We hope that you are all well and taking care of yourselves during this very difficult time. We also hope you are keeping up with the latest information about this virus, disease and the emerging news as we learn more. There are various websites you might want to consider viewing regularly which has up to date, local information to keep you informed.
As many of you may know, the Safer at Home order in Los Angeles County has been extended until May 15, 2020. The order began on March 19, 2020. The order requires residents of the county to stay home unless they have essential business and/or jobs which require them to leave their place of residence. The order is implemented to slow the spread down of the Covid-19 virus and seek to curb or limit the number of people in Los Angeles County that become infected during this wave of the pandemic.
As of April 27, 2020, there were 20,976 cases confirmed in Los Angeles County and 1,000 deaths, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. You can track these numbers and by area of the County of Los Angeles by visiting LApublichealth.org for information that is updated on a regular basis.
We hope you are also aware that mandatory face masks, made out of cloth or other materials you may have in your home are required across the county when outside of your home.
What is it: According to the CDC, COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
HOW IT SPREADS: It is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
How to avoid the spread: To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, everyone should:
Clean your hands often, either with soap and water for 20 seconds or a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay at home as much as possible. Put distance between yourself and other people (at least 6 feet). Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily. If you are sick, stay home and isolate yourself from others. Call your physician if you are having symptoms such as dry cough, fever or shortness of breath. Other information about the Covid-19 virus can be obtained by visiting CDC.gov.
If you do not have a doctor or you are uninsured, you can find a clinic in our Resource Guide here in Adelante Magazine. You can also visit CCALAC.org and hit the “Find a Clinic” button. There are several community health centers which are set up to care for people regardless of one’s ability to pay for services. One’s immigration status, income or insurance status does not matter when seeking or receiving care at one of these health centers. These are set up to help regardless of one’s ability to pay for services.
A note to people living with HIV disease: It has been noted by Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Health that people living with HIV are not at any noted elevated risk by virtue of just being HIV positive – if, the person has a viral load that is well controlled and an immune system that is functioning well based on their adherence to taking their HIV medications. For people living with HIV, it is important to be compliant with taking your medications and keep up with your medical visits to ensure your viral load is controlled at or as close to undetectable levels. Also, for those who believe they are HIV positive or know they are HIV positive and not in care, it is important to get into care and on medications to control the viral load and protect your immune system. Get tested and get connected to medical care. In our Resource Guide you will also find information for organizations that provide medical care to people living with HIV. Again, most offer services regardless of your ability to pay or whether you have insurance or not. Also, immigration status is not a consideration for those organizations which are publicly funded Ryan White providers.