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FAQ - COVID-19 INFORMATION


COVID-19 INFORMATION

How effective is the 14 day quarantine?
The effectiveness of the 14 day quarantine has yet to be documented however the intent of the 14 day quarantine is to limit the person to person contact to reduce the exposure of the virus.
How are effective are facemask?
  • According to the World Health Organization, “Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
    • If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
      • Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
      • Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
      • Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
      • Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
      • To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting. This is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) social distancing, frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions.
    • A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important in the event that someone is infected but does not have symptoms.
    • A cloth face covering should be worn whenever people must go into public settings (grocery stores, for example).
  • Medical masks and N-95 respirators are reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.
Is COVID-19 airborne?
From the World Health Organization, the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air and quickly fall on floors or surfaces. Individuals can be infected by breathing in the virus if within three (3) of a person who has COVID-19, or touching a contaminated surface and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes before washing their hands.
When talking about the “elders” being the high risk population, what age range? As there might be people of that age still working with no symptoms, what do you recommend?
  • The CDC identifies people 65 years or older to be among those that are at higher risk.
    • Take steps to protect yourself, by:
      • 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 70% 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.
    • Take steps to protect others:
      • Stay home if you’re sick
        • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
        • Cover coughs and sneezes
      • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
        • 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.
    • Address concern with immediate supervisor at worksite or organization.
Does the Navajo Nation President have a plan, if staff will have to use their annual or sick leave? Because not all staff have enough leave and we still have bills?
  • On March 31, 2020, the Office of the President and Vice President (OPVP) issued Executive Order No. 002-20 Declaring a State of Emergency, in which states, “All non-essential Navajo Nation government employees, including non-certified chapter employees, affected by this Executive Order shall be granted Administrative Leave for the duration of the closure expected to refrain from events, gathering, or other areas where they may contract the COVID-19 virus, and to observe and follow all Public Health Emergency Orders… The closure of the Navajo Nation government office may be extended beyond April 26, 2020 on the recommendation of the Navajo Department of Health HCOC and the Navajo Department of Emergency Management Operation Center.
    • The Navajo Nation Personnel Policies Manual, X. LEAVE ADMINISTRATION, B. Paid Leave, 3. Administrative Leave, b. states, “Temporary closure of employee work sites or facilities due to environmental health hazards or other safety or health reasons. Administrative leave shall not be granted when affected employees can reasonably be assigned to alternative work sites.”
  • On March 18, 2020, Honorable Speaker Seth Damon released a memorandum, in which serves as notification that there has been a reduction in services for all Legislative Branch programs. Programs under the Legislative Branch will be closed effective March 19, 2020 until further notice and, “All regular and temporary employees shall be paid utilizing administrative leave with pay.”
  • On March 20, 2020, a Public Service Announcement from the Judicial Branch of the Navajo Nation stated, “all Navajo Nation Judicial Branch employees to either work from home or to be placed on administrative leave and on-call for essential services was issued today by Chief Justice JoAnn B. Jayne. The order goes into effect Friday, March 20, 2020, and ends Friday, May 1, 2020, at 5 p.m.
    • This administrative order supersedes an order issued on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, that authorized Judicial Branch employees with no childcare, who are 60 or over, or who have compromised immune systems to telecommute or take administrative leave.
If you have already been sick within the last few months, will I get sick with COVID-19?
There is no answer yet; most people would likely develop at least short-term immunity to the specific coronavirus that causes COVID-19. However, you would still be susceptible to a different coronavirus infection. Or, this particular virus could mutate, just like the influenza virus does each year. Often these mutations change the virus enough to make you susceptible, because your immune system thinks it is an infection that it has never seen before.
Should we worry about people experiencing seasonal allergies?
As a precautionary measure practice social distancing by keeping six (6) feet away from people, especially if coughing or sneezing.
Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating the COVID-19?
• According to the World Health Organization, no. Antibiotics do not work against viruses as they only work on bacterial infections. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19. Antibiotics should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.
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