Blue Skies of Texas COVID 19 Update #5 – April 6, 2020
On April 5th, Mayor Nirenberg reported 410 confirmed cases of COVID 19 with 12 deaths in Bexar County. As the numbers increase, additional efforts are needed to slow the spread of the virus. The situation remains serious and Blue Skies has taken further measures in the past few days to enhance preventive measures and protect our residents and our staff. One of the more visible changes is the use of cloth face masks for Blue Skies staff and medical-grade masks for health care workers. Residents are encouraged to wear masks too when in public. This action follows the CDC’s current guidance regarding the use of cloth face masks when in public, to help slow the spread of COVID 19. The virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms. Last week we reminded everyone of the importance of social distancing in the event an infected person is not exhibiting signs of illness and therefore, not aware they are contagious. This is why wearing a mask, combined with social distancing, will help lower the risk of transmission.
It is important to note cloth face masks are not medical grade; it is vital that medical-grade masks including surgical and N95 masks are reserved for health care workers currently facing a dire shortage of protective equipment. Blue Skies is anticipating a large shipment of antimicrobial cloth masks and these masks will be made available to our staff and residents when they arrive.
In the meantime, homemade masks will be worn. A number of websites give simple instructions on both sew and no-sew masks. Also, thanks to the generosity and talents of our residents, staff, friends, and neighbors, homemade masks are being sewn by a number of volunteers. These will be distributed as they become available.
When wearing a mask, there are a few guidelines you need to follow: you should continue to maintain social distancing and good hand hygiene. You should wash your hands before applying the mask and always wash your hands if you handle or adjust your mask. Masks should be changed out if they become soiled or wet and care should be taken when removing your mask, avoiding coming in contact with the outer layer, folding the outer layer of the mask into itself and placing in a baggie if you plan on wearing it again or placing it in the laundry. Never wear a mask if you find it difficult to breathe while having it on.
In closing, this is a time to be vigilant against the coronavirus but also to be vigilant against scammers. It seems hard to believe but there are unscrupulous people who are trying to use the worry and concern generated by the coronavirus to take advantage of others. Do not give anyone your financial information! The IRS will not call you on the phone. No one from the government is going to call or write to you about your government stimulus check and ask for your banking information. Sometimes, scammers will falsely represent themselves as a well-known company (e.g., Netflix) and ask you to click on a link provided in the email. Do not fall for this. If you have concerns about something that looks “phishy”, please contact the staff.