Medical Committee and COVID-19

A message about the coronavirus from the Grand Lodge Medical Committee:

Now is the time to take steps to help prevent exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. It is important that you consider how you and your lodge will respond and continue to operate if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19.

Should we stop shaking hands as much?

Being a friendly, hand shaking group, we need to be a little extra careful during this time of the investigation into the coronavirus and look at just a sincere hello or good evening to our brethren at meetings.

The far-reaching effects of this virus is not known yet and we need to be proactive to care for ourselves and our families:
• Encourage sick members to stay home.
• Emphasize respiratory etiquette (covering coughs and sneezes) and hand hygiene.
• Perform routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (doorknobs, phones, workstations, etc.).
• Inform members and family to take precautions when traveling or attending public events.
• As we get more information in the coming months, more precautions may have to be taken in regards to large gatherings but we will have to see how it progresses along during the spring and summer.

As a member of the public, who can you call for more information?

• General information about COVID-19 call the NC Division of Public Health hotline at (866) 462-3821. They will answer your question or triage your concern accordingly.

Err on the side of safety while we are going through this Coronavirus scare and use your own common sense in taking care of yourself.

Don’t forget basic hand hygiene.

The steps to preventing coronavirus transmission are similar to the steps to preventing other respiratory illnesses, like the flu. These include:
• Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.