APhA to Americans: Take simple actions to save lives during pandemic
Citing the continued rise in the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, the board of trustees of the American Pharmacists Association is urging Americans to take the simple actions that save lives, including washing hands often, physical distancing, and wearing a face covering.
“Pharmacists provide care for patients. We protect the public health in communities across the United States, and we are health care professionals who rely on evidence-based public health guidelines," the trustees' open letter says. "We ask you to follow the science to protect yourselves, your families, and your neighbors, including those most vulnerable in this pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our nation’s public health agency, recommends that you wash your hands often, avoid close contact through physical distancing, and wear a face covering."
The letter also points out that a recent letter from more than 200 scientists to the World Health Organization recognizes the potential for airborne spread and proposes taking measures to provide proper ventilation, supplement ventilation with airborne infection controls, and avoid overcrowding.
APhA also noted that as of today, more than 4.4 million people in the United States have been infected with the novel coronavirus, hospitalizations are rising, and deaths have grown to more than 150,000.
"Our country has the highest growth rate of new cases in the world, as the pandemic explodes across dozens of states. In response to the disaster unfolding, more states are shutting back down," the letter says. "Against this backdrop, our nation is debating the reopening of schools safely for our children, returning to work, and making sure everyone has access to the health care they need, as between February and May, a record-setting 5.4 million workers became uninsured due to job losses. Just as the American people have risen to the global challenges facing past generations, if we work together to do what is right, we will end this."
The letter further states, "Pharmacies have stayed open throughout the pandemic because we are designated essential workers and committed to taking care of our patients and community. As highly trained medication experts on the patient care team in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, physician’s offices, far-flung military facilities, and within your neighborhood pharmacy, we care about the science. And we care about our patients."
"As we look toward a brighter future, we must trust the science. Scientists around the world are racing to develop therapeutic treatments, at-home tests, and vaccines against the coronavirus. Just as the American people have risen to the global challenges facing past generations, if we work together to do what is right, we will end this,” the letter concludes.