|We are all in this together|
|By Member Joyce Shry|
|March 25, 2020|
Over the past several weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shared advice for responding to a pandemic of respiratory disease spreading from person-to-person caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. The disease has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”) which poses a serious public health risk. COVID-19 can cause mild to severe illness with the most severe illness occurring in older adults.
According to the CDC, different parts of the country are seeing different levels of COVID-19 activity. The United States nationally is in the initiation phase of the pandemic. States in which community spread is occurring are in the acceleration phase. The duration and severity of each pandemic phase varies depending on the characteristics of the virus and the public health response.
More cases of COVID-19 are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more instances of community spread. Widespread transmission of COVID-19 could translate into large numbers of people needing medical care at the same time. Public health and healthcare systems may become overloaded. Other critical infrastructure, such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, and sectors of the transportation industry may also be affected. Healthcare providers and hospitals may be overwhelmed.
The most important response strategy is to try to delay the spread of the virus and to reduce the impact of the disease. The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus. If you do get sick, continue to clean and disinfect your home, avoid going out, avoid other people, keep washing your hands and try not to touch your face. We ask if you are concerned about the possible exposure or contraction of COVID-19 and are NOT in need of immediate medical care, please contact your family doctor first before calling 9-1-1. Taking this measure will limit exposure to other citizens, first responders and medical staff at hospitals.
The spread of the virus will require individuals to act as well. People need to listen to health authorities, protect themselves, their families, and their communities. Reducing the spread of the disease will also reduce the burden on the health care system. We are asking everyone to take personal responsibility to protect themselves and others from the spread of the coronavirus. REMEMBER, WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.