What you can do to protect yourself when your state starts lifting coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions
A number of states and local jurisdictions have begun “opening up” by lifting restrictions on people’s movements and which businesses can operate.
The threat for people with lupus from the coronavirus and illness it causes, COVID-19, remains higher than for the general population. We urge you to follow these Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to protect your health and lower your risk for infection. Your state or local health department is the best source of information about the situation in your area. Find your local health department here.
Continue to stay home as much as possible:
- The CDC recommends that people who are at higher risk take extra precautions. They should continue to stay home as much as possible and avoid other people.
- Talk to your doctor about whether it is safe for you to go back to work. If you both agree that it is not safe, you may be eligible to continue to receive unemployment benefits.
If you must go out, you should:
- Wear a cloth face covering when you are out in public, especially in indoor spaces where it is difficult to maintain 6 feet of separation between people.
- Avoid crowds, especially in closed spaces with little air circulation. Your risk of exposure to respiratory illnesses (illnesses that affect the lungs and the ability to breathe), like COVID-19, increases when you share crowded, enclosed spaces with other people who may be sick.
- Avoid non-essential travel, especially cruise and air travel.
- When you do go out in public, avoid handshakes, hugs, and other physical contact and wash your hands often.
Continue to be prepared:
- Contact your doctor about maintaining an extra supply of your medications in case there is a further outbreak in your community. Please remember you should never stop taking your lupus medicines or skip or reduce doses without first talking to your doctor.
- Maintain adequate supplies of food and other necessary items, including over the counter medicines, tissues, etc.
- Continue to have items that you may need delivered to you through friends, family, or businesses.
- Make sure you know how to contact your doctor to get help and information.
- Stay in touch with friends, family, and care providers. Let them know your situation and how to help you if you get sick. Be prepared to explain to people what lupus is and why you need to be extra careful. This worksheet can help you organize your thoughts.
Everyone should take the following steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus:
- Regularly clean and disinfect your home, workplace, and vehicle.
- Wash your hands (tops, palms, and fingers) often with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been out in public. Remember that surfaces—especially in bathrooms, on shared office equipment, on store counter tops, gas pump handles, any surface of the car, and in restaurants—can expose you to germs.
- Keep and use alcohol-based gel or wipes, both out in public and at home.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Use the crook of your arm to shield coughs and sneezing. Do not use your hands or handkerchiefs as they carry moisture that spread viruses.
- Avoid contact with people who may be sick -- including family members. If someone you live with is exposed to the coronavirus or shows symptoms of COVID-19, take steps to protect yourself from infection.
Watch for symptoms and seek medical attention if you get sick:
- Watch for cough and shortness of breath, or at least two of the following symptoms -- fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.
- If you have trouble breathing, pressure or pain in the chest, confusion or an inability to arouse, or bluish lips and face seek medical attention immediately.