Be Smart and Do Our Part
As Mississippi's Health & Wellness Leader, we're here for our members and our communities when they need us most with smarter, better healthcare.
The health and safety of all Mississippians is our top priority and is at the center of our work every day. During this unprecedented pandemic time, we can all be smart and do our part, stay safe, and prevent the spread of the virus.
We're following guidance from Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH) and local health experts. We encourage you to do the same.
How to Protect Against COVID-19 and What to Do if You're Sick
How to Protect Yourself
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands
- Wet your hands with clean, running water. Apply soap. Lather your hands, including the back, between your fingers and under your nails. Scrub for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Maintain social distancing. A separation of 6 feet from another person is considered effective. Limiting gatherings to fewer than 10 people is critical, and social distancing must be practiced at all gatherings.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as doorknobs, countertops, computers, phones and bathroom surfaces.
- Stay in good overall health by eating right and staying active. If you are living with diabetes, heart disease or other condition, keep in touch with your doctor and stay current with your treatment.
- Cloth or other non-medical grade masks are now recommended for everyone in public places like grocery stores where social distance cannot always be maintained.
If You Are Sick
First and foremost, stay home if you or a loved one are sick, have a cough, fever or are not feeling well except to get medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis. (source: CDC)
If your symptoms are not severe, it is best to call your Primary Care Provider before you go in. They can tell you what to do and where to go. If you are severely ill and need to go to the clinic or hospital right away, you should still call ahead. This way the staff can care for you while taking steps to protect others.
Important COVID-19 Anti-fraud Message
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi is focused on protecting members from fraud and those that seek to take advantage of the confusion many feel surrounding COVID-19. We partner with state and federal agencies and advocacy organizations, to report, investigate and reduce healthcare fraud. Here are some things to keep in mind.
- Be cautious of ads for vaccinations or medication to treat the virus which are not recommended by the CDC, Mississippi State Department of Health or your Primary Care Provider.
- Stay on the lookout for unexplained or unauthorized charges appearing on your EOB.
- Remain aware of phishing emails about COVID-19, they may contain malware and/or request for personal information.
- Be wary of ads offering health products that are ineffective against COVID-19 like herbal teas, supplements, oils and ointments. Always seek guidance from your Blue Primary Provider.
- Do not accept telemarketing or "Robo-Calls" from callers you did not authorize to call you. Nor should you accept unsolicited offers of telemedicine services not authorized by your Benefit Plan.
- Beware of door-to-door scams and offers of COVID-19 home examinations, which may include swab and vital signs testing.
How to Make Your Own Face Mask No-Sew Method
The CDC has now recommended wearing a mask to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus. However, due to a shortage in the medical face masks, many people have turned to getting creative and making their own. You may have already started going through closets and using this time to get rid of old things.
The US Surgeon General posted a video that shows how people can make their own face mask using an old t-shirt and rubber bands. It is super easy and a fun activity for all in the house. It does not require sewing and takes less than 2 minutes. Have fun with the activity by using brightly colored or pattern t-shirts.
So let's all do our part to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. As always, wash your hands and use sanitizer. Wearing a face mask can also prevent you from touching your face if your hands have not been washed yet.
Stay safe and have fun wearing your mask!
What You'll Need:
- Old T-Shirt You can also use an old sheet, cloth bag, scarf or bandana.
- 2 Rubber Bands You can also use 2 ponytail holders.
How to Make:
- Cut fabric into a bandana-sized (12" x 18") rectangle. If using a t-shirt, cut from bottom sides of t-shirt along the seam all the way up to the arm hole and then across.
- Lay fabric out flat.
- Fold to middle from bottom.
- Fold to middle from top.
- Fold again to middle from bottom.
- Fold again to middle from top.
- Take rubber bands and wrap one around each side.
- Fold each side of the fabric over the rubber band about 1-2 inches to cover the band.
- Hold sides down as you place it over your face covering your nose and mouth.
- You can adjust it by folding more or less fabric from the sides.
- CDC | How to Make a Face Covering
- CDC | Important Information About Your Cloth Face Coverings
- U.S. Surgeon General | How to Make Your Own Face Covering
Still have questions? We have answers.
Explore our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about how we're addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.