Welcome to the WCMHS COVID-19 Resource Page Where hope & support come together, now more than ever.

Hope and support. More than words, it’s what we offer and guides us in serving the Washington County community and anyone that needs our support with their mental health and well-being.

WCMHS is committed to the health and well-being of clients, staff and community. Now more than ever, during these challenging times, we’re here to help navigate the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its effect on our community. This page, and the links from it, have been developed to provide both hope and support by offering information that can aid our neighbors and friends in finding calm during these turbulent times and if necessary, access our services. Particularly now, as we experience a surge in COVID cases in Vermont and throughout the country.

We are still open, making every effort to maintain normal operations and program services where possible, recognizing Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Vermont Department of Health (VDH), Vermont Agency of Education (AOE), and Vermont Department for Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) guidelines and mandates. Our staff, the heart and soul of our agency, is doing what they can to be available even if working remotely, in our offices or in the community. We’re still here.

On this page and the links from it, you’ll find information about Coronavirus and ways to prevent the spread of the virus. You’ll find also tips on self-care, kid-care and family-care as well as helpful hygiene techniques…everything that can keep you and your loved ones healthy and safe.

We are all in this together and no one needs to be or should be alone. Call us. Mental health. It’s OK.

What is Coronavirus and COVID-19?

  • Coronaviruses are a type of virus. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. A newly identified type has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illness now called COVID-19 that started in China in 2019.

  • COVID-19 is a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-type disease caused by the coronavirus.
  • COVID-19 symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath.
  • COVID-19 can be severe, and in some cases, particularly among vulnerable or at risk populations, has caused death.
  • The new coronavirus can be spread from person to person. It is diagnosed with a laboratory test.
  • There is no coronavirus vaccine, yet.

What is a pandemic?

Pandemics happen when new (novel) viruses emerge which are able to infect people easily and spread from person to person in an efficient and sustained way. Because the virus is new to humans, very few people will have immunity against the pandemic virus, and a vaccine might not be widely available, yet. The new virus will make a lot of people sick. How sick people get will depend on the characteristics of the virus, whether or not people have any immunity to that virus, and the health and age of the person being infected. 

Prevention & Mitigation – Wear a Mask, Hand Wash Often and Social Distance

  • Prevention involves frequent hand-washing, coughing into the bend of your elbow and staying home when you are sick.
  • What is social distancing and why?
    • While it may be disappointing to hear that so many sports events, cruises, festivals and other gatherings are being canceled, there is a public health reason for these measures. These cancellations help stop or slow down the spread of disease allowing the health care system to more readily care for patients over time.
      • Canceling events that are likely to draw crowds is an example of social distancing. Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19.
      • Other examples of social distancing that allow you to avoid larger crowds or crowded spaces are:
        • Working from home instead of at the office
        • Closing schools or switching to online classes
        • Visiting loved ones by remotely using electronic devices like smartphone, tablets, and laptop and desktop computers instead of in-person
        • Canceling or postponing conferences and large meetings
      • View this great video metaphor about social distancing and how it can work to stop the spread of coronavirus.

  • What is the difference between Isolate and Quarantine?
    • Isolation means the separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed t0 be infected with a contagious disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent the spread of the communicable disease. Isolation for public health purposes may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state, or local public health order. (CDC)
    • Quarantine in general means the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a contagious disease but not yet symptomatic, from others who have been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease. (CDC)
  • Wear a Mask – Making a Mask for Protection
    • US Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, offers instructions on making a protective mask.
    • Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center instructions for making a protective mask.

Crisis Support

  • If you have an urgent need or would like to speak with one of our counselors, call 802.229.0591.
  • Vermont Care Partners (VCP) has compiled a list of state-wide agencies providing mental health support services.
  • COVIDSupportVT.org – Features Vermont resources including 2-1-1 and access to support counselors from 8am – 8pm, Monday – Friday.

    Resources

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