Diligence key to controlling the spread

On behalf of the UPMC medical staff and providers in the Susquehanna region, we want to re-emphasize a few important messages about COVID-19, a pandemic that we are all still very much facing today, and acknowledge the heroic response to this pandemic by healthcare workers across the region including our incredible UPMC employees as they tirelessly care for our communities.

The COVID-19 virus is real. It is here, and it has been here for months. Our hospitals – urban, suburban, and rural – are well staffed and have the resources to serve the health care needs of our communities. No one hospital, facility, or provider is on its own. We are one UPMC. UPMC’s breakthrough research has helped to provide more clarity and is pushing us closer to a vaccine.

One thing we have known all along and will continue to reinforce is how to minimize its spread. If we all are mindful and remain vigilant, we can limit the spread of COVID-19 not only locally, but across the region and the state.

As the holiday season is quickly approaching, we remind and encourage our community members to not let your guard down:

• Wash your hands often. Proper hand hygiene is proven to stop the spread of infection.

• Stay home when you are sick. Feeling like you “just have allergies” or “it’s just a cold” are not always accurate. COVID-19 looks like many other infections.

• Wear a mask. Masks are proven to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, flu, and other respiratory illnesses.

• Maintain distance from others outside your household. The CDC recommends six feet of distance between you and individuals outside your own household when at all possible.

• Seek medical care when you need it, and do not delay important preventive health care. Keeping well keeps you safe. If you feel sick, seek the advice of your medical provider by calling before visiting, and follow all recommendations provided. As always, if you are experiencing a medical emergency, don’t delay — our hospital Emergency Departments are safe and ready to care for you.

By following the medical guidelines, working together, and prioritizing our health and the health of our neighbors, we can make a difference.

Our simple ask of our communities: Wear your mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands, and thank a health care hero.

We appreciate your continued partnership in this community effort.

Dr. David Lopatofsky is chief medical officer and Dr. Rutul Dalal is medical director, infectious diseases, both at UPMC Susquehanna.


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