

How it Works

Testing is available to all residents, and even though you may not be going outside of your home for work or other reasons, you may still have been exposed. Keep in mind, according to the CDC, even people showing no symptoms can still be infected with COVID-19 and transmit the virus.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. The most common method to acquire COVID-19 is through direct contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19. So, if you think you may be at risk – get tested.

Get Involved – Join the COVID-19 Testing Pledge

The City of Boston has recently initiated the COVID-19 Testing Pledge and is encouraging all businesses and residents to join.

The City of Boston is asking businesses to provide the following resources employees need to get tested, stop the spread of COVID-19, and avoid a setback in the reopening process.

Encourage all employees to consider getting tested, even if they don’t have symptoms, especially:

  • anyone who may be experiencing COVID-like symptoms
  • those at high risk for complications
  • people in close contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19, and
  • anyone who has traveled or been in large gatherings.

For all residents, testing centers and mobile locations are provided here and here.

Testing at the City of Boston’s mobile testing sites is completely free. Test for symptomatic individuals is also free.

At certain standing testing sites, the cost of asymptomatic tests may vary depending on your insurance provider. For City of Boston employees with either BCBS, Harvard Pilgrim, or Allways health plans, asymptomatic tests are not a covered benefit, but the mobile testing options are available to all.

Ready to take the COVID-19 Testing Pledge? You can join many other Boston area businesses like Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, Stop & Shop, and Wayfair, to name a few, by signing up today.

We’re Here to Help

Protecting yourself and others by following the CDC’s recommended safety protocols and joining the “Get The Test Boston” pledge can help reduce the risk of contracting the virus or spreading it to others.

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We can also help with the following safety services:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.

 

Lighted Carved Jack-o-Lantern dressed up for Halloween with COVID Pandemic face mask

COVID Safety Tips for a Safe Halloween

COVID cases are on the rise, the economy is trying to recover, natural disasters are a major concern for most of the US, and the Presidential election is almost here.

Luckily, so is Halloween.

This year, Halloween might be the right holiday, at the right time, to relax and try to have some fun.

For many Halloween is a day of tricks and treats, not only for kids but for many adults. It’s a time to be someone (or something) different, to dress up in silly costumes, tell scary stories, enjoy the fun of being scared, and sharing time with family and friends (social distanced, of course).

Though this year is a quite different from other years, it’s still ok to enjoy Halloween.

However you plan to celebrate this year, there are some steps you can take to make sure you’re safe and help keep others safe, as well.

Steps to Take when Trick or Treating

Traditional Halloween activities are fun, but some can increase the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19.  In fact, many states may have imposed restrictions on traditional treat-or-treating and other Halloween-related activities. If you’re planning on attending any events this year, be sure to contact your local government before committing.

Even Salem, MA, known not only for the infamous Salem Witch Trials but also as a popular Halloween destination, has had to cancel or scale back many planned activities.

Whatever your plans are for Halloween, the CDC provides tips everyone can take to keep safe.

Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.

  • Hand out candy while wearing gloves.
  • Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
  • Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.

Wear a mask

  • Make your cloth mask part of your costume.
  • A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.
  • Do NOT wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult.
  • Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing

Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you

  • Indoors and outdoors, you are more likely to get or spread COVID-19 when you are in close contact with others for a long time.

Wash your hands

  • Bring hand sanitizer with you and use it after touching objects or other people.
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Parents: supervise young children using hand sanitizer.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home and before you eat any treats.

Other Halloween Activities to Consider

If you feel unsafe with traditional trick-or-treating, or your town has cancelled it altogether, there are still many fun activities you do while home, you just need to be a bit more creative.

Here’s a list of things you can do with your family:

  • Treat-or-treat in your house
  • Carve a pumpkin, or two
  • Binge-watch scary movies – the original Halloween movie anyone?
  • Set up a video call with family to show off your costume or hold a party
  • Make some fun, spooky drinks (for kids and for adults)

You get the idea.

We’re Here to Help

Remember – Halloween is a great time to have some fun. So, if possible, be with your family, and be sure to keep safe.

Protecting yourself and others by following the CDC’s recommended safety protocols can help reduce the risk of contracting the virus or spreading it to others.

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We can also help with the following safety services:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.