A Charleston Radiologists Update: Doing Our Part to Responsibly Flatten the COVID-19 Curve

A sample epidemic curve, with and without social distancing.
(Image credit: Johannes Kalliauer/ CC BY-SA 4.0)

Charleston Radiologists, PA will continue to actively monitor the current and future state of COVID-19. Keeping our patients, staff and providers safe remains the primary focus. As a trusted source of information, we have outlined the recent CDC guidelines for prevention and an informative outline of what it means to be a part of flattening the COVID-19 curve.

Simply put, many coronavirus infections will happen across the nation as testing continues — but they don’t all have to happen at once. The “curve” refers to the projected number of people who will contract COVID-19 over a time period. In order to not overload hospitals’ capacities, the CDC has issued guidelines to prevent spreading the disease and protecting yourself and others. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

In compliance with the guidelines, Americans should wash their hands frequently, self-isolate when they’re sick or suspect they might be, and start “social distancing” right away. To learn more about the CDC guidelines, visit their website.

Steps To Protect Yourself: Clean your hands often, and avoid close contact.

  • 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 with people who are sick
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Steps To Protect Others: Stay home if you’re sick, except to get medical care.

  • 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.
  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

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 with detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.