University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, in cooperation with North Carolina State University and other land grant universities, compiled a list of resources to assist the general public, farmers and the food industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As you continue social distancing or self-isolation over the coming weeks, please continue to rely on the recommendations available on the UGA Extension Emergency Resources page at extension.uga.edu/emergencies. These resources are based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization guidance, and many of these materials have already been translated to Spanish or can be translated upon request.
The following is a list of recommendations for what you should be doing during this time and the resources Extension has available to guide you.
Wash your hands for 20 seconds and sanitize frequently (using sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol) in between hand washings to prevent the spread of the virus to yourself and others. There is also a homemade hand sanitizer recipe on our resources page.
Clean and sanitize common areas or frequently touched items throughout your home or business. COVID-19 can be spread when respiratory droplets from a sick individual (such as those expelled during coughing or talking) land on surfaces that a healthy individual may touch. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has published a list of disinfectants that are effective against COVID-19. Note the contact time needed for effective use.
Stay home. The most effective way to avoid contracting COVID-19, or unknowingly spreading it, is to avoid contact with other people. Never leave home if you are sick, unless to seek medical attention. For groceries or medications, use curbside pickup or delivery services when possible, or follow these tips if you must go into a grocery store. We also have a fact sheet that explains how to clean those grocery bags between uses.
Wear a mask in public. This reduces disease spread to healthy individuals, which is particularly important because many people can be infected by COVID-19 and spread the disease without experiencing any symptoms of illness.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables (and dairy products, too). The same methods our farmers and food manufacturers use to prevent foodborne disease are also effective against COVID-19. Also, many local farms, community sponsored agriculture groups and markets are offering curbside pickup or delivery. Resources are also available for produce growers, farmers markets, community gardens, food banks and agricultural supply stores.
Order curbside pickup or takeout from your local restaurants. You can further reduce your exposure by paying ahead online or on the phone, and requesting your food be placed in the trunk or truck bed when you arrive for pickup.
Protect your mental and physical health. Extension has published a list of mental health hotlines and online resources, and the UGA Center for Social Justice, Human and Civil Rights is updating its website with community resources.
Take up a hobby or get tasks done around the house that you may have been putting off. Use this time to exercise, cook, garden or declutter the house.
And finally, remember that your local Extension agents and specialists are still available as a resource to you during this time, even though most of us are working from home or making calls from our cell phones. We are all in this together.