APhA Letter to the Public: During COVID-19, Wash Hands Often, Keep Physical Distancing, and Wear a Mask

July 30, 2020

To the American public:

In this time of ongoing crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s pharmacists want you to know: Simple actions save lives. 

Pharmacists provide care for patients. We protect the public health in communities across the United States, and we are health care professionals who rely on evidence-based public health guidelines. We ask you to follow the science to protect yourselves, your families, and your neighbors, including those most vulnerable in this pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our nation’s public health agency, recommends that you wash your hands often, avoid close contact through physical distancing, and wear a face covering.

Adding to the evidence, a recent letter from more than 200 scientists to the World Health Organization recognizes the potential for airborne spread and proposes taking measures to provide proper ventilation, supplement ventilation with airborne infection controls, and avoid overcrowding. 

Daily headlines cause great concern: As of today, more than 4.4 million people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus, hospitalizations are rising, and deaths have grown to more than 150,000. Our country has the highest growth rate of new cases in the world, as the pandemic explodes across dozens of states. In response to the disaster unfolding, more states are shutting back down.

Against this backdrop, our nation is debating the reopening of schools safely for our children, returning to work, and making sure everyone has access to the health care they need, as between February and May, a record-setting 5.4 million workers became uninsured due to job losses.

As we look toward a brighter future, we must trust the science. Scientists around the world are racing to develop therapeutic treatments, at-home tests, and vaccines against the coronavirus. 

Just as the American people have risen to the global challenges facing past generations, if we work together to do what is right, we will end this.

Pharmacists are among the most trusted and accessible health care providers; 90% of Americans live within 5 miles of a community pharmacy. Pharmacies have stayed open throughout the pandemic because we are designated essential workers and committed to taking care of our patients and community. As highly trained medication experts on the patient care team in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, physician’s offices, far-flung military facilities, and within your neighborhood pharmacy, we care about the science. And we care about our patients. 

We care about you. Wash your hands often, keep physical distancing, and wear a mask.

APhA Board of Trustees
President Michael D. Hogue, PharmD, FAPhA, FNAP
President-elect Sandra Leal, PharmD, MPH, FAPhA, CDE
Immediate Past President Bradley P. Tice, PharmD, MBA, FAPhA
Treasurer Greg Fox, RPh
Executive Vice President/CEO Scott Knoer, MS, PharmD, FASHP
Joey T. Mattingly, PharmD, MBA, PhD
Cathy Kuhn, PharmD, BCACP, FAPhA
David Nau, PhD, RPh, FAPhA
Sydney Tu
Sean Jeffery, PharmD, BCGP, FASCP, AGSF
Randy McDonough, PharmD, MS, BCGP, BCPS, FAPhA
Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, PharmD, FAPhA
Theresa P. Tolle, BSPharm, FAPhA
Alex C. Varkey, PharmD, MS, FAPhA
Wendy Weber, PharmD, MBA, BCPS, FAPhA