Clergy and Flu Season: Keeping Well


Flu season or no flu season, North Georgia Conference clergy are in and out of hospitals visiting members, stopping by the church preschool, shaking hands after worship, high fiving the youth, and visiting elderly members.

We checked with a United Methodist layperson and doctor in Augusta, Danny A. Newman, to ask a few questions.

When visiting a hospital, does wearing a mask help?
"Masks help if a patient is on droplet precautions, ie they have something spread by coughing such as flu," said Dr. Newman. "Wearing the mask keeps you from breathing in the infectious droplets."

When might I need to wear a gown and gloves?
"If a patient is on droplet precautions you’ll be required to wear a gown and gloves with the mask. If they are on contact precautions you won’t need the mask but will have to wear gown and gloves," Dr. Newman explains

Is hand sanitizer effective?
Hand sanitizer generally works fine, but there are some instances where washing hands with soap and water is necessary, according to Dr. Newman.

Do you have any general tip for staying well?
"I’d always wash hands or use sanitizer when entering and exiting a patient room. It's probably best to stay away if its the flu and just call unless absolutely necessary," he said. "And always get a flu shot." 

Dr. Danny Newman is a member of Trinity on the Hill UMC and leads their international mission committee.