As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to grow, public health officials warn that people of all ages can be affected by the virus — including young people — and urge everyone to follow social distancing precautions.
The World Health Organization says the coronavirus could put young adults — not just older populations — in the hospital for weeks or even cause death, and recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a significant percentage of people between ages 20 and 54 have been hospitalized.
FOLLOW SOCIAL DISTANCING
Social distancing is critical to help curb the spread of the coronavirus and avoid overwhelming the nation’s health care system. Public health officials ask people to stay at least six feet away from others. Listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities, and follow these tips:
- Stay home as much as possible and avoid non-essential travel, including shopping trips or social visits.
- Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
- Don’t eat or drink at restaurants, bars or food courts. Instead use drive-thru, pickup or delivery options.
- Avoid visiting nursing homes, retirement or long-term care facilities.
STAY CONNECTED VIRTUALLY
Distancing doesn’t mean disconnecting. For many of us, COVID-19 has disrupted our routines, and it’s important to stay connected with family and friends during this challenging time. You can still:
- Connect with loved ones through video calls, phone calls, texts or social media.
- Unless you are showing signs of illness or have tested positive for COVID-19, go outside to exercise and walk pets while keeping at least six feet away from others.
- If you are religious or spiritual, follow practices at home that provide you with comfort and emotional strength.
These safe practices can also help you cope with any stress that you may be experiencing. More tips and safety information are available at redcross.org/coronavirus.
GIVE BLOOD IN WEEKS TO COME
Volunteer blood donors have made it possible for the Red Cross to meet the immediate needs of patients relying on lifesaving blood products. During this uncertain time, we encourage individuals to keep scheduled blood donation appointments and to make new blood donation appointments for the weeks ahead to ensure a stable supply throughout this pandemic.
We should all practice social distancing, and it’s important to know that blood drives are not considered “mass gatherings” because these are controlled events with trained staff and appropriate safety measures to protect donors and recipients. At each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees follow thorough safety protocols to help prevent the spread of any type of infection. Learn more.
GET UP-TO-DATE COVID-19 INFORMATION
For the latest information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC website at cdc.gov/covid19.
If you live outside the United States, health and safety tips can be found through the World Health Organization and by following your local Red Cross or Red Crescent society’s social media channels (directory).
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/southflorida or visit us on Facebook and Twitter at @SFLRedCross.