Q&A With Cathy Campbell

Cathy Campbell, CHESP, CMIP, is National Director of Service Delivery for ABM’s Healthcare division. As a Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Professional with a Certificate of Mastery in Infection Prevention, and more than 25+ years in the development, implementation, and oversight of environmental services infection prevention programs, Cathy brings to ABM’s clients expertise in developing and implementing protocols and best practices to ensure a safe environment. We recently sat down with Cathy to talk about COVID-19.

Q: Coronavirus, 2019 Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 … there have been so many terms in the media. What is the difference between each?

A. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause illness in some animals and people. Usually, coronaviruses in humans cause cold-like mild illness, but some can cause more severe diseases such as MERS and SARS. A novel coronavirus is just that, a ‘new’ coronavirus that has not been identified before. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, which was first identified in Wuhan, China, is presenting as a respiratory disease. In February, the World Health Organization formally named it COVID-19.

Q. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

A. The symptoms and severity have varied from fever, cough and shortness in breath to severe illness and even death.

Q: How contagious is COVID-19?

A: There is still so much unknown about COVID-19. However, most health experts agree that it can spread from person-to-person. Because this is a respiratory disease, the infected person coughs or exhales droplets that land on objects and surfaces. Other people than touch those surfaces and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth or breathe in the droplets if in close contact.

Q: How do I protect myself against COVID-19? Should I start wearing a facemask?

A: Unless you have respiratory symptoms or you are caring for someone who does or you work in a healthcare setting, facemasks are not recommended by the WHO or CDC. The best protection against COVID-19 – and most viruses such as the flu – is prevention. Wash your hands with soap and water, cover a cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue, avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick, and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects at home or work such as door handles and computer keyboards.

Q. Any other advice you would give our clients and team members?

A. This is a rapidly evolving situation, so information is also constantly changing. I would recommend that you regularly check with global health experts such as: