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County asks residents to prepare for coronavirus

Posted at 2:55 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 17:55:22-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Health officials are asking residents, schools, and businesses to prepare for the novel coronavirus.

In a message posted on County News Center Thursday, the county urged people to prepare “for a potential outbreak” of the virus.

“It’s important for everyone to educate themselves and their family and be prepared in case the new coronavirus makes its way to San Diego County,” said Chairman Greg Cox, County Board of Supervisors. “It’s also important for people not to panic as the risk for this new virus and the disease that it causes continues to be low.”

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Below is list of what health officials say you can do to prepare:

  • Store a two-week supply of food, beverages and water, including food for family pets. Ensure an adequate supply of prescribed and routine medications are on hand.
  • Plan ways to care for those who are at greater risk for serious complications and who will take care of sick family members.
  • If you have family members with increased risk of getting seriously sick, check with your medical providers about symptoms and treatment.
  • Create an emergency contact list of family and friends, teachers and employers.
  • Have a plan in case your school, child care, or employer closes temporarily.
  • Talk with your children, family, and friends about what to do if an outbreak occurs and what each person would need.

Those who own businesses can also take steps to prepare for the virus, the county says.

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Below is a list of things businesses can do to equip themselves for coronavirus:

  • Encourage sick employees to stay home if they have symptoms of acute respiratory illness.
  • Make sure your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of them.
  • Have a plan in place should a large number of employees get sick or need to work from home.
  • Sick leave policies should be flexible and permit employees to stay home if they need to care for a sick family member.
  • If an employee shows up to work sick or becomes sick during work hours, separate them and send them home.
  • Encourage sneezing and coughing etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees.
  • Perform routine cleaning of all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops and doorknobs.

Symptoms of coronavirus are similar to that of other seasonal illnesses and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

The CDC believes symptoms of the virus may appear in as little as two days or could take as long as 14 days to appear post-exposure.