COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Updates

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

For more information visit coronavirus.gov

Please follow these steps to help keep you and your family safe.

1. Be sure that you are fully informed of standard flu protocols -- and commit to truly following them. Precautions such as staying home if you have a fever of 100 degrees or higher, washing hands frequently, and covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow are designed to prevent the spread of germs.

2. Prepare an emergency kit and complete an emergency checklist. An emergency kit is a collection of items you may need in an emergency. An emergency checklist helps you gather information you may need in an emergency. At all times, not simply as it relates to COVID-19, every household should have an emergency kit ready and should run through emergency checklists to be prepared for any unexpected emergencies. Kits generally include essentials such as food, water, medicine, power sources, paperwork, and other items to cover a 3-day period. With the COVID-19, it is recommended to consider a 2-week supply. Here are few links for with suggestions for your kit and checklists:

Mass.gov Build an Emergency Kit

CDC Emergency Kit and Checklist for Families

CDC Personal Health Preparedness

3. Consider and prepare for what you may need if you or your children need to isolate or quarantine at home for an extended period. Current self-isolation and quarantine periods for COVID-19 have generally been 14 days or longer. In the event that you may need to self-isolate or quarantine, it is advisable to consider what you need at home under such circumstances and gather them. Emergency kit checklists, which as noted include items such as food and prescriptions, should be a good help in planning for your needs (see above).

4. Do not hoard. While it is advisable to plan and prepare for your general emergency needs and possible quarantine, it is detrimental to overall public health if individuals hoard more resources than they need. For example, if one person hoards hand sanitizer or face masks that they can’t possibly use up alone, there may be another 10-20 people who will not have access and then may be more likely to spread germs to everyone, including the hoarder, making the risk of the virus spreading even greater for all.

5. Share facts, not rumors. Check the CDC, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, or other official government sites for updates.

6. Stay compassionate and remain true to our community values of welcoming and inclusion. There have been news reports of persons of Asian backgrounds experiencing incidents of discrimination due to COVID-19 news. No one should face discrimination or mistreatment based on a public health situation. Viruses do not discriminate.

The Town of Webster Health Department will continue to update as more information becomes available.