COVID-19 Actions Residents Can Take (02/28/20)
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Actions Residents Can Take
As we approach school breaks, residents are advised that on March 4, the CDC issued an updated Travel Health Alert for all United States residents, instructing travelers returning from countries with a Level 3 alert (currently China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy) to stay home and monitor their health for 14 days after returning to the US. The guidance advises against any non-essential travel to Level 3 countries.
This guidance also instructs travelers from countries with a Level 2 alert (currently Japan) to monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the US.
In response to CDC's Travel Health Alert on March 4, Governor Charlie Baker and Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders urged all Massachusetts schools, including elementary and secondary schools and colleges and universities, to cancel upcoming, organized international trips at this time.
While the risk of COVID-19 is low in Massachusetts, out of an abundance of caution, all schools have been advised to cancel all upcoming organized international travel for the foreseeable future.
The CDC hosts a Frequently Asked Questions page regarding travel at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/faqs.html
We continue to encourage all residents to learn more about the everyday preventative actions they can take at: https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/personal/index.html
Update: February 28, 2020
COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that’s spreading from China throughout the world: You’ve heard about it; you’re concerned about it. Here are some things you need to know.
1. We’re on it.
Your Board of Health is the local end of a chain that starts with the national Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and goes through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Mohawk Area Public Health Coalition (MAPHCO) down to us. At every link in this chain emergency response plans are being updated and supplies and equipment are being marshaled.
In this rapidly evolving situation, an important part of our job is to keep you informed of the risks and the proper precautions you can take. You can also get updates, and more information on the virus itself, on these websites:
2. Understand the risk.
We are committed to offering realistic professional guidance. Yes, as of this writing, in late February, 2020, the risk of infection in our area is low. But we can’t count on it staying low. It’s entirely possible we will see cases of COVID-19 in our community. We’re the lucky ones; we have time to get ready.
3. Things you can do to prepare.
There are basic precautions everyone can easily take to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 — or flu. Let’s face it, the world is a germy place, and you pick up those germs on your hands and carry them into your body by touching your eyes, nose, mouth, or food.
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer. Use those sanitary wipes at the door of the supermarket to clean the shopping cart handle; use a paper towel to open the door of the restroom door when you leave.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Be considerate of others! Cover your cough or sneeze, ideally with a tissue, and throw away the tissue. Then wash your hands. If you really have to use your sleeve instead of a tissue, don’t then put your hands on your wet sleeve.
To learn more about ways you can help yourself, visit cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/personal/index.html
And finally, start thinking about being prepared for any kind of emergency, from an infectious disease outbreak to an ice storm. You can get started by visiting www.ready.gov
If you have questions, please contact your local Board of Health at email@example.com