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ACP Stresses Importance of Preventive Measures as COVID-19 Infections Increase

PHILADELPHIA (October 29, 2020) –With COVID-19 infection rates increasing nationwide and coinciding with the influenza season and the start of winter and colder months, the American College of Physicians (ACP) is reiterating the importance of preventive measures to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection, including wearing face coverings such as masks, continuing to practice physical distancing, frequent handwashing and following other preventive hygiene protocols.

Earlier this year ACP issued a policy that supported the wearing of cloth or surgical masks by the public in community settings when physical distancing is not possible. ACP supports federal, state, and local public health authorities to put evidence-based interventions in place as part of a comprehensive public health strategy to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19, and that the strategy should also incorporate education about appropriate mask use and widespread diagnostic testing and contact tracing, and should take into account local demographics, epidemiologic data, and exposure context.

“We need to remain vigilant, even as we are all increasingly fatigued by the impacts of COVID-19,” said Jacqueline W. Fincher, MD, MACP, president, ACP. There are important steps all of us can take to help reduce transmission and protect ourselves and our loved ones. As I tell my patients, Pay attention to the 3 Ws - Wear a mask, Wash your hands, and Watch your distance.“

ACP also urges adults to get recommended immunizations for protection against common but sometimes serious diseases, now more important than ever in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recommended immunizations protect against health problems, hospitalization, or even death and can also help prevent the spread of disease, especially among those who are most vulnerable to serious complications, such as the elderly and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems, particularly important to these populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the flu vaccination, other important adult immunizations include Tdap to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough); pneumococcal to protect against pneumococcal pneumonia, bacteremia, and meningitis; HPV to prevent cervical, anal, and other cancers; hepatitis A and B; and herpes zoster to help prevent shingles.

Contact: Jacquelyn Blaser, (202) 261-4572, jblaser@acponline.org

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About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 163,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.