Preventing the Spread of COVID-19

Covid-19 Home Page

How to stay up to date.

We know that our patients and communities are concerned about the COVID-19 outbreak. Northern Light Health is taking steps to ensure the safety of our staff and patients in anticipation of the spread of this disease.  

We strongly recommend that you stay up to date by referring to the Centers for Disease Control Fact Sheets. The information on the CDC page is updated regularly as they learn more about the illness and how it is spread.

We also recommend the following resources for up to date information:

How does the virus spread?

This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some 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.

Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses


How can I protect myself?

Do the FiveThe best way to protect yourself from contracting COVID-19 is by using the same daily habits that help prevent the spread of many viruses, including the common cold and the flu. To help prevent the spread of disease always:
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and for at least 40 seconds. If soap and water aren't available, use a 60% (or more) alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you’re sick (and keep sick children home from school).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

What is social distancing?

At home...

  • Cancel social get-togethers beyond anyone outside your household.
  • This is not a vacation. Everyone in the household must eliminate social gatherings. You are all a part of the solution.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 40 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) using a regular household cleaner and water.
  • Friends and family are just a phone call away. Use digital connections and phones to stay in touch with people you are close to but do not live with. Facetime, text, and video chats are great ways to stay connected.
  • Plan ways to care for your immediate and extended family who might be at greatest risk for serious complications. Identify ways to support them while keeping them home – crowdsource grocery shopping, food delivery, and medication.
  • Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, health care services, support, and resources. Consider including organizations that provide mental health or counseling services, food, and other supplies.
  • Create an emergency contact list. Include contacts for family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources. If your children are in the care of others, urge caregivers to watch for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy. Identify a separate bathroom for the sick person to use, if possible. Plan to clean these rooms, as needed, when someone is sick. Learn how to care for someone with COVID-19 at home.
  • Take care of the emotional health of your household members. Outbreaks can be stressful for adults and children. Children respond differently to stressful situations than adults. Talk with your children about the outbreak, try to stay calm, and reassure them that they are safe.

If you have to leave home…

  • Your entire family should stay home as much as possible.
  • Do not leave the house if you are sick. Seek medical attention via phone or virtual means whenever possible.
  • Avoid gathering in public places.
  • If you must go out, limit your time.
  • Be very cautious about initiating contact with new people or lingering in any public spaces.
  • Avoid contact with public surfaces.
  • Disinfect your hands thoroughly and often.
  • Visit public locations off-peak hours.

What are steps to prevent illness?

 ​Click here to learn more about staying healthy.

Face Coverings

At Northern Light Health, the health and safety of our communities is our priority.
Face coverings help stop the spread of COVID-19 even if you don’t have any symptoms, that’s why the CDC and Northern Light Health recommend wearing them any time you’re in a situation where you may not be able to social distance. This includes running essential errands like getting groceries, going to work, or visiting your healthcare provider. In fact, Northern Light Health has made the decision to ask all people at our facilities to wear a face covering starting May 1, 2020.

What is a face covering?
Face coverings are not medical devices, but cloth masks, scarves, or bandanas worn over the nose and mouth to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Cloth face coverings should:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
Why should I wear a face covering if I don’t feel sick?
You can still spread COVID-19 if you don’t feel sick, but wearing a face covering reduces the chance you might spread it to others through talking, coughing, or sneezing. Face coverings help protect the people you love and the people who are close to you, it’s an easy way to help those around you and people who may be more at risk for the serious side effects of COVID-19.

Things to Remember
  • Wearing a face covering doesn’t protect you from getting COVID-19, it helps prevent you from spreading it. You should still practice “The Five” to help keep yourself healthy.
  • Remember to wash your hands before you put your face covering on and after you take it off, trying only to touch the straps that help hold it in place, rather than the fabric.
  • Always wear your face covering with the same side facing your mouth and nose.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be used on children under age two, anyone who has trouble breathing or who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove their mask without assistance.

If you are coming to a Northern Light Health facility for a scheduled appointment, we’ll remind you to bring a face covering with you when we confirm your appointment, we’ll also have signs posted at entrances in case you forget your covering as a reminder.
To learn more about face coverings and the CDC recommendations, including instructions on how to make a simple face covering, please visit the CDC Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 page.