Local health care workers gearing up to protect patients and themselves

Posted at 6:23 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-15 08:19:57-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Members of the Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo are getting ready to protect their community and themselves for if and when the Coronavirus spreads here.

They are community front line workers who serve in health care clinics, schools, community-based organizations, neighborhood groups and in-home visits.

Their group canceled a conference planned for Friday and instead shared with the public what they believe are best practices to manage COVID-19.

They said communicating with each other, the community, and other groups responding to the spread of this virus is an ideal approach to make informed and collaborative choices.

Listening to health experts, washing hands frequently and social distancing are also a few of the best approaches for protection, especially the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

"We have the opportunity right now to avoid an influx of this virus that would attack a lot of people all at once. Rather than have that happen we can have it spread out across a longer period of time, so that means a flatter curve," said Dr. Renee Cadzow, co-chair of the board of Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo. "That means out health care systems can be responsive to the virus for those who are more vulnerable to being hit by the virus harder."

She added that although there are no confirmed cases in our immediate community yet, it's important to plan ahead and do everything to try and stop the spread.

It is also recommended people check in on the elderly - whether it's your family or your neighbor. And for other community health workers who need to visit homes and check on people, it's best to minimize contact, keep some distance, wiping down surfaces and washing your hands.