With the announcement of two cases of Covid-19 being reported in a neighboring state, the Gadsden/Etowah County Emergency Management Agency (GECEMA) wants to stress to everyone the importance preparation plays in your safety from all infectious diseases. Director Deborah Gaither said, “While we cannot totally prevent potential exposures to an infectious disease, we can take simple proactive steps to minimize the impact of them to our families and fellow citizens.” The Centers for Disease Control recommends these steps: (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html) First, avoid close contact with people who are sick – a 6-8 feet distance is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. Also, when you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. Second, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others. Being without a fever for 24 hours is key before returning to work or school. Third, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Lastly, wash your hands – often. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer and rub your hands together until the alcohol dries for maximum effect.
GECEMA is actively monitoring the situation – with our healthcare partners from the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Etowah County Health Department – and will be providing updates through the following preparedness links. Citizens needing more information about personal preparedness information can go towww.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/get-your-household-ready-for-COVID-19.html. Local business owners who need preparedness information can go to www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html. GECEMA can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gecema, on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/gecema, and the GECEMA is found on the Internet at www.gecema.com. On our website, click the yellow advisory bar at the top of the page for current updates on Infectious Diseases. You can also visit Alabama Department Public Health athttp://alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.html.