March 2, 2020
On Friday, I signed a Mayor’s Order outlining the District’s monitoring, preparation, and response to the coronavirus, which is technically named COVID-19. As you follow the news about the coronavirus, I can understand and share the concern you and your family may be experiencing. Our team has been working for some time now to ensure we share best practices with the public. For the safety of our community, here are tips we should all utilize to reduce the spread of germs.
Prevention is our priority at this time, especially during cold and flu season. Common coronaviruses can cause symptoms similar to a common cold, such as fever, cough, sore throat, and feeling unwell. The symptoms that are currently being seen with COVID-19 are fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath. To help prevent the spread of germs, you should:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if you have symptoms of acute respiratory illness.
- Stay home from work or school until you are free of fever, signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours and without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medications.
- Seek medical attention if you have reason to believe you have been exposed to coronavirus or influenza. Call your healthcare provider before visiting a healthcare facility.
As of Sunday, March 1, DC Health has confirmed there are no cases of COVID-19 in Washington, DC. The Mayor’s Order issued on Friday named DC Health and the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency responsible for coordinating the District’s emergency response planning for any potential impacts from coronavirus.
Since this is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation, DC Health is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide updated information and awareness on coronavirus as it becomes available.
Additionally, we recommend you and your household are prepared for the possible impact COVID-19 may have in our community:
- Have an adequate supply of nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand – pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
- Check on your regular prescription drugs to make sure you have an adequate supply, and refill your prescriptions as needed.
- Have a thermometer, tissues, soap, and hand sanitizer.
- Have extra non-perishable food items at home.
Find more information about COVID-19 at DC Health, the CDC, and the U.S. Department of State.
As more information becomes available, we will continue to keep the community informed. Thank you for doing your part to stay informed and stop the spread of germs.