Building strong and healthy communities is so important: it’s how we foster connections, share our stories and our lives, it’s where we grow and live and raise our little ones. It includes the places and the people we want to see flourish because we have chosen to tie ourselves to others in a meaningful way.
The latest COVID variant, Omicron, is on the rise and it has symptoms that are more similar to the common cold. Every community is handling the pandemic and the issues that come with it as best they can. Knowledge is power, and we want to help you identify workable solutions like COVID testing and other ways you can protect your community.
Brush Up on the Basics
It’s sometimes hard to imagine a time when we left the house without worrying about whether we had our masks with us, or whether the next church service, family reunion, prom, or sporting event would be virtual or in-person. But some of the best ways to keep your community thriving and as minimally affected by COVID-19 is to remember the basics:
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Don’t go to work, school, or other public places if you are feeling sick
- Wash your hands often
- Wear your mask or face covering
- Make yourself available for COVID testing if you think you’ve been exposed. Be aware of your local Covid-19 community testing sites.
- If you test positive for Covid-19, follow the recommeded guidelines to prevent further spread.
It’s easy to fall into old, pre-pandemic habits when the surge in positive cases goes down. It feels like a light at the end of the tunnel, but COVID has become a part of our lives and it will likely stay that way for years to come.
Keep an Eye on the News & Latest Recommendations
We are all tired of hearing about the pandemic. It’s everywhere: on the news, in TV shows, movies, and in every photo where people are still wearing masks when they’re out and about.
But as much as you shouldn’t spend every second of the day waiting for the next report on COVID cases in the US, you should do your part to ensure that your community is in the loop when it comes to changes in the pandemic landscape.
The latest COVID variant, Omicron, is surging through communities and driving up hospitalizations again. Thankfully, COVID testing programs and vaccinations continue to be top-tier weapons in the fight against the coronavirus.
Along with news of infection, hospitalization, and death rates, it’s also important to note when protective guidelines like quarantine protocols change as well. For example, the CDC recently updated and shortened their recommended isolation and quarantine periods for people who think they’ve been exposed to COVID-19.
The CDC has shortened the recommended isolation time from 10 days to just 5 for people with asymptomatic COVID-19, followed by 5 days of diligent mask wearing when around other people in your community.
For those exposed to COVID, the times vary based on vaccination status. For those who are unvaccinated or more than 6 months past their last mRNA vaccine (or more than 2 months past their Johnson & Johnson shot) and have not yet received a booster, the CDC recommends a 5-day quarantine and 5 days of strict mask wearing after that. If you have been boosted, you just need to wear a mask for 10 days, and submit for COVID testing on or around day 5, if possible. And as always, if you are exhibiting symptoms, you should stay home and limit your contact with others.
73% of adult Americans are fully vaccinated. As always, one of the most effective ways to protect yourself, your family, and your community is to get vaccinated, barring any medical or religious reasons for not doing so. Contact your local public health department to find testing locations and schedule an appointment.
Report Fraud if You See It
Because the debate surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine continues even after OSHA’s mandates, and many private businesses in the healthcare industry and in other sectors are coming out with new guidelines pertaining to masking, COVID testing, and vaccinations, it’s extremely important to report fraud when you see or suspect someone in your community is participating in fraudulent activity.
There have been several reports across the country of unvaccinated individuals creating or paying for fake vaccine cards, and with COVID cases rising again due to the Omicron variant, fraudulent behavior can affect your community from small things like canceled events and monetary losses therein, to hospitals too full to take emergency patients regardless whether they’re COVID cases, stroke or heart attack victims, or severe motor vehicle accidents.
Follow CDC’s Considerations for Community-Based Organizations
Community-based organizations – churches, unions, schools, clubs, healthcare agencies, charities, fraternities, and more – are needed now more than ever to combat the feelings of loneliness and isolation that COVID has brought. CBOs are the foundation for feelings of belonging and hope, and that’s why the CDC has published several items for consideration here.
One of the big considerations they mention is to evaluate the physicality of your events. Some events can be just as successful when hosted virtually as they are when they’re in-person events.
No matter where your community is on the COVID emergency scale, it’s good to think about the impact your events will have on your collective overall health – both physically and mentally.
If you still want to have certain larger events be in-person gatherings, you can do a few things to mitigate the risk of a COVID outbreak.
Masking and social distancing are encouraged, of course. And you can also rely on free COVID testing. Many events now require proof of a negative COVID test, vaccine card, or both. Reliant Health care can work with you to set up a time to provide your community with access to rapid antigen COVID testing so you can enjoy your big holiday celebration or community charity drive without fear.
Protect Your People with Free Community COVID-19 Testing
Reliant Health Services wants to meet you where you are by setting up testing in your community when it is most convenient for you. Testing is totally free for everyone – health insurance covers 100% of the testing costs for the insured and is free for the uninsured through the CARES Act.
Our community testing solutions include:
- Free flyers, posters, email templates, and website assets to help you spread the word about when and where your community testing is being offered
- Available on-site testing
- Dedicated Account Executive
- Dedicated Expert Support
- Employer Online Portal
- Employer & Employee FAQs