Coronavirus Update

With the first confirmed case of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) confirmed in New York City, we want to take a moment to answer some basic questions regarding how to minimize risk of infection and how to prepare in the event of a major outbreak in the area.

What is the Coronavirus?

The Coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China is a new disease and world health officials are continuing to study the specific characteristics of the disease. Symptoms include mild to severe fevercough, and shortness of breath. Children appear to be largely unaffected by the illness, however older adults, those with compromised immune systems or existing respiratory conditions are particularly at risk.

How is the Coronavirus Transmitted?

Scientists believe the disease is transmitted by person-to-person contact, particularly when a sick person coughs or sneezes, emitting respiratory droplets that are either inhaled or otherwise enter a non-infected person’s nose or mouth.

It is also possible to contract the disease by touching a surface contaminated by respiratory droplets and then touching one’s mouth, eyes or nose.

Scientists believe an infected individual can be asymptomatic (not showing any outward signs of illness) for 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus, but can possibly infect others during this time.

How Do I Stay Safe?

The best strategies to avoid infection are Social DistancingFrequent, thorough hand washing, and avoiding touching one’s face with dirty hands.  Hand Washing

Social Distancing means maintaining a distance of at least three to six feet from visibly sick individuals who may sneeze or cough, resulting in the spreading of respiratory droplets.

Individuals should get in the habit of washing hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds any time they enter home or work, or are about to eat, drink or touch their faces.

Minimizing the amount you touch your face with unwashed hands helps protect individuals from infecting themselves after touching potentially contaminated surfaces.

Should I Purchase Flu or N95 Masks?

There is an ongoing disagreement about whether masks will protect the uninfected, beyond preventing them from unwittingly touching their faces.

Most public health officials have asked the public to not stock up on flu masks, as they are lowering the supply available for healthcare workers and those who are sick.

Should I Visit Loved Ones After Travelling?

There are more than 60 locations across the globe where Coronavirus activity is extremely high, and those who have traveled through major transportation hubs like train stations and airports have an elevated risk of encountering an infected individual.

As a result, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid close contact with loved ones, especially older adults, if you have traveled in the past two weeks. If you must see a loved one, practice social distancing and minimize physical contact.

How Can I Prepare My Family for a Possible Major Outbreak?

If there is a large-scale outbreak of Coronavirus in New York City, the best way to stay safe will be to stay at home and minimize exposure to potentially infected people. To make this possible, it is recommended that you have two to three weeks of nonperishable food (rice, beans, pasta, dried fruits and nuts, etc.) stocked at home, thus allowing you to avoid possible infection while shopping. If possible, also contact your insurance provider and see if you can receive your next refill of prescription drugs now, to avoid possible trips to your local pharmacy.

Additionally, having a small supply of common cold medicine and fever reducers like ibuprofen can ensure you do not need to go outside and risk infecting others should you feel ill.

Now is also the best time to speak with everyone in your household about improving hand washing tendencies and developing a plan in the event a family member falls ill.

If a loved one in your home is sick, try to have a designated bedroom and (ideally) a separate bathroom they can use during the duration of their illness. Contact your primary care physician if you or a loved one shows symptoms of illness as soon as possible.

Would a Major Outbreak Impact Utilities?

While it is impossible to predict the future, it should be noted that even the most hard-hit parts of China have not seen a loss of power, water or other utilities due to workers falling ill. That said, review your existing emergency supplies of water, candles and medical supplies to ensure nothing has expired since your last check.

SelectCare takes the threat of the Coronavirus seriously and is putting the health and safety of our clients and caregivers at the forefront of every decision we make. If you are concerned about yourself, a loved one, or simply have questions about preparedness measures, contact SelectCare and a nurse will assist you with any and all questions.