IRSC Health and Wellness Updates - Indian River State College
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Maintaining Good Health during Social Distancing, Quarantine and Isolation

In this unprecedented times, IRSC’s highest priority remains the health and safety of our students and employees. The following health and wellness resources were compiled to address your questions with regard to healthy practices, including how to maintain good mental health during times that require social distancing.

Health Guidance

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), see your health care provider immediately. Call ahead to advise the doctor’s office of recent travel. If you have symptoms consistent with the Coronavirus, wear a facemask when you are in the same room with other people and when you visit your healthcare provider. 

Anyone with a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of Coronavirus will be guided by the treating physician and the  Florida Department of Health  on steps for treatment.

Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

View the "Coronavirus: Preventative Measures" video.

IRSC requires facial coverings in indoor common areas, and in any space where six feet of distancing cannot occur. The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.

According to the Florida Department of Health, cloth face coverings are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This recommendation is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows cloth face coverings reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of cloth face coverings is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

A few simple steps will help protect yourself and those around you:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Regularly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, particularly if you have been in contact with someone who is sick
  • Use hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol content
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Although widespread use of face masks for asymptomatic people outside clinical settings is not recommended, remember that it is a social norm in many countries to wear a face mask during cold and flu season. Do not assume that a person wearing a face mask is infectious, or that they should be avoided.

Taking Care of Your Behavioral, Mental, and Physical Health

The following tips come from Happify’s team of clinicians, scientists and meditation experts. Click here to read the full article.

Stay Social, Virtually

Set regular communication dates with the people you miss most. Consider a video call that allows you to do activities with your friends, such as following the same dinner recipe from separate kitchens.

Don’t Skimp on Sleep

To get the best possible sleep, Jared Minkel, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and behavioral sleep specialist, suggests the following:

  • Stick to a consistent wake time.
  • Stay active during the day. Set alarms to remind yourself to get off the couch and move.
  • Avoid screens for at least 30 minutes before bed (this will limit exposure to blue light and to stress-triggering news stories, which can stir up anxiety and worry).
  • Find your favorite wind-down activity, such as reading a book, doing gentle stretches, or listening to pleasant music. If you’d rather watch TV, find something light-hearted and pleasant, like a familiar rerun of Friends or Seinfeld.

Stay Active

If you have a consistent exercise routine, keep it up, modifying it to work from home or try a streaming option.

Practice Conscious Breathing

Sharon Salzberg, a meditation teacher and New York Times best-selling author suggests using certain signals like a phone ringing or hitting “Send” on an email to take three breaths, and to try walking meditation to help bring you into the present moment. This can help you feel less alone and fearful.

Stick with a Schedule

Creating and maintaining a routine helps combat anxiety that may occur due to the lack of regularity and structure.  Acacia Parks, Ph.D., of Happify, suggests the following:

  • To get started, use a calendar or blank page to map out any obligations in your day, such as meetings or deadlines.
  • Layer on basic activities, like meals, showering, walking the dog, and getting dressed.
  • Create a list of “free-time activities,” so you have options to choose from during downtime. These can include basics like catching up on podcasts, doing laundry, or cleaning the fridge. Be sure to also add on some of the things you’ve always said you would do, if only you had the time.
  • Right now, if you find yourself with more free time than usual, why not start an elaborate arts-and-crafts project, resurrect that blog, or plant the vegetable garden of your dreams?

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Public health actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety. However, these actions are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Coping with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

You may experience increased stress during this pandemic. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.

Get immediate help in a crisis

Find a health care provider or treatment for substance use disorder and mental health

Tips for Caregivers, Parents and Teachers

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides caregivers, parents, and teachers with information on reactions children and youth may have during an infectious disease outbreak and how to support them. Some of the information is tailored for different age groups.

The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress provides parents with specific suggestions for helping children cope with Coronavirus.

Contact Us

The Health and Wellness Center is located in Building U on Main Campus. Contact us at 772-462-7825 or send email to healthandwellness@irsc.edu.

Hours

Fall and Spring Semesters:
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Summer Semester:
Monday through Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., closed Friday

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