COVID-19: Get the latest information, visitor restrictions, and service changes

HealthFocused

Educational health information to improve your well-being.

Storm clouds gathering over a mountain

Mindfulness: Dealing with the Enormity of it all

March 30, 2020

We can see it coming from the top of the hill. We know it's going to hit us. We don't know exactly when or from which direction. We don't know who it will impact and how bad it will be. The unknown paired with the realities that we have already heard about in parts of the US and in other parts of the world can feel overwhelming. But take heart in what we do know: We know that at every level our staff is doing absolutely everything we can do to prepare for different scenarios. We do know that we are meeting the needs of people who are in the hospital and we are screening people who need to be... Continue Reading

Woman choosing fruit at the grocery store

Grocery Shopping While Social Distancing

March 27, 2020

Quarantining and social distancing to prevent the spread and of the COVID-19 virus changes our habits and the way we do every day activities, such as grocery shopping and meal planning. Healthy meals are even more important in times of stress, though, so these tasks may be more essential than ever. Most grocery stores have expanded their services or changed their hours in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. If your grocery store has special hours for those over 60 or with compromised immune systems, take advantage of those hours to shop if you are eligible. They are usually early in the... Continue Reading

dad and daughter washing hands together

Mindful Hand Washing

March 27, 2020

We are all washing our hands like crazy these days for very good reasons. We may already have a mindfulness ritual around washing our hands like washing for 20 seconds. Perhaps we have a favorite song that we sing (out loud or silently) that lasts the proper number of seconds to assure that we have killed all of the germs that we may have picked up on the door knob or the stapler. But if you'd like something other than, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star x 2, you might want to consider some other options. There is a mindfulness practice that has been around for over 2500 years called Loving Kindness... Continue Reading

Woman hugging her dog

Mindfulness with our Beloved Pets and other Animals

March 26, 2020

The practice of mindfulness involves, "Paying attention to something, in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally." Jon Kabat-Zinn. Paying close attention to a beloved pet mindfully can give us a much needed break from the anxious thoughts that we may be experiencing. Many of us have a cat or a dog or another animal that we love tremendously. In times of stress they can provide great comfort. By tuning in to them in different ways we can maximize that experience. For example most dogs and some cats absolutely love to be brushed or combed and their sheer joy can... Continue Reading

Husband is holding his wife's feet for sit-ups while exercising at home

How to Stay Fit While Fitness Centers are Closed

March 25, 2020

It's hard adjusting to our "new normal" right now with social distancing and staying at home. But now, more than ever, it's important to exercise and take care of your mental and physical health. Getting regular physical activity is important in staying fit and in helping to strengthen our immune systems. It is also beneficial to our mental health and overall wellbeing. The National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend engaging in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. Thankfully, there are many things that you can do at home to help you get your workouts in and to... Continue Reading

Woman cleaning a bathroom sink wearing rubber gloves

Is There a Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting?

March 24, 2020

We're all concerned about germs and the spread of viruses today—so it's important to ask, "What's the difference between cleaning a surface and disinfecting it?" Cleaning refers to the removal of germs and dirt from surfaces. Cleaning will not kill germs; it simply removes them or reduces the number of germs in order to lower the risk of infection. Disinfecting is a process that uses chemicals to kill germs. In order to eliminate COVID-19 and reduce the risk of spreading the virus, the CDC recommends that hard surfaces be cleaned AND disinfected frequently using household cleaners and EPA-... Continue Reading

Father checking the temperature of her daughter who is bundled in bed

Cold vs. Flu vs. COVID-19

March 23, 2020

*/ Information about the symptoms of COVID-19 coronavirus are prevalent in the tradition and social media, so it's important to look at the differences between the COVID-19, flu, and common cold. Flu season is still in full force, affecting millions of Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting that flu activity is high and is expected to continue for several more weeks. The common cold, flu, and coronavirus are all infectious viruses that affect the respiratory tract. All three are spread person-to-person and through direct contact with droplets either in... Continue Reading

Father and son playing basketball

Why Do We Social Distance?

March 20, 2020

The idea of 'social distancing' may not be something you have heard of until the recent COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. You see many people posting on social media what they are doing to social distance. So, what is social distancing? The CDC defines social distancing as "remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible." The most recent recommendation is to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. So, then, why is it so important to practice social distancing and to take it seriously during times like... Continue Reading

Nurse speaking with a senior patient

The Difference Between COVID-19 Screening and Testing

March 19, 2020

We have seen confusion in the community about screening and testing for COVID-19. Lets take a look at the difference and learn why some people may be tested while others are not. What is screening? Screening for COVID-19 is a series of questions asked to determine a person's risk for COVID-19. They include questions about symptoms being experience, travel history in recent weeks, and exposure to someone who has been confirmed to have COVID-19. Right now, all entrants to Augusta Health (patients and support persons) are screened. After screening and consulting with Virginia Department of... Continue Reading

Older Asian man sitting on a sofa holding his stomach

Could Your Gut Microbiome Be Making You Sick?

March 17, 2020

Bacteria and other microorganisms are infamous for making us sick, but they're not all bad. In fact, you share your body with trillions of them. That might sound concerning but don't worry, they're symbiotic and they're here to help! Without the large number of microscopic critters living in your digestive tract, your body wouldn't work properly. A Win-Win Situation Your digestive system has trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, especially in your intestines, where your nutrients are absorbed. Studies have found that the total amount of bacteria in a human body can weigh in at about 2-5... Continue Reading

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