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Published on June 16, 2020

Toolkit Offers Guidance for Navigating ‘New Normal’


People are re-engaging in their day-to-day routines, yet are doing so in a world where COVID-19 still poses a health risk.

Avera has developed a New Normal Toolkit with resources to help, which includes guidance for home, workplace, family life, errands, recreation and social activity.

“Until a vaccine is available, we’ll still be seeing cases of COVID-19 crop up in our population. That means a risk still exists, but no one wants to live in fear. We can help overcome fear and worry by doing everything we can to lessen our risk and that of our loved ones,” said Bob Sutton, President and CEO of Avera Health.

The toolkit includes topics such as:

  • Social distancing
  • Hand hygiene
  • How to use and care for face masks
  • Understanding your risk
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if you are experiencing them
  • Guidance for home, workplace, family life, errands, recreation and social activity

Avera recommends five things to keep at top of mind:

 1.       Continue to practice social distancing.

COVID-19 is thought to spread primarily from person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when a person who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or talks. A significant number of people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms, and people with COVID-19 who do eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This is why social distancing continues to be key in the fight against COVID-19. Keep at least 6 feet – about two arms’ length – between yourself and others.  Avoid social situations where this is not possible.

 2.       Wash your hands.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

 3.       Wear a mask.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people wear cloth face coverings in public settings. If you have COVID-19 but do not know it, the mask will help prevent you from spreading it to others.

 4.       Understand your risk.

Do you have any of the risk factors (asthma, diabetes, heart disease, obesity) that make people more vulnerable to COVID-19? Are you over the age of 65? Do you interact with loved ones who are vulnerable due to age or underlying conditions? If the answer is yes, that needs to factor into your decision-making when you evaluate options for social and recreational activities.

 5.       Stay informed.

Follow the COVID-19 information put forward by your state’s department of health. National numbers may not reflect what’s happening locally.

People can sign up to receive the latest updates on managing COVID-19 and overall well-being via email. Go to You can also download the New Normal Toolkit at


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Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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