FHN Experts Discuss Staying Safe from Viruses this Holiday Season

December 4, 2020 – FHN President and CEO Mark Gridley, MBA, FACHE, and Infection Preventionist Margie Kochsmier, MSN, RN, CMSRN, CIC talk about the best ways to keep your family healthy over the holidays in the latest FHN COVID-19 update video.

Viruses like COVID-19 and influenza thrive in dry, indoor air, Kochsmier said, so the spread of respiratory droplets is very easy, and very likely, as people move indoors for gatherings.

“Keep wearing a mask, staying at home if possible or socially distant if you have to go out, washing your hands thoroughly and often, and wiping down surfaces to remove germs,” Kochsmier said.

Keeping “high-touch” surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, and counters wiped down -- even if it's just with soap and water -- removes germs that can be “picked up” by your family's hands and transferred to the eyes or nose with just a touch.

Gridley reinforces the importance of the “three Ws” -- wash your hands often, watch your distance from others, and wear a mask.

“It's possible to slow the spread of COVID-19, but only with a very focused approach from the entire community,” he says, noting that as of the end of November, COVID-19 officially moved up to the third leading cause of death in Illinois, after just heart disease and cancer. “We need to double down on our safety precautions.”

The video, along with all of the previous weeks' videos, is available on FHN's COVID-19 information site, www.fhn.org/coronavirus.