Disclaimer: At UPMC HealthBeat, we strive to provide the most up-to-date facts in our stories when we publish them. We also make updates to our content as information changes. However, education about COVID-19 can shift quickly based on new data, emerging variants, or other factors. The information in this story was accurate as of its publish date. We also encourage you to visit other reliable websites for updated information, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and your state and local governments.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to stay home to prevent the spread of the disease. However, many others are on the front lines, helping people stay safe and providing needed services.
Essential workers include doctors, nurses, and other medical workers; first responders; employees at grocery stores and pharmacies; and many others in the community.
You can help them, the same way they’re helping you. UPMC, the City of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are asking everyone to continue to help the helpers.
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How Can I Help the Helpers?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can do many different things – big or small – to help people on the front lines of care.
- Follow prevention policies: Essential workers are doing their best to limit the spread of COVID-19. You can do so, too, by following prevention guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health organizations. That includes regular handwashing, sanitizing commonly touched surfaces, social distancing, and wearing facemasks when in public. If you’re showing symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and call your health provider for medical advice. If you have severe symptoms, go to the nearest emergency department and call ahead if you can.
- Donate: Whether it’s money to a charitable organization, food to essential workers working long hours, or medical supplies, there are many ways you can help. Try calling an organization or looking online in advance of your donation to see what to do. Businesses, schools, and other institutions van donate unused supplies to UPMC, though we are not accepting personal donations at this time.
- Give blood: Hospitals and other medical facilities are seeking blood donations, with the national supply of blood falling. You can schedule an appointment with Vitalant, or you can find an American Red Cross blood drive near you.
- Say thank you: Sometimes a simple “thank you” can go a long way. Whether it’s thanking an essential worker in person or printing UPMC’s “I’m Helping the Helpers” window poster, you can show your appreciation to essential workers. Go to UPMC’s “Helping the Helpers” website to download a “I’m Helping the Helpers” window sign. Get the kids involved and download a coloring page version as well.
Headquartered in Pittsburgh, UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. We operate 40 hospitals and 800 doctors’ offices and outpatient centers, with locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, and internationally. We employ 4,900 physicians, and we are leaders in clinical care, groundbreaking research, and treatment breakthroughs. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. We are dedicated to providing Life Changing Medicine to our communities.