Last updated July 10, 2020
“Our staff has compiled the following publicly available information to help educate our participants and volunteers about the risks presented by COVID-19. The relevant guidance may change as new information becomes available. Please refer to public health authorities for the most up-to-date guidance.”
Know how it spreads
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
Individuals higher risk for severe illness (CDC- guidelines):
As you get older, your risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases. For example, people in their 50s are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 40s. Similarly, people in their 60s or 70s are, in general, at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s. The greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19 is among those aged 85 or older.
People of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19:
People of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
- Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
- Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Children who are medically complex, who have neurologic, genetic, metabolic conditions, or who have congenital heart disease are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 than other children.
COVID-19 is a new disease. Currently there is limited data and information about the impact of underlying medical conditions and whether they increase the risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Based on what we know at this time, people with the following conditions might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19:
- Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
- Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
- Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
- Liver disease
- Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
- Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus
Potential risky activities where social distancing can not be followed for AccesSurf programs
- Emergency rescues
- Participants that are dependent on volunteers to stay upright in water.
- Use of public environments, bathrooms and facilities that have high use by others.
- Use of equipment that has been used before
- Activities in or out of the event area
Wash your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
- Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
- Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
- Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
- Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
Cover coughs and sneezes
- If you are around others and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common household disinfectants will work.
Monitor Your Health
- Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- Especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.
- Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
- Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
- Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
Other Times to Wash Hands
- Hand-wash/ sanitize your hands before and after touching (putting on/ taking off) your mask
- Before and after eating food
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
- After you have touched an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, etc.
- Before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth because that’s how germs enter our bodies.
- Follow Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way (CDC)
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. (or just count to 20 Mississippi)
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Don’t Mix Chemicals!
- Do not mix bleach and ammonia.
- Do not mix bleach and acids. (vinegar, window cleaners, some detergents, etc.)
Cleaning and Disinfecting. Page last reviewed: May 27, 2020. National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases.
COVID-19 Prevention. Page last reviewed: April 24, 2020. National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases.
Considerations for wearing cloth face coverings. June 28, 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Viral Diseases. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html
When and How to Wash Your Hands. Page last reviewed: April 2, 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Current Situation in Hawaii. Last referenced July 10,2020. State of Hawaii Department of Health, Disease Outbreak Control Division (DOCD) coronavirus COVID-19 response.
Office of the Governor Press Releases. Last referenced July 10, 2020. State of Hawaii. https://governor.hawaii.gov/category/newsroom/press-releases/
Proclamations, Orders, and Rules. Last referenced July 10,2020. Office of the Mayor. https://www.honolulu.gov/mayor/proclamations-orders-and-rules.html
Public Health Emergency of International Concern. 2020. World Health Organization.