Health Department: Protecting Older Adults and those at Higher Risk from COVID-19
The Lincoln County Health Department advises reducing exposure is especially important for people at higher risk of complications.
Older adults and people who have chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure, along with pregnant women are at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness and death. As we age, our immune systems grow weaker, making it more challenging for us to fight off infectious diseases. Chronic diseases are more common with age, can compromise the immune system, and make people more vulnerable to serious complications.
If you are at higher risk, it is recommended that you:
● Stay at home. Limit trips for groceries, gas, and other essentials. Make sure you social distance yourself (seperate yourself 6 feet from others).
● Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies, as well as, enough basic household items and groceries so you are prepared to stay at home for an extended period of time.
● Remember to stay vigilant with handwashing and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose since COVID-19 can remain on some surfaces for hours and in some cases, days.
● Postpone unnecessary doctor visits and other non-essential medical visits. ● Limit visitors to your home, especially those who have been traveling or are sick.
Older adults and those at higher risk need additional support right now. Here are some things you can do to help:
● Call or email older family members, friends, or neighbors to see if they need help getting groceries or other supplies. Drop off items on their doorstep so that they don’t have to come into close-contact with you. ● Organize checks on older adults within your neighborhood. This could be a daily phone call or a note in their mailbox to make sure they are doing ok and to see if they need anything. ● Help older adults feel less isolated. Call, video chat, email, or write letters. Refrain from in-person visits as much as possible to prevent potentially exposing older people to the virus.
Fear and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Here are some ways that you can support yourself:
● Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
● Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs. ● Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
● Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
● Encourage friends and family outside of your household to call or write notes. Our mission: Providing services to residents promoting optimal health and safety through prevention, protection, and intervention.
● Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
If you become sick and are higher risk, follow the recommendations below:
First call your doctor. Unless you need immediate medical care, you should stay at home to avoid spreading your illness to others. Isolate yourself in your home as much as possible. You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, or community health workers. Determine who can provide you with care if you get sick. Create or update your emergency contact list; include your doctors, family members, and any other important contacts. Emergency warning signs of COVID-19 include: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse and/or bluish lips or face. This list is not all inclusive. Call 911 and get medical attention for these symptoms or any others that are severe or concerning.
Grocery stores and pharmacies are working to accommodate community members at higher risk. Please note this list is current as of March 25.
● West Side Market- Monday-Friday, 9 am-7 pm, Saturday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm. Case by case basis for accomodations. Will pack food up for clients and deliver to a car in the parking lot.
● Dollar General- Monday-Sunday, 8 am-8 pm, 8 am-9 am daily for elderly/immunocompromised shoppers.
● Walmart- Monday-Sunday, 7am-8:30pm, senior shopping only (60+) Tuesdays from 6 am-7am.
● Golden Harvest – Monday – Saturday, 8 am-7pm. ● Dave’s County Market- Monday – Sunday, 5am to midnight. Pharmacies:
● Walgreens Pharmacy- Monday-Friday, 9 am-7pm, Saturday, 9am-6pm, Sunday, 9am-5pm.
● Walmart Pharmacy – Monday, Wednesday-Saturday, 9 am-7 pm, Tuesday, 7am-7pm (senior hour 6-7am), Sunday 10am-6pm, closed 1:30-2pm Saturday and Sunday for a staff break.
● Young’s Pharmacy - Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm, Saturday, 9am-3pm, closed Sunday. Pick up available; delivery/mail available depending on situation.There is an extra cost with delivery/mail, depending on where a person lives.
● Trig’s- Monday-Sunday, 5 am-11pm, expanded Trig’s to Go service from 8-9 am.
● Great Lake Foods – Monday-Friday, 7 am-8pm, Saturday-Sunday 7am-7pm. Shoppers at higher risk are encouraged to go shopping from 7-8 am daily.
● Dollar General – Monday-Sunday, 8 am-7 pm, 8am-9am daily for elderly/immunocompromised shoppers Pharmacies:
● Tomahawk Pharmacy – Curbside pickup only, Monday-Friday, 8:30am-6pm, Saturday, 8:30-12pm, closed Sundays.
● Trig’s Pharmacy – Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm, Saturday, 9am-5pm. Curbside pick-up and increasing delivery. service
Everyone in the community plays an important role by following social distancing guidance to protect older adults and other vulnerable people. It reduces the spread of COVID-19 to those most at risk for severe illness, and this also reduces the burden on the healthcare system so that those who need critical care can get it. This is a rapidly evolving situation. For more information visit our website at https://co.lincoln.wi.us/covid19 or follow us on Facebook. Lincoln County Health Department is always working for a safer and healthier Lincoln County.