COVID-19 & Flu: Get the latest information

HealthFocused

Educational health information to improve your well-being.

Posts in COVID-19

COVID Vaccine being placed in cold storage

Augusta Health ready to receive, store and administer the COVID-19 vaccine

December 2, 2020

Since March, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused infections, hospitalizations, and deaths across the Commonwealth of Virginia and locally in the Staunton, Augusta County and Waynesboro area. The severity and impact of the pandemic has spurred a historically rapid quest for an effective vaccine by multiple pharmaceutical companies. Many are far along in development — in fact, two (Pfizer and Moderna) have already applied for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Augusta Health, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Virginia Hospital...Continue Reading

Happy family doing a video chat on a computer

Tips for Virtual Holiday Celebrations

November 24, 2020

Everyone enjoys gathering together for holiday celebrations. This year, though, the gatherings may have a different look and feel. Because eating together is a higher risk activity—especially when eating with those who live outside your immediate household—virtual gatherings are encouraged this year. But can a virtual gathering be fun? According to our colleagues at Duke Health they absolutely can be! Here are some of their suggestions for events to help all relax and reconnect safely during the holidays: Host virtual holiday trivia A quick round of trivia is a familiar way to encourage...Continue Reading

Family doing a video chat at the kitchen table

Reduce your risk of spreading COVID-19 at Thanksgiving

November 18, 2020

It’s Thanksgiving! Many will be traveling to celebrate with families. Travel and family gatherings, though, can increase your risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself and others is to stay home. If you are sick—with COVID-19, flu or any other contagious disease—you should not attend any in-person holiday celebration. Those with medical conditions that increase risk for severe illness should also avoid in-person gatherings. If you do decide to celebrate with others, different activities carry different levels of risk for COVID-19. Here, from the CDC, are...Continue Reading

Friends wearing masks for a group photo

Gatherings & Get-Togethers During a Pandemic: Tips for Staying Safe & Healthy

November 16, 2020

As the temperatures nudge colder and the days grow shorter, a bright spot of the fall and winter seasons each year is the holiday gatherings. But the celebrations—Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Years—usually include indoor gatherings of friends and families, crowded parties, and travel. All of these activities increase the risk for getting or spreading COVID-19. So how do we reduce risk for our own parties and the ones we attend? Here, from the Augusta Health Infection Prevention specialists and the CDC, are some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy. First...Continue Reading

Couple at the airport wearing masks

Traveling during the COVID-19 Pandemic

November 3, 2020

As the fall and winter holidays approach, families begin to plan traditional gatherings to celebrate. Most of these celebrations involve travel of some family members. Thanksgiving is the often the busiest travel weekend of the year. This year, though, is the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's impacted travel and holiday plans. Planning is more complex and includes additional safety considerations. Here are some facts and tips to incorporate into your holiday travel plans. First, a fact to remember: Staying home is the very best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. You can...Continue Reading

Man with diabetes checking his blood sugar

Complications from Diabetes and COVID-19

October 26, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the United States, more research has been published regarding devastating outcomes for diabetic patients who get the disease. As of October 26, 2020, there have been 6,710 reported cases of COVID-19 in our local Central Shenandoah Health District, which includes Waynesboro, Harrisonburg, and Staunton. Information on how many of those cases were in diabetic patients is not currently available. What is COVID-19? COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus. It spreads from person-to-person through droplets of...Continue Reading

Mother putting a fabric mask on her daughter

Halloween Safety: How to celebrate the holiday that has always had masks!

October 21, 2020

As summer fades into fall, the leaves change, the weather cools and we begin a season with many traditional holidays. One of the first of these is Halloween. Each community will probably determine its own official Halloween activities, but it's important to remember that many traditional Halloween activities could present a high-risk for spreading the virus. So the first consideration is: If you or anyone in your family is suspected of having COVID-19 or if you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should not participate in any Halloween activities—including passing out treats to trick-or-...Continue Reading

Provider listening to a child's chest

COVID-19 & Seasonal Flu: What are the Similarities and Differences?

October 6, 2020

As the flu season begins and the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the community faces the possibility of a 'twindemic'. Both are respiratory illnesses that are contagious, but because they are caused by different viruses, it is possible to have both at the same time. They share some symptoms, so telling them apart based on symptoms alone is difficult. Testing might be required to confirm a diagnosis. COVID-19 is still very new, and researchers learn more about it every week. According to the CDC, this is the best information available to compare flu and COVID-19: What are the symptoms? The...Continue Reading

Staff members wearing masks and socially distancing in the atrium

Need Healthcare During the Pandemic? Your Safe-Space is Here.

September 30, 2020

A global pandemic causes changes in behavior: Concerns for health and safety give people pause when deciding to leave their homes to go places that will have many people. Especially if there are additional concerns that some of those people will actually be sick with COVID-19. But the need for regular, routine healthcare—especially for those managing chronic conditions who might be at greater risk for complications from COVID-19—does not change. So Augusta Health is taking extraordinary measures to be sure that its facilities are the safe space for all who need healthcare. It all starts with...Continue Reading

Best friends wearing masks and chatting

Risk of suicide and the COVID-19 pandemic

September 22, 2020

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many have been overwhelmed and experienced feelings of anxiety, fear, loneliness and sadness. People feel stress related to the disease and stress related to the economic impact of the pandemic. The pandemic has progressed at a time that suicide rates were already rising in the United States. According to an article published in JAMA Psychiatry in April, 2020, the data for 2018 show the highest age-adjusted suicide rate in the United States since 1941. Local data also reveals a concern about suicide. The 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment coordinated by...Continue Reading

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